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Old 04-23-2021, 09:38 AM
 
4,659 posts, read 2,383,086 times
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Just to show how school rankings vary, Niche is showing the top public high schools in Colorado as follows. 1. Cherry Creek 2. Fairview 3. D'Evelyn 4. Peak to Peak Charter 5. Rock Canyon 6. Grandview 7. Cheyenne Mtn .... Another source will give you a different order. Interesting that with the exception of #s 2 and 4, these all represent different districts. And there are plenty of other high-ranking schools within these districts. Get a general idea of where you want to live first, then look at the schools.
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Old 04-23-2021, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,988 posts, read 7,308,376 times
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I’m gonna venture to say I’ve been through the education wringer more recently than most on this board, and I’ve found the US News ranking method to be a pretty fair attempt.

https://www.usnews.com/education/bes...enver-co-19740

If you see your kids being academic achievers, I’d say that the most important criterion would be the proportion of students who pass multiple AP/IB tests. That will be the biggest clue into what kind of community is fostered in the higher performing portions of the student body and how they’ll perform at the university level and beyond. For these students, magnet programs and those with higher proportions of historically underserved communities are actually better than the number crunchers in the suburbs because they have more opportunity to break into extracurriculars and encounter new situations that challenge their assumptions. I guarantee that most upper-tier universities would rather have a kid with a 1400 SAT, got 4s and 5s on a couple AP tests, participated on an inner city track team, has a passion beyond school activities and can write an articulate essay about it than a kid with a 1550 SAT, 4s and 5s on 10 AP tests, was on student council, the debate team, has one token non-academic pursuit, and writes a somewhat formulaic essay about how they want to change the world.

If you see them being more interested in non-academic pursuits but still want them to do well at a good university, then the big suburban high schools are great. A lot of kids thrive where there are large enough numbers and opportunities that they can find their niche and excel in it.

If they aren’t on the college path, Denver Public Schools seems to offer the best trades-oriented programs.

In general, I’m not impressed by the inner suburban schools, and I’d steer clear of most charter schools aside from a handful within Denver Public Schools.
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Old 04-24-2021, 06:43 PM
 
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Walking along some of Denver's more upscale neighborhoods (Country Club/North Country Club/Park Hill) you would be surprised how many have signs/bumper stickers for East High School. Many, many well-to-do families who could easily afford the top privates choose to send their kids to East, and quite frequently after a private elementary/middle school education. The population of East High has always been very diverse - many Black and Latino kids who come from modest means alongside solidly middle/upper middle class white kids -- and it's been able to meet the academic and social needs of them all. There are years when East sends as many or more grads to the Ivies/elite schools as Cherry Creek and even the exclusive privates.

A little anecdote from a few years ago: a friend took her son on an east coast college tour. At either Williams or Amherst (she couldn't remember which) an admissions rep asked "You're from Denver? Which school?" When told it was East HS, the rep exclaimed, "East High? We LOVE kids from East!" Now maybe this rep says this to everyone. But it stuck in her mind. In the end, her son went to Carnegie Mellon.
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Old 04-26-2021, 08:29 AM
 
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Best is extremely subjective. It’s almost impossible to answer.
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Old 04-26-2021, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Denver CO
23,493 posts, read 14,937,308 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissTerri View Post
Best is extremely subjective. It’s almost impossible to answer.
If you are saying that there is one ordered list of the top 10 or so schools, and that they go in a very specific order and that is the only "correct" list, then I'd agree. But if you look at the top 15-20 schools, there is usually overlap on most lists even if one list has School A at number 1 and School B at number 8 and another list has that flipped around. But in general, the top schools will be the same schools on most lists even if there is a variation in the order between the lists

But then again, "top" college lists work the same way, and there is not one specific "best" school in the US, but I think most of us would agree on a more general top 20 list. Maybe not overlap for every single school but likely we'd have 10 or more of the same schools on a top 20 list if we each made our own.
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Old 04-26-2021, 11:56 AM
 
16,261 posts, read 8,196,504 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
If you are saying that there is one ordered list of the top 10 or so schools, and that they go in a very specific order and that is the only "correct" list, then I'd agree. But if you look at the top 15-20 schools, there is usually overlap on most lists even if one list has School A at number 1 and School B at number 8 and another list has that flipped around. But in general, the top schools will be the same schools on most lists even if there is a variation in the order between the lists

But then again, "top" college lists work the same way, and there is not one specific "best" school in the US, but I think most of us would agree on a more general top 20 list. Maybe not overlap for every single school but likely we'd have 10 or more of the same schools on a top 20 list if we each made our own.

