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Old 01-30-2013, 10:50 AM
 
287 posts, read 481,999 times
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Does anyone have insight as to how students of average academic ability (B/B+) fare in the West Plano middle and high schools (specifically Robinson, Jasper, and Plano West)? We are moving to Dallas and are heavily favoring the West Plano area. We love the high test numbers produced by the district and are aware of the overachievers/top performers that will be entering Jasper and PWHS from Rice, but I would like to know if the district/schools are overly focused on helping the top and bottom students to the extent that the quality of the education for the "middle" kids suffers. This is what is happening in the school district we are currently in here in the north east (we have a fantastic AP and spec ed program in our district, but not such fantastic program for the "regular" kids) and I would very much like to prevent that in our next school district.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by europeanone View Post
Does anyone have insight as to how students of average academic ability (B/B+) fare in the West Plano middle and high schools (specifically Robinson, Jasper, and Plano West)? We are moving to Dallas and are heavily favoring the West Plano area. We love the high test numbers produced by the district and are aware of the overachievers/top performers that will be entering Jasper and PWHS from Rice, but I would like to know if the district/schools are overly focused on helping the top and bottom students to the extent that the quality of the education for the "middle" kids suffers. This is what is happening in the school district we are currently in here in the north east (we have a fantastic AP and spec ed program in our district, but not such fantastic program for the "regular" kids) and I would very much like to prevent that in our next school district.

Thank you in advance.

Don't put too much weight into my comments. We lived in Plano for years and know a good number of recent PW grads but my feelings have been formed from various anecdotal comments with zero input from my kids who never attended Plano schools.

My son's girlfriend is PW grad. She's flatly brilliant there is no other way to make the point. She has said that PW is great for overachievers and the few kids who are simply exceptionally smart and also with kids who have real learning issues. She says kids in the middle are left in the dust so to speak. One of her good friends left PW in the bottom half of her class thinking she was fairly dumb - she's done really well in college.

You'll get more useful input from BigG and others.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
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Yes.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:54 AM
 
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Interesting comments. Also from the north east and the same holds true. The top and the bottom seem to do well and love the school experience. The middle kids seem to get lost.

Is this just a fact of life for bigger schools anywhere?
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
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IMO, what EDS_ said is completely accurate.

For a more complete answer:

The key to not getting lost is to be involved in at least one major activity. Band, sports, speech, JROTC, student council, drill team, etc. And there are dozens of such activities at a school like Plano West.

Thing is, there's a large overlap between the best students and the most involved students. The kid who's not putting forth full effort in class is also usually not putting forth much effort into becoming socially engaged in school.

As a result, the "B" kid in the back row of the class who doesn't get noticed in class - he/she self-selects to not be noticed outside of class, either.

So, it's not that the average kid WILL get lost in the shuffle - it's just that he DOES, in practice.

(Disclaimer - I'm associated with Plano Senior, not Plano West. But the situations are similar - and probably more extreme at PWSH.)
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:15 PM
 
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I have heard similar complaints from parents in Coppell High, Allen High and even Love Joy. My nephew has a different issue, he says that students who lag behind in studies, who have special needs or who are trouble makers, get all the attention. Studious and well behaved children are supposed to cruise by themselves.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:21 PM
 
743 posts, read 1,255,756 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big G View Post
IMO, what EDS_ said is completely accurate.

For a more complete answer:

The key to not getting lost is to be involved in at least one major activity. Band, sports, speech, JROTC, student council, drill team, etc. And there are dozens of such activities at a school like Plano West.

Thing is, there's a large overlap between the best students and the most involved students. The kid who's not putting forth full effort in class is also usually not putting forth much effort into becoming socially engaged in school.

As a result, the "B" kid in the back row of the class who doesn't get noticed in class - he/she self-selects to not be noticed outside of class, either.

So, it's not that the average kid WILL get lost in the shuffle - it's just that he DOES, in practice.

(Disclaimer - I'm associated with Plano Senior, not Plano West. But the situations are similar - and probably more extreme at PWSH.)
You know, I think the same could be said for most run of the mill high schools. Go to Berkner or Duncanville and join the band and you're likely on the college track. Join the Poteet drill team and you'll end up in the top quarter of the class. But, if what EDS says is true and that the "dumb" Plano West kids end up doing well in college, then that's something to consider.

Do you want a kid confident in their abilities when they aren't really there? Or a kid who has low self esteem, but can actually get through the tough times? It's hard to say you'd wish low-self worth on your kids, but there might be something there...
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:35 PM
 
16,192 posts, read 14,706,586 times
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Originally Posted by Considering Coming Back View Post
You know, I think the same could be said for most run of the mill high schools. Go to Berkner or Duncanville and join the band and you're likely on the college track. Join the Poteet drill team and you'll end up in the top quarter of the class. But, if what EDS says is true and that the "dumb" Plano West kids end up doing well in college, then that's something to consider.

Do you want a kid confident in their abilities when they aren't really there? Or a kid who has low self esteem, but can actually get through the tough times? It's hard to say you'd wish low-self worth on your kids, but there might be something there...
Frankly, I softly support what PW is doing. They take care of extra-needs kids because the courts force them to do so. They offer extra support to excellent students for all manner of reasons that make economic sense.
They nor any school really have the resources to pay special attention to the vast pool of kids in the middle. Kids in the middle sink or swim.

In my perfect educational world we'd remove the bottom 1/3 of students regardless of why and reapply the vast saved resources to the "middle". If the Euros can do so why not us?

I'd also say the kid I referenced HATED high school.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,346 posts, read 6,619,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Considering Coming Back View Post
You know, I think the same could be said for most run of the mill high schools. Go to Berkner or Duncanville and join the band and you're likely on the college track. Join the Poteet drill team and you'll end up in the top quarter of the class. But, if what EDS says is true and that the "dumb" Plano West kids end up doing well in college, then that's something to consider.

Do you want a kid confident in their abilities when they aren't really there? Or a kid who has low self esteem, but can actually get through the tough times? It's hard to say you'd wish low-self worth on your kids, but there might be something there...
Interesting idea - not sure if it holds up.

IMO, the first paragraph has cause and effect turned around. Band or drill team don't make you smarter, but being smart makes you want to join band or drill team.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:41 PM
 
743 posts, read 1,255,756 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big G View Post
Interesting idea - not sure if it holds up.

IMO, the first paragraph has cause and effect turned around. Band or drill team don't make you smarter, but being smart makes you want to join band or drill team.
Maybe. But there are plenty of middle ground kids who join an extracurricular activity and learn from their peers what it takes to be successful.
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