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Old 04-29-2021, 09:16 AM
 
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According to U.S. News and World Report's methodology, the following are the 15 best public high schools in Northeast Ohio (https://www.cleveland.com/news/2021/...east-ohio.html). I added the total number of National Merit Semi-Finalists each school has produced in the last four years:

1. SOLON (81)
2. CHAGRIN FALLS (14)
3. HUDSON (33)
4. ROCKY RIVER (20)
5. BAY VILLAGE (8)
6. BRECKSVILLE-BROADVIEW HEIGHTS (22)
7. ORANGE (8)
8. JOHN HAY (0)
9. AVON LAKE (10)
10. KENSTON (10)
11. HIGHLAND (8)
12. REVERE (33)
13. BEACHWOOD (16)
14. STRONGSVILLE (19)
15. TWINSBURG (16)

Many folks would probably look at this list and see familiar names that they feel "belong." However, I do wonder why some of these schools, which are allegedly so great, fail to produce more than a couple of top-performing students of NMSF status per year (e.g. Bay Village, Orange, Highland). John Hay hasn't produced any. On the other hand, one school has produced 42 in the past four years and isn't on the list at all: Shaker Heights. I live in Shaker Heights and, although I don't have children, continue to observe a fairly significant number of highly-accomplished students who attain this level of excellence and go on to the top colleges and universities in the United States. This happens annually in Shaker; three students from the 2021 graduating class alone will matriculate at Harvard University in the fall.

If the listed schools are so outstanding, why don't they produce more high-caliber students? If Shaker isn't, how can it continue to produce as many high-caliber students as it does?

These observations make me wonder about the quality of the ratings systems we always see (US News, Ohio State Report Card, GreatSchools, etc.). These observations also make me wonder how much parents heed these ratings, because why would any educated and devoted parent choose Shaker when all of these other "superior" districts are available? How could Shaker continue to produce so many top graduates if conscientious parents strictly followed the ratings and chose other communities to educate their kids?

DR J
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Old 04-29-2021, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
2,819 posts, read 4,102,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_j_planning View Post


On the other hand, one school has produced 42 in the past four years and isn't on the list at all: Shaker Heights. I live in Shaker Heights and, although I don't have children, continue to observe a fairly significant number of highly-accomplished students who attain this level of excellence and go on to the top colleges and universities in the United States. This happens annually in Shaker; three students from the 2021 graduating class alone will matriculate at Harvard University in the fall.

DR J

Yeah, that is weird. I too would have thought Shaker Heights would be high up on Ohio's list. It could be because the district did not submit data to US News which happens more often than not. That can throw the whole methodology off which is why I am skeptical these lists are telling the whole truth. Anyways, there's a lot more to consider when choosing a high school or a school district than academic rankings. For instance, I went to arguably the best public high school in Boston according to US News and one of the best in Massachusetts. I received a good education but not without having to endure bullies and improper pedagogy through the process, which is to me is typical of large super competitive high schools.
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Old 04-29-2021, 05:52 PM
Status: "Here comes the Summer!" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
21,054 posts, read 26,587,275 times
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As a transplant to NE Ohio, I have noticed something that is very different from where I am from, originally; Long Island NY.

On Long Island, outstanding students apply to and attend, the best schools in the country. In fact, some Ohio schools are popular with Long Islanders - Case Western Reserve, Oberlin, Ohio State, Hiram and Kenyon. They also typically choose from the many colleges in New England. It's not unusual for Long Island HS grads with high GPAs to attend college as far as 10 hours away from home.

Here, I have noticed that even for the best students, going out of state is rare. My daughter had two best friends who were valedictorian and salutation of her graduating class at Warren G. Harding - probably not one of the better Ohio HSs, but our daughter had a wonderful experience there.

Anyway, her ultra high achieving friends who could have chosen pretty much any elite college they wanted, selected University of Tampa (her grandparents and aunt live in Tampa) which is not a bad school, but it's not terribly competitive. The salutation applied to one college - Capitol University in Columbus.

The other outstanding students chose very average Ohio colleges - Youngstown State which is basically open admission, Kent State, U of Akron, University of Mount Union, Malone, Theil College in PA, Walsh, and Baldwin Wallace.

AGAIN - NOTHING WRONG with ANY of these colleges - they are all fine schools. However most of them are not that competitive. They take a lot of B - B+ students.

