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Old 03-01-2009, 01:38 AM
 
72 posts, read 184,616 times
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For a long time I have been hearing from a lot of people how great Fairfax County Schools and is there any truth to that? I am a product of a Fairfax County School system (K-12) education. IMHO I do not think my fairfax county education did much in advancing my career path, even though I had a 3.5 GPA and a member of the National Honor Society. My SAT score was crap and I ended up going to GMU for electrical engineering. GMU was the only school that accepted me in the state of VA.

Yes, there are those kids that get into UVA, VA Tech and Harvard, but for the rest of us we ended up at average schools.
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Old 03-01-2009, 06:19 AM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,889,401 times
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Most kids in every system are average students, and they end up at average schools. When many of your classmates have GPAs well above 4.0 with AP courses weighted in, then a 3.5 GPA is not outstanding, especially paired with a "crap" SAT score. It's not clear why you believe that you should have been accepted at a more competitive state school with a "crap" SAT score, just because you graduated from a Fairfax school. As you probably know, there are plenty of students with excellent grades and test scores who are shut out from the better Virginia universities. UVA, William and Mary, Va Tech, and JMU cannot possibly accept every applicant from the Fairfax system, or there would be no spots for students from the rest of Virginia.
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Old 03-01-2009, 06:39 AM
 
12,905 posts, read 15,568,545 times
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I'm surprised that with a 3.5 GPA that the only school that would take you is George Mason. Did you REALLY apply to them all or was it just UVA, Tech and W&M? The other VA schools such as Radford, VCU, and ODU would have been "walk-ins" for someone like you even considering your crap SAT scores but maybe those schools just weren't on your radar?

Now, of course, things have really changed. In order to even get into the less well-rated Virginia public universities, the need for a GPA of 3.0 and higher is required. My DD has applied to 7 different colleges (two are out of state). So far, not one has accepted her. We are still waiting to hear from Radford and GMU. While we do live in Prince William, she attends private school in Fairfax and, I would say, receives an education right on par with Fairfax public schools.

I never expected this school to get her into a better college based on the zip code or reputation. While Fairfax schools are some of the best in the nation, is that because of the true rigor of the curriculum or does it come down to the affluency of its students. I mean, really, do you think Langley High School does anything different than the other high schools in the area that would account for it's higher average SAT scores. No. The school is just full of kids that have had every advantage laid at their feet.

The individual student is going to be the individual student no matter where they attend. You were actually probably hurt by your attendance in FCPS because your class rank was probably compared to a bunch of really smart kids and it's much harder to be near the top that way.
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Old 03-01-2009, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
652 posts, read 1,296,305 times
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We moved to Fairfax County last summer from NC. I have to admit that we were nervous about our children's educational level as compared to their new school mates here and even discussed the possible need for tutoring once school started. We have been shocked to discover that our kids are ahead of their classmates in the curriculum and are actually fairly bored. We appreciate saving the tutoring $ and our kids are enjoying coasting in their classes but it's still been quite a surprise.
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:50 AM
 
3,650 posts, read 9,459,153 times
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I heard the same thing from a NC transplant - she was complaining how far behind Fairfax county was from where she lived in NC - Raliegh/Durham area.

I am kinda so so on Fairfax County schools - my son is in Kindergarten and is a little bored - so - I will have to see what next year is like...
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:13 PM
 
229 posts, read 740,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindy112 View Post
We moved to Fairfax County last summer from NC. I have to admit that we were nervous about our children's educational level as compared to their new school mates here and even discussed the possible need for tutoring once school started. We have been shocked to discover that our kids are ahead of their classmates in the curriculum and are actually fairly bored. We appreciate saving the tutoring $ and our kids are enjoying coasting in their classes but it's still been quite a surprise.
Which part of FFX did you move to, what are the schools, and what are your kid's ages?
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:17 PM
 
229 posts, read 740,924 times
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Originally Posted by Fairfax Mom View Post
I heard the same thing from a NC transplant - she was complaining how far behind Fairfax county was from where she lived in NC - Raliegh/Durham area.

I am kinda so so on Fairfax County schools - my son is in Kindergarten and is a little bored - so - I will have to see what next year is like...
I don't think you can make a general statement about FFX Cty schools based on your experience with your neighborhood school. Do you think your son should be challenged into doing fractions and reading novels and doing book reports already?

Kindergarten is more than just what is being learned from the book in the class. It's also about learning social skills, motor skills, how to think, and learning to follow directions.
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
652 posts, read 1,296,305 times
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We live in West Springfield. Kids are older elementary.
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Old 03-01-2009, 02:39 PM
 
142 posts, read 565,312 times
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I agree with all the other comments. Even many of Fairfax County's high-performing students have a hard time getting into above-average colleges because there is simply no room; in that case and in my opinion, a high-performing student at a lower-performing school in Fairfax County (who is on par with high-performing students at 'better' schools) has a slightly better chance in getting into a better college because many colleges compare the student to his or her own high school. I also think that Fairfax's school system as a whole is losing its edginess, mostly because its reputation was bolstered by its affluent demographics. Many of those affluent families are now relocating to Loudoun or western Prince William while more immigrants of a diverse socioeconomic scale have moved into Fairfax.
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Old 03-01-2009, 03:13 PM
 
5,125 posts, read 10,042,335 times
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Loudoun is certainly an affluent county, but there's little evidence (yet) that its students are out-performing Fairfax students. The SAT scores for the Class of 2008 at the top-ranked Loudoun school (Loudoun Valley) would have placed it only #14 among Fairfax's 25 high schools. Six of Loudoun's 10 high schools had SAT scores below South Lakes - a Fairfax school that is frequently (if, unfairly) maligned. Perhaps this will look quite different in another 5-10 years, but McLean, Vienna, Falls Church and Burke will still be closer to job centers in DC and Tysons than Leesburg is.

The inability of some Fairfax graduates to gain admission to their preferred state schools has a lot to do with the sheer number of graduates in recent years and the out-of-state admissions at Virginia universities. There were fewer than 10,000 graduating seniors at Fairfax schools in 2000; there are currently over 12,000 seniors. At the same time, capacity at state universities has not kept pace, and schools such as UVa and William & Mary admit many out-of-state students, both to enhance their standing as national universities and to reap the higher fees paid by out-of-state students. This is likely to remain controversial, particularly as more parents and students lose the ability in tough economic times to afford private universities.

To the poster pursuing the EE degree at GMU, keep your head up - and let's hope that, when the economy rebounds, you will have a great, marketable degree and plenty of job opportunities in the region!
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