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Old 05-22-2008, 01:17 AM
 
43 posts, read 149,463 times
Reputation: 18

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Newsweek has ranked the Top 1300 High Schools of the Nation for 2008:
America's Top Public High Schools | Newsweek Best High Schools | Newsweek.com

All I hear is how great the Iowa schools are - I wonder why they didn't rank higher . . .

Of the Top 1300 High Schools in the Nation for 2008:
481 Washington H.S., Cedar Rapids, Iowa
802 Kennedy H.S., Cedar Rapids, Iowa
900 Iowa City West H.S., Iowa City, Iowa
1107 Ames H.S., Ames, Iowa

Of the Top 1300 High Schools in the Nation for 2007:
384 Washington H.S. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
722 East Marshall H.S., Le Grand, Iowa
838 Kennedy H.S., Cedar Rapids, Iowa
1249 Iowa City West H.S., Iowa City, Iowa

Of the Top 1300 High Schools in the Nation for 2006:
580 George Washington H.S., Cedar Rapids, Iowa
799 Kennedy H.S, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
1177 Iowa City West H.S., Iowa City, Iowa

Of the Top 1300 High Schools in the Nation for 2005:
601 George Washington H.S., Cedar Rapids, Iowa
902 Kennedy H.S., Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Of the Top 1300 High Schools in the Nation for 2003:
671 George Washington H.S., Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Interactive Geographic Distribution Map of the 1300 schools: America's Top Public High Schools | Newsweek Best High Schools | Newsweek.com
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Old 05-22-2008, 02:16 AM
 
Location: Des Moines, IA
1,744 posts, read 6,815,771 times
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It says that 1300 high schools would be approximately five percent of all US high schools, so not making the top 5% doesn't exactly mean that something isn't good. Slightly less than 95% will still get you an A in most classrooms.

A lot of the names of these schools sound like feeder schools for the smarty-pants of districts though, I will say that. Others do sound like regular public schools.

The formula used took into account AP tests and Cambridge tests (no clue what this is, but ok) and graduation rates. These are good things to take into consideration, but I suppose there are other things they could factor in as well... ACT/SAT scores, other standardized testing, difficulty of cirriculum, noteworthy programs, etc.

I'm not saying that these schools listed don't deserve recognition or that Iowa schools could be better than these listed, but maybe there's a bigger picture to look at.
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,847,809 times
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All the Iowa schools on this list are medium to large size districts with a diverse student population, at least in terms of SES (Socio-Economic Status) if nothing else (although West and the C.R. schools are somewhat racially diverse as well).

My point is that a lot of these schools are in very specifically tailored districts in very high SES areas. Schools in places like Fairfax, VA; Falls Church, VA and Hyannis, MA are going to be comprised entirely of high SES parents who put a lot of time, energy, and money into their child's education. So of course their scores are going to be higher. Many parents in the West High district, for example, are middle and working class people who don't have that luxury (to the same degree). For proof of that, just look at the Subsidized Lunch percentages for many of these schools--below ten percent! Washington in C.R. for example, has a rate of 33%.

Also, Iowa doesn't have feeder schools (at least to my knowledge). And if you ask me, feeder schools shouldn't be included in lists like this. It's practically a "gimmie" to get the high test scores this survey is weighted toward when you only accept the best and the brightest. These Iowa schools educate everybody, and Iowa schools as a whole are very good.
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Old 05-23-2008, 09:36 AM
 
Location: North of Grand neighborhood, near Dahl's.
33 posts, read 140,865 times
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Default Best Life’s contributing editor Eric Villency says DM is in top 6%

Supporting earlier comments, it appears that Des Moines, for example, is just outside that 5% list. This is a recent write up of the "Best Life" spot on the Today Show, where Eric Villency had nice comments about Des Moines, which came in as the 6th best place in the U.S. to raise a family (to Al Roker's surprise...but not to ours, of course!):

Press Release, Des Moines Public Schools, Iowa

And actually, if you're looking strictly at AP test scores alone, Des Moines (thanks to Central Campus) is in the top 1% nationally. Central Campus is a Top 50 AP school:

"And earlier this year, Central Academy earned the Siemens Award for Advanced Placement Excellence in Math and Science as one of the nation’s top 50 Advanced Placement programs."

