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Old 12-25-2011, 01:38 PM
 
2 posts, read 24,895 times
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We are moving to Plano area from Virginia and my kids are in 7th/8th grade. In Virginia SOL (equivalent to TX TAKS) they always got 95-100%. I am looking for good middle/high school - which offer AP level courses in HS. I found that Plano/Allen/Friso/Lovejoy all offer AP level course. In TX there is a rule that top 10% of the class get automatically in any TX university. If I want to plan my kids to go to University of TX at Austin then should I send them to Plano ISD where there is a stiff competition and to get into top 10% may be difficult or go to Allen/Frisco isd where competition may not be so stiff and getting top 10% is much easier then Plano HS.
For example with a GPA of 4 you may be ranked 270 in Plano HS and not make into top 10% but same GPA may put you in top 5% in Allen HS/Frisco HS's.

I have heard Plano schools are best but considering top 10% rule for college admission should I consider homes in Allen/Frisco ISD?
Any thoughts?
Thanks
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Old 12-25-2011, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
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(Disclaimer: My kid is currently in middle school in Plano ISD, and I've been extremely satisfied with the educational opportunities provided to him thus far.)

You'll find a lot of viewpoints on the Top 10% rule. I think folks, in general, put waaaay too much stock into the Top 10% rule. It really only matters if you're absolutely dead set on sending your kids to UT.

There are schools in TX where, without the Top 10% rule, almost no one from the school would qualify for admission to UT-Austin, and precious few even to Tech or TAMU. Plano, Frisco, and Allen aren't those kind of schools. If your kid goes to any of those and puts together a solid course list and decent ACT/SAT scores, getting into TAMU, Tech, or other state schools will be no problem, Top 10% or no.

Now, UT-Austin is another matter, largely because there are so few slots left for non-Top 10%ers. However, in the competition for those slots, Plano ISD kids would still be in the running, in a way that, say, Farmersville ISD kids would not.

Another consideration - if your kids are really smart, as in NMSF smart, you might not even WANT them to go to UT, since they can instead snare 100% free rides at OU, Baylor, or a dozen or more other schools in the area.

---

If you're still concerned about gaming the Top 10% system, be aware that recent boundary changes in PISD will, IMO, make the competition level moderately lower at Plano Senior, and quite a bit higher at Plano West.
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:03 PM
 
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The Plano ISD is great, there are a lot of Indian and Asian influence and these groups place education a top priority. If you have a child that is not quite so motivated, you may run into issues.

Ive lived in the Plano ISD 2 yrs, and while my children have done well, I do not want my son entering the high school here for more reasons than one. I made the decision to move to Frisco for several reasons before he starts high school. (elementary and Middle schools have been EXCELLENT)

Sorry for all the typos...my iPad has a mind of it's own
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:05 PM
 
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Sorry but this 10% rule is new to me....can anyone give me a re-cap or a link to read?
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:07 PM
 
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My office will be in Carrollton- and we are looking at both Frisco and Plano-- seems you can get more house for the money in Frisco- both kids will be in HS- oldest will be going into 12th grade next year and youngest 9th- not a great time for him to move but it is what it is...
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Old 12-25-2011, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,346 posts, read 6,282,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gymbo68 View Post
Sorry but this 10% rule is new to me....can anyone give me a re-cap or a link to read?

Texas House Bill 588 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In practice, it's currently Top 7% or 8% to automatically get into UT, and it will probably be Top 9% for TAMU in the next couple of years.

---


IMO, I'd rather have my kid go to a really competitive high school with high-performing peers and excellent teachers (and, as a result, miss out on the Top 10% status), than attend some school with a second-rate student body and teachers mailing it in (and attain Top 10% status, only to flunk out in college due to being ill-prepared). A smart kid is going to do well in life no matter what college he/she attends, even if it's not UT.
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Old 12-25-2011, 05:48 PM
 
2,676 posts, read 3,956,442 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big G View Post
Texas House Bill 588 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In practice, it's currently Top 7% or 8% to automatically get into UT, and it will probably be Top 9% for TAMU in the next couple of years.

