Rise and Shine, Park Cities (5-26-11)

1. Highland Park scored near the top in The Washington Post‘s High School Challenge, which tallies Advanced Placement participation and other means of readying students for college.

Of 1,900  ranked schools, HPHS is No. 35 in the U.S. and No. 11 in Texas for Advanced Placement participation. Dallas’ Science and Engineering Magnet and School for the Talented and Gifted rank No. 1 and No. 2 in the country, respectively.

2. Retiring HPISD principals Gloria McNutt and Mary Richey are both game to travel in the near future, they tell me: McNutt to Sedona, Ariz., and Richey to Greece – on a trip surprise-gifted to her and her husband, Mike, by a group of students’ parents (rest assured, she’s pretty stunned).

Who else is leaving town this summer?

3. Rising Gallery has bid adieu to the Park Cities area, at least for the time being, and relocated to a temporary space downtown. A closing reception for Ross vs. Ross is 5 p.m. today at the new digs: 800 Jackson Street.

12 thoughts on “Rise and Shine, Park Cities (5-26-11)

  • May 26, 2011 at 8:01 am
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    Would someone please explain to me how this Washington Post ranking is meaningful? It is my understanding that it is based on participation. These kids don’t have to make a decent grade for it to up our numbers. For all we know half of these kids aren’t getting any answers correct.

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  • May 26, 2011 at 8:08 am
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    Important info missing: all schools in Texas ranked higher than HP are magnet or charter.

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  • May 26, 2011 at 9:24 am
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    From the Washington Post: “The formula is simple: Divide the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or other college-level tests a school gave in 2010 by the number of graduating seniors. While not a measure of the overall quality of the school, the rating can reveal the level of a high school’s commitment to preparing average students for college.”

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  • May 26, 2011 at 10:15 am
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    @ A.B. or it can reveal a school’s commitment to higher rankings by having as many kids as possible take those test regardless of actual preparation.
    I would like to see a ranking of schools based on actual outcomes.

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  • May 26, 2011 at 10:49 am
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    @ mainzer–exactly! That is why the Washington Post system is suspect. Measuring tests per senior, not how well they did on the test, is a crazy way to make a list of the best high schools. What they are measuring is the ability to pay for a test.

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  • May 26, 2011 at 11:00 am
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    Check out this article in the DMN about this – note the quote toward the end: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/dallas/headlines/20110520-dallas-high-schools-finish-1-2-in-a-nationwide-ranking-that-measures-college-level-tests-administered.ece

    “At Peak Prep, the philosophy is that offering challenging classes for all kids is the best path to college success. Peak Prep is part of the Uplift charter district, which has open enrollment for any school-age child in the city.

    “Something that makes us different from most schools is we don’t reserve AP classes for the top 10 percent,” Uplift’s Britni Manry said. “All of our students take AP classes.”

    More than 200 AP tests were offered at the school last year, and 23 percent of students earned a passing mark.”

    23% pass??? That sounds like a terrible outcome.

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  • May 26, 2011 at 11:32 am
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    @kmom
    And how do they define passing to get to 23%? Most high schools consider a 3 to be passing while colleges are moving toward requiring a 4 or 5 for credit and the most selective schools allow kids who make a 4 or 5 to take the college’s own test to try to earn credit. 23% sounds terrible to me too and they aren’t even telling us how many are actually getting college credit.

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  • May 26, 2011 at 12:23 pm
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    Although a 23% passing rate is not very good, I think any exposure to college level material is good for high school students. Keep in mind that Peak Prep, the TAG magnet and the math and science magnet are working with a much different demographic than Highland Park HS is. My guess is that the large majority of students in these school have parents who are not college-educated, especially Peak Prep.

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  • May 26, 2011 at 1:08 pm
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    @ Poorteacher,
    Just because these kids are enrolled in an “AP” class does not really guarantee that they are being exposed to college level material. A teacher cannot teach a college level class if 77% of the class is not prepared for or capable of grasping the material. To base ratings on test takers is meaningless. I could put a 1st grader in an AP class and have them write their name on the AP test and fill in some bubbles, but it doesn’t make it meaningful.

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  • May 26, 2011 at 3:56 pm
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    @mainzer Yes it is a guarantee that they are being exposed to college level material if they are following the curriculum required by College Board. Each teacher’s syllabus has to be approved by college board and it is not an easy process. You can’t just go into an AP class and teach whatever you want.

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  • May 27, 2011 at 11:10 am
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    The passing rate at HP is not much better. Less than 50%

    Notice to HP Admin: this laurel is very fleeting. Since the elimination of ranking all but the top 10% of students, many HP kids are opting out of AP classes. Many only took those AP classes – weighted so heavily that a 81 in an AP class was “worth more” than a 99 in a regular class – to make sure they wouldn’t be in the bottom half of the graduating class (the equivalent of death in a college app) Now many kids are choosing the better grade on the transcript

    Reply

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