My daughter's group of friends were ALL honors students as she was. They all took AP courses. They were outstanding students. Yet they chose average to slightly above average colleges.

My take as an outsider - (I've lived here for eight years) - is that families in this region want to keep their kids close to home - even if they are Ivy League material.

When we first moved here we looked at JFK HS. While we are not Catholic we thought the school would be safer and offer more. It did not. There were fewer AP offerings.

I asked to see where grads attended college and I wasn't terribly impressed. It was no different from WGHHS.

I think the best college on the list was John Carrol. AGAIN - a good college - but for an outstanding student an unusual choice. From a school like JFK, the top students would apply to elite Catholic colleges - Georgetown, Holy Cross and Notre Dame, as well as some ivies.

I just think the culture is different.
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Old 04-29-2021, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Cleveland
3,264 posts, read 4,286,461 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
As a transplant to NE Ohio, I have noticed something that is very different from where I am from, originally; Long Island NY.

On Long Island, outstanding students apply to and attend, the best schools in the country. In fact, some Ohio schools are popular with Long Islanders - Case Western Reserve, Oberlin, Ohio State, Hiram and Kenyon. They also typically choose from the many colleges in New England. It's not unusual for Long Island HS grads with high GPAs to attend college as far as 10 hours away from home.

Here, I have noticed that even for the best students, going out of state is rare. My daughter had two best friends who were valedictorian and salutation of her graduating class at Warren G. Harding - probably not one of the better Ohio HSs, but our daughter had a wonderful experience there.

Anyway, her ultra high achieving friends who could have chosen pretty much any elite college they wanted, selected University of Tampa (her grandparents and aunt live in Tampa) which is not a bad school, but it's not terribly competitive. The salutation applied to one college - Capitol University in Columbus.

The other outstanding students chose very average Ohio colleges - Youngstown State which is basically open admission, Kent State, U of Akron, University of Mount Union, Malone, Theil College in PA, Walsh, and Baldwin Wallace.

AGAIN - NOTHING WRONG with ANY of these colleges - they are all fine schools. However most of them are not that competitive. They take a lot of B - B+ students.

My daughter's group of friends were ALL honors students as she was. They all took AP courses. They were outstanding students. Yet they chose average to slightly above average colleges.

My take as an outsider - (I've lived here for eight years) - is that families in this region want to keep their kids close to home - even if they are Ivy League material.

When we first moved here we looked at JFK HS. While we are not Catholic we thought the school would be safer and offer more. It did not. There were fewer AP offerings.

I asked to see where grads attended college and I wasn't terribly impressed. It was no different from WGHHS.

I think the best college on the list was John Carrol. AGAIN - a good college - but for an outstanding student an unusual choice. From a school like JFK, the top students would apply to elite Catholic colleges - Georgetown, Holy Cross and Notre Dame, as well as some ivies.

I just think the culture is different.
I think it depends on which school you're looking at. As a Shaker grad who was in mostly AP classes, I'd say 80% of my peers went to out of state colleges (mostly East Coast).
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Old 04-29-2021, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
105 posts, read 54,039 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
As a transplant to NE Ohio, I have noticed something that is very different from where I am from, originally; Long Island NY.

On Long Island, outstanding students apply to and attend, the best schools in the country. In fact, some Ohio schools are popular with Long Islanders - Case Western Reserve, Oberlin, Ohio State, Hiram and Kenyon. They also typically choose from the many colleges in New England. It's not unusual for Long Island HS grads with high GPAs to attend college as far as 10 hours away from home.

Here, I have noticed that even for the best students, going out of state is rare. My daughter had two best friends who were valedictorian and salutation of her graduating class at Warren G. Harding - probably not one of the better Ohio HSs, but our daughter had a wonderful experience there.

Anyway, her ultra high achieving friends who could have chosen pretty much any elite college they wanted, selected University of Tampa (her grandparents and aunt live in Tampa) which is not a bad school, but it's not terribly competitive. The salutation applied to one college - Capitol University in Columbus.

The other outstanding students chose very average Ohio colleges - Youngstown State which is basically open admission, Kent State, U of Akron, University of Mount Union, Malone, Theil College in PA, Walsh, and Baldwin Wallace.