If we’re basing “best” on test scores than I’d agree, it’s easy to answer. Best, however, is extremely subjective and will vary depending on a child’s needs. Cherry Creek High School for example is a top high school on paper but it’s also huge, very competitive and not very diverse. There are a lot of kids who will fit right in and thrive in that environment and others will hate every second of it. Things like school culture are extremely hard to measure and what may be the best school on paper may not be what’s best based on personality, learning style, etc for individual students. It would be helpful to understand what the op defines as “best”. I find it very difficult to answer in any meaningful way without that understanding.

Last edited by MissTerri; 04-26-2021 at 01:06 PM..
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Old 04-27-2021, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,914 posts, read 4,377,142 times
Reputation: 1670
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westerner92 View Post
I’m gonna venture to say I’ve been through the education wringer more recently than most on this board, and I’ve found the US News ranking method to be a pretty fair attempt.

https://www.usnews.com/education/bes...enver-co-19740

If you see your kids being academic achievers, I’d say that the most important criterion would be the proportion of students who pass multiple AP/IB tests. That will be the biggest clue into what kind of community is fostered in the higher performing portions of the student body and how they’ll perform at the university level and beyond. For these students, magnet programs and those with higher proportions of historically underserved communities are actually better than the number crunchers in the suburbs because they have more opportunity to break into extracurriculars and encounter new situations that challenge their assumptions. I guarantee that most upper-tier universities would rather have a kid with a 1400 SAT, got 4s and 5s on a couple AP tests, participated on an inner city track team, has a passion beyond school activities and can write an articulate essay about it than a kid with a 1550 SAT, 4s and 5s on 10 AP tests, was on student council, the debate team, has one token non-academic pursuit, and writes a somewhat formulaic essay about how they want to change the world.

If you see them being more interested in non-academic pursuits but still want them to do well at a good university, then the big suburban high schools are great. A lot of kids thrive where there are large enough numbers and opportunities that they can find their niche and excel in it.

If they aren’t on the college path, Denver Public Schools seems to offer the best trades-oriented programs.

In general, I’m not impressed by the inner suburban schools, and I’d steer clear of most charter schools aside from a handful within Denver Public Schools.

This is very true and lots of schools keep these internal metrics very close to the vest and don't share willingly, but it doesn't hurt to ask (ie ask for average AP test scores for say Calc BC, CCHS might be 4.128, etc).


Again think about things such as IB/AP, dual enrollment options, extracurricular, etc. CCHS does not do class ranking, but it hasn't hurt kids getting into Ivies, couple of my son's friends are heading off to Harvard, one to MIT, several to Stanford. 50 kids this year alone in CCHS are National Merits, if you are surrounded by driven kids the hope is that peer pressure will also drive you to success.
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Old 04-27-2021, 07:44 PM
 
1,216 posts, read 1,572,612 times
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“if you are surrounded by driven kids the hope is that peer pressure will also drive you to success” Or they may check/out.

Last edited by vwgto; 04-27-2021 at 07:45 PM.. Reason: Fix
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Old 04-27-2021, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Berkeley Neighborhood, Denver, CO USA
15,989 posts, read 24,117,990 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonwalkr View Post
if you are surrounded by driven kids the hope is that peer pressure will also drive you to success.
I don’t see this in Colorado.
You want peer pressure?
Bronx Science
TJ in NOVA
Weston, MA
Etc.
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Old 04-28-2021, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
23,493 posts, read 14,937,308 times
Reputation: 36479
Updated US News ratings that just came out. 6 of the top 20 high schools in Colorado are in the Denver Public School district.

https://www.usnews.com/education/bes...hools/colorado


I realize that people often value different facets of a school than the methodology used by this or any of the sites that rank schools. But it's a starting point at least.
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