Saturday, June 26, 2010

Newsweek's Ranking Doesn't Define Odyssey

"We buy the little plaque that says the number (we ranked) and really don't do much else with it ... We're not really competing for that ranking. That's not what we're going for. We're going for kids to be prepared for college or whatever the next step is." ~~ Sue Meier, principal of Greece Odyssey Academy, which ranked No. 106 on Newsweek's list.

STORY


SCATS ~~ So then, the parents who cry that we can't eliminate the "best performing school in the district" really don't have much of an argument given the school's principal's statements!
  

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Said differently, "Odyssey is Greece's only school that is successfully preparing it's students for college or whatever comes next. If others were, then they' be making the Newsweek list, too."

SCATS said...

To 1:33PM ~~ I might say it this way: "Odyssey is Greece's only school where the preponderance of students are expected to attend college and the school is expected to prepare them for it."

Anonymous said...

Some stats from the Odyssey graduation last night: 111 of 113 graduates are going on to college. The other two have enlisted in the Marines.

112 earned Regents Diplomas, 97 of those with Distinction (meaning they took more than the required courses)
23 also earned IB Diplomas
13 won Valedictory Honors (GPA above 4.0)
22 won Salutatory Honors (GPA over 3.5)

Anonymous said...

Olympia, Athena and Arcadia: "Where expectations are low and the curriculum is designed to meet them."

If I were a parent of a student at one of those three High Schools I'd be demanding equal commitment and performance from my Principal and teachers rather than half baked excuses from them.

SCATS said...

To 2:18PM ~~ I was almost impressed until you started with the number getting Valedictory/Salutatory honors. WHAT A JOKE! And a bad joke at that!

I just checked & Merriam Webster still thinks like I do ... first and second in the class.

SCATS said...

To 3:39PM ~~ I must admit, you made me laugh. I think you have a certain .. gift ... Were you the creator of "Student learning is the goal" too?

Anonymous said...

The statistics that spout the number of students in Greece going on to 2 or 4 yr colleges mean nothing. The real data that should be tracked is this......."Of the percentage of Greece graduates who go on to college, what percentage ACTUALLY graduate with a college degree." This data would prove whether or not the district actually PREPARES students for the college level coarses they will be required to take. I suspect a great deal of our kids do not make through 2 or 4 yrs of college.

Anonymous said...

Just so I'm clear: Out of over 30,000 high schools across the country Odyssey ranks at No. 106. Yet, instead of applauding their success and having some pride we want to quibble about the definitions of Valedictory and Salutatory Honors. What a joke indeed.

SCATS said...

To 5:25PM ~~ You are absolutely correct. In fact, a great deal of Odyssey kids also don't make it through their 2 or 4 yr. colleges in a timely fashion either. I know quite a few personally who began at places like Penn State and ended up "finishing" at MCC.

SCATS said...

To 5:51PM ~~ Just so I'm clear, I had a BLOG on June 15th about Odyssey's success and asked why our other schools can't make it onto that list. FYI, I'm not quibbling about the definitions of those terms because I accept the definitions for what they are. I'm quibbling the number of each one this school claims to have ;) What a joke indeed!

Anonymous said...

SCATS: The Valedictory and Salutatory honors (there is also a third category - called "Honors" for students with a GPA above 3.0) is a Greece Central School designation and is not specific to Odyssey. It's not something the school does - it is something the distract does. Any kid in any school with a 4.0 or better is given this distinction on their diploma. There was indeed a Valedictorian speaker at the Odyssey graduation - the student with the highest GPA.

SCATS said...

To 6:08PM ~~ I'm aware that Greece Central changed to the 4.5 GPA system and began having the "gang" honors at graduations a number of years ago. That doesn't mean it was a good idea. Not all school districts have opted to take that path. As for Odyssey's Valedictorian speaker, can you explain to me how a school that claims they don't do class rankings could have the person with the highest GPA give that speech?

Anonymous said...

To get on the Newsweek list is no mystery.

From the Newsweek website:

We take the total number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Cambridge (AICE) tests given at a school each year and divide by the number of seniors graduating in May or June.


So the answer is to focus on creating a culture in our schools, especialy middle and high schools that offer and expect students to take these courses.

Greece benefits twice from promoting this culture:
1. We increase the academic quality of our existing students.
2. Our community becomes more attractive to families that have these values.

SCATS said...

To 6:30PM ~~ Yes, we discussed the Newsweek requirements on an earlier thread. It's no mystery at all. I've said it before ... expectations make a huge difference but we can't place higher expectations on students if we don't also expect more from teachers and administrators.

Or ...
3. People realize other communities already surpassed Greece and move there instead (think Pittsford).

