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Old 10-17-2012, 08:05 PM
 
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My kids go to Kempsville Meadows and will eventually go to Kempsville High. I remember back in '08, Kempsville High was ranked in the top 1300 schools in the U.S. in U.S. News and World Report. I just saw on schooldigger.com that the test scores have really declined in 2012. VB schools are ranked 44 out of 117 districts in Virginia on that site. I remember reading an article in the Pilot a couple of years ago that said that VB schools were ranked among some of the nation's best for "large" school districts. Have things changed recently?
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:27 PM
 
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I don't think you can take just one year and assume it's getting worse. You have to look at things on a larger scale. Kempsville is still one of the top 3-4 schools in Virginia Beach IMO.

I had heard they did some rezoning several years ago that brought some Bayside area students to Kempsville. That could be a cause to 2012 finally showing some decline.
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick5 View Post
My kids go to Kempsville Meadows and will eventually go to Kempsville High. I remember back in '08, Kempsville High was ranked in the top 1300 schools in the U.S. in U.S. News and World Report. I just saw on schooldigger.com that the test scores have really declined in 2012. VB schools are ranked 44 out of 117 districts in Virginia on that site. I remember reading an article in the Pilot a couple of years ago that said that VB schools were ranked among some of the nation's best for "large" school districts. Have things changed recently?
I don't think they have declined since I was there but it is hard to say. I know that VB schools have great programs like the old donation center and kemps landing magnet school as well as the math and science academy at ocean lakes and international baccalaureate at P.A. Currently, the division also five high school academies in operation. Among them are the Global Studies and World Languages Academy at Tallwood High School; Health Sciences Academy at Bayside High School; the Legal Studies Academy at First Colonial High School; the Governor's STEM & Technology Academy at Landstown High School; and the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Salem High School. Any student in the VB can attend these academies as far as I know, no matter what district you live in.

I would imagine that the influx of wealthy educated transplants to isolated Northern Virginia suburbs is having an influence on the quality of schools in the state relative to what they used to be. When a while bunch of families making $150k+ where the parents both have masters degrees all move to an area and isolate themselves from poor people you are bound to have highly ranked schools with good test scores. That is just my opinion though, I haven't done any digging to find out if most of the top ranked schools are in NOVA... I suspect that they are though.

I think this is the article you are talking about, or at least the one that the Pilot was talking about:

Top public schools: Large U.S. cities - Virginia Beach, Va. | GreatSchools

Of course, the fact that they ranked Honolulu highly as well makes their metric pretty suspect in my book, so take that for what it is worth.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:12 AM
 
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I was always under the impression that the schools in VB were very strong nationally. Maybe not? When U.S. News and World Report did their rankings back in '08, didn't 4 or 5 VB High Schools come out in the top 5% in the country? Take a look at the websites greatschools.com or school digger. Our schools look pretty average on those sites. On Great Schools, Princess Anne, Cox, and First Colonial all got a rating of 6 out of 10 (not exactly stellar). The others don't look so hot. On school digger, the Virginia Beach School district is ranked 3 out of 5 (again, not stellar).
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Rick5 View Post
I was always under the impression that the schools in VB were very strong nationally. Maybe not? When U.S. News and World Report did their rankings back in '08, didn't 4 or 5 VB High Schools come out in the top 5% in the country? Take a look at the websites greatschools.com or school digger. Our schools look pretty average on those sites. On Great Schools, Princess Anne, Cox, and First Colonial all got a rating of 6 out of 10 (not exactly stellar). The others don't look so hot. On school digger, the Virginia Beach School district is ranked 3 out of 5 (again, not stellar).
I always heard that they were strong nationally but not elite, definitely above average.

It also depends on what list you are looking at and what metric they use. Some go off student/teacher ratio, some go off test scores, some go off spending per student, and some go off parent reviews. You will get very different results because of that depending on what metric they are using. Any list that looks at average proficiency of students is going to be strongly influenced by the demographics of the school. You could have 80% of the students score very well and 20% score poorly and your average proficiency is not spectacular. That is where these exclusive suburbs tend to thrive because they don't have any poor kids, kids from single parent households, or from any of the other demographics that tend to score lower on standardized tests and bring down the averages.