AGAIN - NOTHING WRONG with ANY of these colleges - they are all fine schools. However most of them are not that competitive. They take a lot of B - B+ students.

My daughter's group of friends were ALL honors students as she was. They all took AP courses. They were outstanding students. Yet they chose average to slightly above average colleges.

My take as an outsider - (I've lived here for eight years) - is that families in this region want to keep their kids close to home - even if they are Ivy League material.

When we first moved here we looked at JFK HS. While we are not Catholic we thought the school would be safer and offer more. It did not. There were fewer AP offerings.

I asked to see where grads attended college and I wasn't terribly impressed. It was no different from WGHHS.

I think the best college on the list was John Carrol. AGAIN - a good college - but for an outstanding student an unusual choice. From a school like JFK, the top students would apply to elite Catholic colleges - Georgetown, Holy Cross and Notre Dame, as well as some ivies.

I just think the culture is different.
It’s been a long while, but when I graduated from Warren public schools, most students in my circle (including myself) did not have the money to attend Ivy League schools. Even with the SAT scores and GPAs/rankings to potentially get there, we opted for state schools based purely on finances, coming from mostly middle class families. The scholarships and in-state fees made this doable, without drowning in debt.

Just hypothesizing it is a different scenario for many Long Island based families, as compared to Warren. I have no idea on your daughter’s friends situation, so this may or may not be the case these days.

And again, this was a while ago...
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Old 04-30-2021, 02:22 AM
 
9,778 posts, read 6,583,999 times
Reputation: 5642
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
As a transplant to NE Ohio, I have noticed something that is very different from where I am from, originally; Long Island NY.

On Long Island, outstanding students apply to and attend, the best schools in the country. In fact, some Ohio schools are popular with Long Islanders - Case Western Reserve, Oberlin, Ohio State, Hiram and Kenyon. They also typically choose from the many colleges in New England. It's not unusual for Long Island HS grads with high GPAs to attend college as far as 10 hours away from home.

Here, I have noticed that even for the best students, going out of state is rare. My daughter had two best friends who were valedictorian and salutation of her graduating class at Warren G. Harding - probably not one of the better Ohio HSs, but our daughter had a wonderful experience there.

Anyway, her ultra high achieving friends who could have chosen pretty much any elite college they wanted, selected University of Tampa (her grandparents and aunt live in Tampa) which is not a bad school, but it's not terribly competitive. The salutation applied to one college - Capitol University in Columbus.

The other outstanding students chose very average Ohio colleges - Youngstown State which is basically open admission, Kent State, U of Akron, University of Mount Union, Malone, Theil College in PA, Walsh, and Baldwin Wallace.

AGAIN - NOTHING WRONG with ANY of these colleges - they are all fine schools. However most of them are not that competitive. They take a lot of B - B+ students.

My daughter's group of friends were ALL honors students as she was. They all took AP courses. They were outstanding students. Yet they chose average to slightly above average colleges.

My take as an outsider - (I've lived here for eight years) - is that families in this region want to keep their kids close to home - even if they are Ivy League material.

When we first moved here we looked at JFK HS. While we are not Catholic we thought the school would be safer and offer more. It did not. There were fewer AP offerings.

I asked to see where grads attended college and I wasn't terribly impressed. It was no different from WGHHS.

I think the best college on the list was John Carrol. AGAIN - a good college - but for an outstanding student an unusual choice. From a school like JFK, the top students would apply to elite Catholic colleges - Georgetown, Holy Cross and Notre Dame, as well as some ivies.

I just think the culture is different.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlideRules99 View Post
It’s been a long while, but when I graduated from Warren public schools, most students in my circle (including myself) did not have the money to attend Ivy League schools. Even with the SAT scores and GPAs/rankings to potentially get there, we opted for state schools based purely on finances, coming from mostly middle class families. The scholarships and in-state fees made this doable, without drowning in debt.

Just hypothesizing it is a different scenario for many Long Island based families, as compared to Warren. I have no idea on your daughter’s friends situation, so this may or may not be the case these days.

And again, this was a while ago...
I suspect the norm is very different in Greater Cleveland than in Greater Youngstown for the very best students, even more especially for the top schools in Greater Cleveland.

For economic reasons, many Greater Cleveland high school graduates do stay in Greater Cleveland. Greater Clevelanders generally don't know that while Greater Cleveland supports its community colleges with local real estate levies, this is not the norm in Ohio. Not only does this lower the tuition, but it increases the excellence of the academic/career training programs. Students can save on room and board by living at home, and also more easily can work while studying.