Anonymous said...

I just checked back at the BLOG on June 15th hoping that maybe I missed something and that you congratulated the students at Odyssey so I could apologize for being mistaken. However, all I saw under the headline was the statement "SCATS ~~ Why don't any of Greece's other high schools ever make it onto this list of the 1600 top schools?" followed somehow by negative comments about students and staff in Greece. All I'm suggesting is that we celebrate the successes we have in Greece as well as focus on how to improve on the negatives.

As a side note: It is hardly a unique situation for a district to have a set of criteria that students can achieve to obtain the status of Valedictory and Salutatory Honors. Since the literal definitions of the words "Valedictory" and "Salutatory" just refer to an opening and closing address it was common in the past for the students with the top two GPA's to be chosen. However, with the differentiation of high school curriculum (i.e. the option of AP courses), the past model has become decidedly more murky and thus a standard set of criteria makes more sense.

SCATS said...

To 6:39PM ~~ Are you suggesting that the only way to congratulate them is to use your specific word choice? Was there something wrong with the BLOG on June 15th that caused you to think I criticized Odyssey? What about the other part that you failed to mention, like the headline which read "Odyssey Academy Ranks #106"? Or how about the rest of the BLOG where I wrote:

"YNN reports that Odyssey Academy is ranked #106 by Newsweek Magazine on its list of America's best high schools. According to Newsweek, only 6% of schools make the list. That's just over 1600 schools total." Was this somehow seen by you to be less than a positive BLOG?

Regarding your views about top honors, your use of the word JUST in the following sentence completely minimizes any significance such honors actually carried! "Since the literal definitions of the words "Valedictory" and "Salutatory" just refer to an opening and closing address it was common in the past for the students with the top two GPA's to be chosen."

It wasn't "just" the top two in Greece hs classes for many years prior to the switch to the 4.5 GPA system either. Speaking of which, did changing to this system and the loss of true valedictorian/salutatorian honors in any way better Greece's performance in the academic realm? Or did it "just" serve to water down the significance of doing well to the few at the top of their classes?

Your last sentence reveals you to be among the best of the best in certain art forms: "However, with the differentiation of high school curriculum (i.e. the option of AP courses), the past model has become decidedly more murky and thus a standard set of criteria makes more sense." You make it sound like AP courses are a new invention. They are NOT!

Anonymous said...

To Scats 6:37

I expect that we'll be learning about how it's done in Pittsford in a few weeks.

As for "we don't also expect more from teachers and administrators.". I think we're pretty good at that too. Last I checked we're expecting the same or better results in 2010-11 with 6% fewer staff. :-)

Anonymous said...

Even back in the 1970s when I was in high school, there were controversies about finishing at the top of the class. Some students passed on AP courses and more difficult courses in general to improve their position and finish in that all important "top 10 percent" that meant scholarship money. A more subjective approach is better. I'm not sure what criteria Odyssey used to select its speaker.

Anonymous said...

SCATS - What I am suggesting is that if you cite a BLOG on June 15th as being about Odyssey's success then I expected the actual BLOG (not just the headline) to be about Odyssey's success and not about a series of negative comments that diminish what they accomplished.

Yes, I did refer to the actual definitions of the words Valedictory and Salutatory since I wanted to give some perspective on their origin. Again, I have no desire to quibble but I thought it was important to point out that they do not literally refer to the top two ranking students in class.

Regarding establishing a set of standard criteria utilized to determine whether honors are given: I do know as fact that colleges do look on this more favorably during the application process since you are comparing 'apples to apples' between districts that have this criteria every year.

Certainly AP courses are not a new invention having begun in the 1950's but having its largest expansion in the past few decades. This led to colleges devaluing titles such as Valedictorian since students could load up on easy courses and achieve a higher GPA than others who took significantly more difficult courses for college credit but resulted in a lower overall GPA. I'm just pointing out this cause-effect relationship to explain why so many districts utilize this model and why it is different from the past.

Regarding your last statement about me being among the 'best of the best in certain art forms' I will take that as a compliment (I think) since my only desire is to make salient points.

Anonymous said...

Cutting the small amount of funding it takes for schools to have groups such as National Honor Society and Science Olympiad only hurts the culture that we want to promote.

The board, district office and community encourage a culture of academic excellence by supporting organizations such as NHS and SO. Cutting the funding, as we have done for next year, does the opposite.

And still all Greece Schools remain open despite a great drop in enrollment.

We are stepping over dollars to pick up dimes.

SCATS said...

To 7:23PM ~~ Do you really think that Pittsford's former Supt. will share the secrets of their success while sitting as our acting Supt? I hope you are correct, but I'll believe it when I see it.