---


IMO, I'd rather have my kid go to a really competitive high school with high-performing peers and excellent teachers (and, as a result, miss out on the Top 10% status), than attend some school with a second-rate student body and teachers mailing it in (and attain Top 10% status, only to flunk out in college due to being ill-prepared). A smart kid is going to do well in life no matter what college he/she attends, even if it's not UT.
Automatic admissions are always an issue. Like G said, just because you're top-10 at Mediocre High doesn't mean you're prepped for a tier-1 college. I saw tons of kids at my university who got in because if you had a certain GPA- admission was automatic. What this fails to take account is the quality of that GPA and by extension, rank.

However the kids in the 3rd-4th standard deviation will likely do well no matter where they go.

And there's no such thing as 'more house for the money'...it's a zero-sum game, something is gained, something is lost. Houses cost what they cost because of the house and where they are. You'd never hear someone say they moved to Staten Island vs. Manhattan because you get more house for your money. Taken to the nth degree, if you move out far enough you can get 'more farm for your money'.
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Old 12-25-2011, 05:51 PM
 
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Quote:
A smart kid is going to do well in life no matter what college he/she attends, even if it's not UT.
One could also say, a smart kid is going to do well in life no matter what school he/she attends also.

I do believe that some kids are going to be high performers no matter what circumstances they are put in, while others will struggle despite the best of conditions. I think genetics and personality traits play a bigger role in determining our future than some parents are willing to accept.
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:04 PM
 
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I'm trying to choose between Frisco/Allen/Plano isd for my kids. I have heard that Plano schools are much more competitive than Allen/Frisco.
Is it better to get into top 10% in Frisco and Allen HS than to be in highly competitive schools like Plano ( what I heard) and not make in top 10%?
Do universities (other than UT) consider how competitive the school is when they look at class rank?
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,346 posts, read 6,282,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loanstar View Post
I'm trying to choose between Frisco/Allen/Plano isd for my kids. I have heard that Plano schools are much more competitive than Allen/Frisco.
They're ALL competitive - it's a matter of degree. Rummage around this forum for the thread listing the National Merit Semi-Finalist numbers for each school. Keep in mind that Allen and the PISD schools have much larger graduating classes than Frisco ISD, making more Top 10% spots available.

Ethnically, be aware that Plano ISD has a much higher percentage of Asian students than the other 2 districts. Frisco Liberty is the only FISD school with an Asian population close to that of PISD. That might be your cup of green tea, or not. The Asian percentage is actually increasing year-on-year, as more and more of that subgroup are attracted by the academic atmosphere of PISD.

Quote:
Is it better to get into top 10% in Frisco and Allen HS than to be in highly competitive schools like Plano ( what I heard) and not make in top 10%?
Depends on what you want out of your kids' education. If you measure success or failure by UT admission, then your best bet is to go Allen or Frisco. If you're aiming for Ivies, Plano ISD has a much better track record.

Quote:
Do universities (other than UT) consider how competitive the school is when they look at class rank?
Most public schools have some kind of algorithm for admission, based on some combination of SAT scores, GPA and class rank. The school quality would only come into play for marginal cases. As far as that goes: In-state, yes - most schools are aware of the quality differences between districts. If you were applying to, say, the U of Illinois, they would have little or no idea of the difference.

If you're aiming high, I'd say that Plano ISD is on the radar of most high-end private schools in the US, and Frisco and Allen are not.

---

Setting all that aside, based on social reasons, I'm not sure I'd recommend Plano ISD for incoming middle-schoolers. There's not much mobility in PISD anymore - it's largely the same kids from year to year. Your kids might be able to fit in more easily in Frisco ISD, where there's a constant influx of new people all the time.

Anecdotally, the occasional new kids I do see in my son's school are either Asian or Hispanic - I see very few new Anglo students.
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