Virginia Beach does well when compared to other "large cities" largely (IMO) because VB is not like most large cities. We do not have ghettos, projects, or slums with high concentrations of isolated poor. We don't have inner city schools with 50% drop out rates. We are largely suburban and have a relatively egalitarian community where most everyone is middle class.

The rankings you cited ranked VB as slightly above average... but this list, which includes only about the top 10% of schools nationally, has 10VB schools included with princess anne being in the top 150 in the country and Kempsville ranked 97 in the state and 1902 in the country.

Va. Beach high schools clean up in rankings | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com

National Schools - The Washington Post

Who are you going to believe?

I just look at it this way... when you take into account above average public schools, great advanced placement options, special programs, and focuses. Add to the our excellent community college system and top notch state universities like William and Mary, UVA, and Virginia Tech I think it is a great place to raise kids and feel confident that they are going to have every opportunity to succeed in life.

We are not, however, going to outscore schools in Northern Virginia whose demographics are 85% - 90% white and asian and made up of mostly 2 parent households where both parents have advanced degrees and bring in 6 figure incomes. It just isn't going to happen, at least not in the near future because all of those things I mentioned correlate strongly with higher test scores in America right now. I'm not disparaging anyone, just stating what the data shows.

https://p1pe.doe.virginia.gov/report...schoolName=All

Last edited by UHgrad; 10-18-2012 at 11:06 AM..
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:51 PM
 
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UHGrad,

That is excellent info. Thank you very much!
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:23 PM
 
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Declining? I'm not sure they were even that great to begin with.

If I had children they would be going to private school- none of the public schools in HR are good enough, IMO.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Coconut1 View Post
Declining? I'm not sure they were even that great to begin with.

If I had children they would be going to private school- none of the public schools in HR are good enough, IMO.
Since you don't have children and added no data or references (just your typical smear of HR) to the conversation, I would be curious to see what you are basing this opinion on. At minimum, it seems like you would have to acknowledge that Princess Anne which is ranked #369 (Gold by USA today) and #222 (Washington Post) in the country out of over 22,000 public high schools is a solid school by most standard measures. (that is top 2% in both studies).

Princess Anne High School in VIRGINIA BEACH, VA | Best High Schools | US News

Princess Anne - The Washington Post

Especially given their extensive AP opportunities and International Baccalaureate program

Virginia Beach City Public Schools - International Baccalaureate (IB) Program - Princess Anne High School

and mean SAT and ACT scores that are well above the state and national averages.

http://www.vbschools.com/school_data...cessAnneHS.pdf

In fact, 10 out of 11 of the VB schools are in the top 10% nationally according to the WaPo study and offer numerous special focuses as I mentioned in previous posts.

In addition, there are many quality elementary/middle schools and the opportunity to attend the old donation center and kemps landing magnet school where the students have 100% proficiency according to SOL testing.

http://www.vbschools.com/school_data...onCenterES.pdf

http://www.vbschools.com/school_data...ngMagnetMS.pdf

So what are you basing this opinion on? How would you define a good school and how do NONE of the schools in HR meet that criteria?

Not saying you are wrong, you may have some additional insights to add to the conversation (maybe some nice anecdotes for us?), but all evidence I have seen shows that VB public schools provide excellent opportunities to succeed for students (especially motivated ones).
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Williamsburg
1,184 posts, read 3,672,862 times
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FYI this is statewide:
Math scores on the Virginia Standards of Learning test have dropped by as much as 20 percent throughout VA. The Virginia Department of Education said the math SOL given in the 2011-2012 school year was more rigorous and is the “beginning of a new trend line in mathematics achievement.”

While students across the state and by subgroup experienced declines in math assessment pass rates in English, science and history stayed relatively flat, with some improvements.
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:41 AM
 
13 posts, read 42,772 times
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Mr. Williamsburg -- Thanks!!
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