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Old 03-04-2009, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tankdude View Post
Don't be confused.

Making a blanket statement about the county's schools based on her experience with her neighborhood school is flawed.

That's like saying FFX Cty schools are so so b/c your experience at Annandale high school, Glasgow MS, or Mt. Vernon Woods ES didn't meet your high expectations.
If I'm outside looking in and I want to know what their schools are like, I'm going to definitely want to hear her experience. I can understand your point, but it is a county school. If they let this one school go bad then what's stopping them from letting the rest go bad? The county is responsible for this school. If they don't like the bad rep. they're getting from it then they should fix the problem instead of saying, "Oh, it's just that one school. All of the other schools are top notch."
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:18 AM
 
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Fairfax County has well over 200 schools and around two dozen high schools. There is a huge demographic range, so experiences at each school will be different. Someone mentioned Mount Vernon Woods Elementary School. 77% of the students there receive free lunches. There are schools where over half the students don't speak English. That is very different from Langley or McLean and their feeder schools. One of the advantages of No Child Left Behind has been that Fairfax County can no longer hide the underachievers by averaging in the lower-performing schools with the high performing schools. They have to look at each individual school and address the particular circumstances of that school.
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankeesfan View Post
Fairfax County has well over 200 schools and around two dozen high schools. There is a huge demographic range, so experiences at each school will be different. Someone mentioned Mount Vernon Woods Elementary School. 77% of the students there receive free lunches. There are schools where over half the students don't speak English. That is very different from Langley or McLean and their feeder schools. One of the advantages of No Child Left Behind has been that Fairfax County can no longer hide the underachievers by averaging in the lower-performing schools with the high performing schools. They have to look at each individual school and address the particular circumstances of that school.
I think these are excellent points, although I'd note the following:

1. Students who receive subsidized lunches and learn English at a Fairfax County school, and their parents, may actually be more appreciative of a school's efforts than students and parents at less diverse schools who have a different (and, in some circumstances, less realistic) set of expectations.

2. McLean High does have a feeder school - Timber Lane - with a high percentage of students (@ 40%) for whom English is a second language. About 50% of the students at that school also receive subsidized lunches. None of the schools that feed into Langley has similar characteristics. McLean actually scored higher than Langley in the most recent US News & World Report rankings.

3. While No Child Left Behind may prevent the county from averaging low-performing schools with high-performing schools in order to "hide the underachievers," it doesn't keep the county from redistricting students from one school to another in order to mask problems at a lower-performing school. You may view this as preferable, however, since the county's agenda is a bit more transparent in such circumstances.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:14 PM
 
229 posts, read 745,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkf747 View Post
If I'm outside looking in and I want to know what their schools are like, I'm going to definitely want to hear her experience. I can understand your point, but it is a county school. If they let this one school go bad then what's stopping them from letting the rest go bad? The county is responsible for this school. If they don't like the bad rep. they're getting from it then they should fix the problem instead of saying, "Oh, it's just that one school. All of the other schools are top notch."
Unfortunately, she didn't leave any details on her experience.

She just labeled all of FFX Cty schools as "so so" because her son was bored at his elementary school.

In general, the worst schools in FFX Cty is probably better than a lot of the top schools in DC and PG County. So, don't get too wrapped around the axle with regard to "if they let this one school go bad..."
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:16 PM
 
229 posts, read 745,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
I think these are excellent points, although I'd note the following:

1. Students who receive subsidized lunches and learn English at a Fairfax County school, and their parents, may actually be more appreciative of a school's efforts than students and parents at less diverse schools who have a different (and, in some circumstances, less realistic) set of expectations.

2. McLean High does have a feeder school - Timber Lane - with a high percentage of students (@ 40%) for whom English is a second language. About 50% of the students at that school also receive subsidized lunches. None of the schools that feed into Langley has similar characteristics. McLean actually scored higher than Langley in the most recent US News & World Report rankings.
Which points to the clear example of Madison HS vs. Marshall HS where disadvantaged, handicap, and ESOL students at Madison, which serves a more affluent area, score higher than the same demographic at Marshall.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:17 PM
 
2,688 posts, read 6,695,633 times
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These are all very good and interesting points. It's an interesting discussion. I was just using some examples to make the point that one can't generalize about all the county schools based on one or a few. Which doesn't mean that anyone's individual observations aren't valid and useful. The more input, the better.
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:25 PM
 
5,125 posts, read 10,112,163 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tankdude View Post
Which points to the clear example of Madison HS vs. Marshall HS where disadvantaged, handicap, and ESOL students at Madison, which serves a more affluent area, score higher than the same demographic at Marshall.
Neither my comment nor any of the other prior comments on this thread point to your "clear example" at all. I had simply clarified that, contrary to Yankeefan's suggestion, one of McLean's feeder schools (Timber Lane) does, in fact, include significant numbers of students for whom English is a second language and who receive subsidized lunches. This was an observation, not an attack; if anything, it refutes to some degree the notion, held by more than a few, that McLean parents and residents are elitist snobs who would not permit their children to attend school with others of more limited means.