Lakeland's new medical center was partially financed by a local levy. Its programs even attract students from outside of northeast Ohio.

https://www.lakelandcc.edu/web/about...s-construction

https://www.lakelandcc.edu/health

Northeast Ohio universities offer an easy transition for community college graduates. At Lakeland Community College in Lake County, there is even a University Center, where the professors come to the students! This allows students to not only stay at home and avoid room & board expenses or commuting time and costs, but encourages more students to get even more advanced training and degrees. I suspect that Lakeland offers one of the better higher education values in the entire country, so its not surprising that many high school graduates in Lake County matriculate there.

https://www.lakelandcc.edu/web/holden/home

Lakeland always has had good Laketran service, soon to be improved with a new transit center. So students can avoid the costs of car ownership.

https://laketran.com/frank-j-polivka...unity-college/

Ohio State is a major education destination for Greater Cleveland students, especially for high-achieving students eligible for its academic scholarships and special privileges, including exclusive dorms.

https://honors-scholars.osu.edu/scholars/faqs

https://honors-scholars.osu.edu/honors

To compete with programs for high-achieving students such as those offered by Ohio State, several of the nation's top universities such as Princeton now ensure its undergraduates will leave the university with minimal, if any student debt.

https://www.princeton.edu/news/2016/...uate-debt-free

Guidance counselors at Greater Cleveland high schools are well aware of these programs and definitely students from a wide variety of Greater Cleveland high schools, including those in Cleveland proper take advantage of them. Surprisingly large numbers of Greater Cleveland's best students attend the nation's exclusive universities.

Hoping to discover a list/quantification of Greater Cleveland undergraduates at Princeton, I discovered a post by a recent St. Ignatius graduate.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dillion-gallagher-59bbb51a5

Princeton enrolled 20 students from Ohio in its most recent class. It would be fascinating to know how many were from Greater Cleveland.

https://admission.princeton.edu/how-...ion-statistics

College destinations for Solon HS and St. Ignatius graduates in some recent classes.

Solon High School college destinations | | chagrinvalleytoday.com

https://www.ignatius.edu/news/june-2...e-destinations

The college destinations for Hathaway Brown in Shaker Heights is off the charts. The HB Class of 2020 had only 85 students.

https://www.hb.edu/about/news/post/~...-class-of-2020

Case Western offers a wide array of programs for K-12 students.

https://case.edu/ugstudies/students/...holars-program

https://gelfand.case.edu/programs/

Last edited by WRnative; 04-30-2021 at 02:42 AM..
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Old 04-30-2021, 04:16 PM
 
Location: NKY's Campbell Co.
2,031 posts, read 4,403,394 times
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I certainly take these lists with big, fat grains of salt. What I am about to say pertains to suburban schools as that is my background. I cannot speak for larger urban districts or urban high schools or rural districts. And I think for the bottom half of this post, the urban/rural school options are hit even harder for attendance at elite colleges and universities.

I went to Beavercreek High School in the eastern Dayton suburbs and had wonderful educational and support opportunities. It ranks on Great Schools as a 5 and US News barely ranks it at all in comparison to other metro suburban high schools. Only the Ohio State Report Cards rank the schools well, but even they have taken a hit with some demographic shifts. I think it has a lot to do with, as mentioned, the data, especially against students that may be considered at risk or disadvantaged per the data metrics (code for poor/free lunch or hailing from black or latinx families). So schools with many high achievers but some students from the at risk categories that don't test well, will get big hits on their rankings. Beavercreek had this problem well over 10 years ago as the few black students did not have access to the AP and Honors courses for any number of reasons I could only guess at, some reasonable, others not. Not to say we did not have black and latinx students in my classes who performed well and went on to Ivy League universities, but there tended to be more in the base level classes. Based on reporting I have seen on Shaker, it tends to suffer the same scenario where most AP courses are largely white and more basic level courses are higher percentages of minority students.