I'm guessing there are a handful of other Iowa schools that would show up on a top 10% list. And I would agree with some of your comments regarding "feeder", specialty, and/or private schools, especially on the east coast, where I spent the last 10 years (Boston and NY), as well as the comments about how more Iowa schools could pop up on that list were different criteria used. It depends on how you slice it. I wonder if Newsweek has expanded data (up to 10 %, say)...that would be interesting to see how many we have in that 6-10% range. At any rate, my wife, a veteran teacher, taught in east coast schools, and she'd pit our top public school students against their top private schoolers any day, if that tells you anything about the overall quality of our teachers and students in Iowa.
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Old 05-23-2008, 07:50 PM
 
43 posts, read 149,463 times
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Yes, so very true! I was thinking after I posted it that the article is looking only at test scores; it does not take into account the other things that make a great school like the community, parental involvement and student groups, extracurricular activities and such.

I think when I hear about great Iowa schools it's taking all that into account. How neat is that - to have national reputation for great schools ;-) Seriously, whenever someone hears we are moving to Iowa that is usually one of the first things they say.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:20 PM
 
114 posts, read 456,820 times
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I'll say the something that the head of the Ears, nose and Throat clinic at the UI. It's all about who you are and it only matters to to those that are in the field. *Teachers administrators. We all know that Iowa is in the top 10 for test scores and Graduation rate. we don't need some fancy pants rag to jack up the ratings of their own elite schools. besides. I have gone to ohter areas of this country and they are surprised that we have modern conveniences. I mean come on. Hoiw are these kids being taughtt???
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:24 AM
 
43 posts, read 149,463 times
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Do you mean how are they being taught bc they don't know Iowa has modern day conveniences? If that is what you mean I have come across that, too. It blows me away to know that people are so uneducated about the states and peoples within our country.

When people say things like "What is there in Iowa?" or "Lots of pigs and corn there," I reply "You've never been there have you?" When they say 'no' I tell them "I think you've only heard about the pigs and corn so that no one will move there and then the Iowans can have the state to themselves" tee hee
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:56 AM
 
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I went to West High. I see it's ranked #900 out of a total of 37,100 high schools in the country according to sources i looked up on Wikipedia.

That's the top 3%. Pretty good!
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Old 05-26-2008, 12:49 AM
 
114 posts, read 456,820 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovethem View Post
Do you mean how are they being taught bc they don't know Iowa has modern day conveniences? If that is what you mean I have come across that, too. It blows me away to know that people are so uneducated about the states and peoples within our country.

When people say things like "What is there in Iowa?" or "Lots of pigs and corn there," I reply "You've never been there have you?" When they say 'no' I tell them "I think you've only heard about the pigs and corn so that no one will move there and then the Iowans can have the state to themselves" tee hee
I know. When I was looking at my daughters social studies book,. I was appalled that all they said was that we were just farms. no mention that we gave birth and raised a President, Have a world renowned medical center or any of the great thinkers, scientist and writers that have come from this state. (Van Allen, Tennessee Williams (UI alum) etc.) I mean come one. they think were are still living like little house on the Prairie Please
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Coralville/Ames, IA
267 posts, read 1,143,455 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neanerbean View Post
I know. When I was looking at my daughters social studies book,. I was appalled that all they said was that we were just farms. no mention that we gave birth and raised a President, Have a world renowned medical center or any of the great thinkers, scientist and writers that have come from this state. (Van Allen, Tennessee Williams (UI alum) etc.) I mean come one. they think were are still living like little house on the Prairie Please
I have been asked multiple times if Iowa was "the state with the potatoes" when I tell people where I'm from. I have to wonder if any other states teach geography.

(EDIT: Sorry if this is considered grave-digging, I didn't look at the dates until after I posted...)
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