You recently criticized another poster for over-generalizing based on her own experience with the Fairfax schools, but the rest of your post does just that - over-generalize. In fact, some of the neighborhoods that feed into Marshall are more affluent than some neighborhoods that feed into Madison or McLean, and the same can be said about the other two schools as well. In this regard, each of these schools is different from Langley - all of whose feeder schools have extremely low percentages of ESOL and FRR students.

Similarly, some of the test data published by the county suggests that Madison students score higher than Marshall students on average, and other data published by the county suggests that Marshall students out-perform Madison students. Each of us has cited that data for others to examine in other threads, so I won't repeat it here, other than to note that students at both schools perform well above county, state and national averages.
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:41 PM
 
229 posts, read 745,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
Neither my comment nor any of the other prior comments on this thread point to your "clear example" at all. I had simply clarified that, contrary to Yankeefan's suggestion, one of McLean's feeder schools (Timber Lane) does, in fact, include significant numbers of students for whom English is a second language and who receive subsidized lunches. This was an observation, not an attack; if anything, it refutes to some degree the notion, held by more than a few, that McLean parents and residents are elitist snobs who would not permit their children to attend school with others of more limited means.

You recently criticized another poster for over-generalizing based on her own experience with the Fairfax schools, but the rest of your post does just that - over-generalize. In fact, some of the neighborhoods that feed into Marshall are more affluent than some neighborhoods that feed into Madison or McLean, and the same can be said about the other two schools as well. In this regard, each of these schools is different from Langley - all of whose feeder schools have extremely low percentages of ESOL and FRR students.

Similarly, some of the test data published by the county suggests that Madison students score higher than Marshall students on average, and other data published by the county suggests that Marshall students out-perform Madison students. Each of us has cited that data for others to examine in other threads, so I won't repeat it here, other than to note that students at both schools perform well above county, state and national averages.
When you make blanket statements, you generalize. When you use data such as averages, it's beyond just "generalizing," unlike the other person. I provide data to back my arguments instead of just making blanket statements.

Nevermind the "some of this or some of that feed into are more affluent," the data, which is general in nature and which you like to use also shows that 5% of the Madison student population qualify for subsidized lunches, while 15% of students at Marshall qualify for subsidized lunches. That clearly indicates that Madison is a more affluent school nomatter how many pockets of affluent neighborhoods feed into Marshall.

Last edited by tankdude; 03-05-2009 at 07:55 PM..
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:36 PM
 
5,125 posts, read 10,112,163 times
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I really don't think that, when the other poster said she was "kinda so so" on Fairfax schools, she was generalizing. It's just how she chose to characterize her experience with her son's particular school to date. Everyone else understood this.

It's true that you provided some data to back up your argument that Madison students in some demographics "score higher" than their counterparts at Marshall, but you also omitted other data. In particular, the data on SAT scores that the College Board makes available to colleges and universities indicated that the Class of 2008 at Marshall outperformed the Class of 2007 at Madison on SATs by seven points (1680 vs. 1673). This data is based on all occasions where members of those classes took the SAT prior to their graduation.

FCPS schools also report data on the average test scores for SAT tests taken by 12th graders during their senior year. That data indicated that, on average, the Class of 2008 at Madison outperformed the Class of 2008 at Marshall by 11 points (1711 vs. 1701). The reported data also indicated that students classified as Black, Hispanic, White, and "Other" students at Marshall outperformed their peers at Madison, while students classified as Asian, Economically Disadvantaged, Limited English Proficient and Students with Disabilities at Madison outperformed their peers at Marshall. The data for 12th grade test takers also indicated that test scores at Marshall rose during each of the last three years, and declined at Madison during each of the last three years. This data supports what many in the area already know intuitively to be the case - namely, that the distinctions these days between the two schools are not particularly significant and that there are many high-achieving students at both schools.

It's also quite silly to suggest that there are only "pockets" of affluent neighborhoods feeding into Marshall. This is, after all, Fairfax County, and anyone familiar with the area who looked at a boundary map would see that the school draws from generally affluent neighborhods with, if anything, "pockets" of middle-income neighborhoods and apartment complexes.