As for US News, they tend to also look at AP scores and testing numbers on top of demographic group performances. Unless they have changed, schools that auto-enroll and require AP students to take the test (usually the school pays the fee, I guess? Or they charge it in student fees?) tend to fair better in the rankings. And of course schools that perform well on those tests tend to rank even better. So, school districts that can either a) cover the fee or b) have parents that can afford to pay $80-100 a test in school fees probably have the resources to teach to those tests rather well. And thus rank better. That is assuming the district in question even submits full data to US News.

But those AP tests can be misleading. I opted out of AP English testing (took the course) due to some personal health concerns at the time. I felt better prepared for my higher level critical thinking literature courses since I did not skip right to the advanced levels. I think there is too much emphasis on AP tests and not enough on really seeing if a student is ready to dive right into advanced course work. In a number of cases, that ends up failing the student more than helping. They may not need remedial course work, but the stress of suddenly managing your own schedule in a new environment that is highly de-structured can make jumping into advanced courses not the right move for many students. What I guess I am saying is AP course acceptance and approval by colleges and universities is too broad, even when accounting for the weeding out via the test scores. As a note, unless it has changed, Beavercreek does not require AP students to take AP tests.

Now to the point of northeastern families vs. Midwestern (or at least Ohio) families. Many of the high caliber public (we can leave the really elite private and boarding schools out here) high schools in the NYC suburbs have families that can afford to send kids to relatively close schools such as Bates, Vassar, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, Cornell. A large part is wealth. A secondary part of that is availability of transportation resulting in cheaper costs and greater options from bus service to car pools to train. It is great to go to Princeton and the fact that they are pushing for debt free gradates. That is if you can get in. And that is hard even for the NYC kids, maybe harder because it is closer to those students - i.e. my cousin likely would have matriculated at Dartmouth if she stood out by being from the Midwest or South vs. another Westchester County high school student. But for those kids that can attend from Montgomery, Alabama, or Youngstown, Ohio, or Rockford, Illinois, not only is it hard to leave your structured environment that is your life, but it can be difficult for many families to even afford to see you twice a year due to travel costs and/or distances. Great, I can go to Yale for maybe 10-20K a year in room/board, food and travel. That can still require loans or be a lot for a family, especially one from urban or rural America taking home 50-75K a year that may not qualify for the full debt relief.

I'll leave this last point with this note. I ended up graduating from University of Dayton (respectable catholic school - just below your ND and Georgetown). We lovingly joke we take the ND rejects. Started at Ohio State but it was too big and ended at UD because it was close to home and received free tuition due to a family member beginning to work there just after I graduated high school. I really wanted to go to my reach school that I loved (American) but couldn't afford it. I did like GW (and stayed there on a summer internship), but Georgetown did not speak to me as all that great, even with the test scores and potential opportunities. To me it just seemed to preppy. In the end, I could not attend American despite being accepted because, even with scholarship, we made just enough to fall outside the FAFSA full ride or partial ride amounts. The point is, you find a place you like that fits your life situation and you do your best to make it and graduate.
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Old 04-30-2021, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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If you look at the explanation for how US News ranks their best high schools, you will find that undeserved student performance weighs in on 2-3 of their methadological categories. So maybe it's because Shaker Heights High School did not score well in the amount of Black, Hispanic, and low income students taking and passing AP exams or being proficient in math and English. There may be a huge gap between privileged student performance and undeserved student performance and US News apparently does not like this. Take a look for yourselves: https://www.usnews.com/education/bes...h-school-15302.
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Old 04-30-2021, 08:27 PM
Status: "Here comes the Summer!" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
21,054 posts, read 26,587,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleverfield View Post
I think it depends on which school you're looking at. As a Shaker grad who was in mostly AP classes, I'd say 80% of my peers went to out of state colleges (mostly East Coast).
Yes. In Shaker. The culture there is more similar to the NYC metro area. But, the Youngstown Boardman Warren area? No. They stick close to home.

And these are students who's families have the money to send them where ever they want.

My take? They are afraid they won't return.
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Old 04-30-2021, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH
9,972 posts, read 9,355,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
Yes. In Shaker. The culture there is more similar to the NYC metro area. But, the Youngstown Boardman Warren area? No. They stick close to home.

And these are students who's families have the money to send them where ever they want.

My take? They are afraid they won't return.
There is a lot of value to going to school near home in my opinion. Especially as costs spiral out of control... to go to an east coast school you have to have some serious, serious coin in the family. In retrospect, I kinda wish I would have gone to Case instead of Ohio State.
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