Madison does have, however, significantly lower percentages of students qualifying for subsidized lunches. So what? If your goal is to make sure your own children aren't exposed to others with fewer resources, I guess Madison is a better choice than Marshall (or, for that matter, McLean and any other neighborhood-based high school in the county except for Langley). But, then again, weren't you the poster who complained in another thread about the rich kids wrecking their parents' cars in drag races on the GW Parkway? There may just be something to learning sooner rather than later that not everyone enjoys the same benefits as a typical member of a Great Falls/McLean/Vienna/"McLean part of Falls Church" family.
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:54 PM
 
229 posts, read 745,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
I really don't think that, when the other poster said she was "kinda so so" on Fairfax schools, she was generalizing. It's just how she chose to characterize her experience with her son's particular school to date. Everyone else understood this.

It's true that you provided some data to back up your argument that Madison students in some demographics "score higher" than their counterparts at Marshall, but you also omitted other data. In particular, the data on SAT scores that the College Board makes available to colleges and universities indicated that the Class of 2008 at Marshall outperformed the Class of 2007 at Madison on SATs by seven points (1680 vs. 1673). This data is based on all occasions where members of those classes took the SAT prior to their graduation.

FCPS schools also report data on the average test scores for SAT tests taken by 12th graders during their senior year. That data indicated that, on average, the Class of 2008 at Madison outperformed the Class of 2008 at Marshall by 11 points (1711 vs. 1701). The reported data also indicated that students classified as Black, Hispanic, White, and "Other" students at Marshall outperformed their peers at Madison, while students classified as Asian, Economically Disadvantaged, Limited English Proficient and Students with Disabilities at Madison outperformed their peers at Marshall. The data for 12th grade test takers also indicated that test scores at Marshall rose during each of the last three years, and declined at Madison during each of the last three years. This data supports what many in the area already know intuitively to be the case - namely, that the distinctions these days between the two schools are not particularly significant and that there are many high-achieving students at both schools.

It's also quite silly to suggest that there are only "pockets" of affluent neighborhoods feeding into Marshall. This is, after all, Fairfax County, and anyone familiar with the area who looked at a boundary map would see that the school draws from generally affluent neighborhods with, if anything, "pockets" of middle-income neighborhoods and apartment complexes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
Madison does have, however, significantly lower percentages of students qualifying for subsidized lunches. So what? If your goal is to make sure your own children aren't exposed to others with fewer resources, I guess Madison is a better choice than Marshall (or, for that matter, McLean and any other neighborhood-based high school in the county except for Langley). But, then again, weren't you the poster who complained in another thread about the rich kids wrecking their parents' cars in drag races on the GW Parkway? There may just be something to learning sooner rather than later that not everyone enjoys the same benefits as a typical member of a Great Falls/McLean/Vienna/"McLean part of Falls Church" family.
She wasn't just generalizing, she was making a blanket statement about FFX Cty schools as a whole based on her "so so" experience at her kid's elementary school who g#d knows could be in the worse or best part of FFX Cty because she didn't provide specifics.

You provided top level average of Marshall vs. Madison SAT scores for that one year. I never argued against your data, but instead, gave you more detailed data/granularity.

Also, you really made it an issue in putting up a fight for Marshall vs. Madison when all I said was that I would prefer Madison over Marshall which is clearly my prerogative. Nevermind the SAT score, I think I saw a stat where Madison sends more kids to 4 year colleges compared to Marshall. Can't find that stat anymore on the FFX Cty webpage, or maybe I don't care to look hard enough again.

The "silly pockets" that you refer to was really a response to your silly statement below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
In fact, some of the neighborhoods that feed into Marshall are more affluent than some neighborhoods that feed into Madison or McLean, and the same can be said about the other two schools as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
Madison does have, however, significantly lower percentages of students qualifying for subsidized lunches. So what? If your goal is to make sure your own children aren't exposed to others with fewer resources, I guess Madison is a better choice than Marshall (or, for that matter, McLean and any other neighborhood-based high school in the county except for Langley). But, then again, weren't you the poster who complained in another thread about the rich kids wrecking their parents' cars in drag races on the GW Parkway? There may just be something to learning sooner rather than later that not everyone enjoys the same benefits as a typical member of a Great Falls/McLean/Vienna/"McLean part of Falls Church" family.
Again, this was in response to your silly comment about affluent neighborhoods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
some of the neighborhoods that feed into Marshall are more affluent than some neighborhoods that feed into Madison or McLean
BTW, I didn't "complain" about rich kids "wrecking" their parents cars. If these dumb parents want to give their kids the key to nice, new luxury cars so that they can kill themselves and their friends, well....that's out of my hands....just try to not kill anyone besides yourself on your ride down to hell.

Last edited by tankdude; 03-05-2009 at 09:21 PM..
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