Re: "Last I checked we're expecting the same or better results in 2010-11 with 6% fewer staff. :-)"

Please tell me where I can read up on what those expected results were/will be. As far as I'm aware, the district's goals center around the BOE staying up to date on their "follow up list" or getting more volunteers to sit on more committees. That's probably why we're near the bottom in Monroe County for overall performance.

SCATS said...

To 7:42PM ~~ That must be something of a local "controversy" because there were no such worries in the time and place where I graduated. In fact, discussion of the topic was nil.

SCATS said...

To 7:56PM ~~ I must laugh at the suggestion that anyone on this BLOG somehow "diminished" Odyssey's success any more than Principal Sue Meiers did with her statements in today's newspaper! Summing up her remarks: It's no big deal ;)

I'd say that if 2:18PM's stats are accurate, Odyssey has diminished their own achievements by conferring one-third of the senior class with valedictory/salutatory honors! Talk about watering down the significance of what should be a wonderful achievement! If almost everyone is special, it detracts from being special, doesn't it? It also points up the problem with Odyssey: their student body in no way reflects the typical Greece Central demographic.

Re: "This led to colleges devaluing titles such as Valedictorian..." WHERE THE HECK DID YOU GET THAT IDEA FROM? Are you aware that there are quite a number of institutions that give much weight to such titles? Several in NY State hand-out 100% scholarships to the top one or two in the class rankings. Again, I must ask how does Odyssey determine who makes the cut if they don't do rankings, like they claim? Do they report to a college that someone was the "6th ranked co-valedictorian of 13"? Do you realize how silly that sounds? If anything devalues Odyssey it is the fact that one school claims to have 13 valedictorians AND 22 salutatorians in a class of 113!

SCATS said...

To 8:04PM ~~ Cutting NHS is no loss at all. Smart students will still be smart and still perform without them. I'm not seeing that their "culture" is one we should want to promote. Last I knew, students could get tossed out for not abiding by their blackmail tactics used after one gets in. Science Olympiad is a true loss, but it's a program that should be in place in EVERY POSSIBLE SCHOOL and not left up to the individual building to decide. Either we value it AS A DISTRICT, or we don't.

SCATS said...

By the way, I do agree about the need to close buildings, 8:04PM I hear that West Ridge still has JUST TWO KINDERGARTENS for Sept.

Anonymous said...

Anybody have the ratio of students with top honors to grads for Greece's other three high schools? I'm thinking it's nowhere close to 30%.

Anonymous said...

SCATS - Just wanted to respond to a few of your questions/statements at 9:41:

1. Re: "This led to colleges devaluing titles such as Valedictorian..." WHERE THE HECK DID YOU GET THAT IDEA FROM?

I would simple point to the rest of what was previously stated at 7:56 as an explanation that should be sufficient. Also, excellent use of the Caps Lock.

2. "Are you aware that there are quite a number of institutions that give much weight to such titles? Several in NY State hand-out 100% scholarships to the top one or two in the class rankings."

I wasn't aware of this. Then again, that's probably because the notion that 100% scholarships are handed out to the top two in the class rankings simply because they have a specific title attached to their achievement is rubbish. Correlation does not mean causation. Certainly top students receive academic scholarships, but that is because of their grades -- not because of an award.

3.Do they report to a college that someone was the "6th ranked co-valedictorian of 13"? Do you realize how silly that sounds?

During the college application process when a student cites a specific award colleges will often investigate to see the criteria. Since Greece has a set of criteria (GPA above 4.0) for Valedictory Honors there is no need to list their ranking as it is irrelevant to the award.

Anonymous said...

"If anything devalues Odyssey it is the fact that one school claims to have 13 valedictorians AND 22 salutatorians in a class of 113!"

Again, this is a district designation and has nothing to do with specifically with Odyssey. All the Greece schools will "claim" a number of these as the district awards them to everyone with a 4.0+ and 3.5+, respectively.

However, I think it is an achievement to have almost one half of your class with a GPA over 3.5 for four years. Let's leave the labels off and take pride in that.

Anonymous said...

SCATS: A simple Google search will show the large number of schools and districts that have done away with awards based solely on GPA because it encourages students to take less challenging courses. One would hope that colleges look beyond the numbers (i.e. give more weight to a lesser grade in the AP/IB courses) vs. an A in basket weaving), but at large schools with many applicants, numbers remain very important.

SCATS said...

To 2:34AM ~~ That's a great question! I'm pretty sure it won't be anywhere near to 30+%.

To 7:06AM ~~ I don't know if you are ignoring my point or really didn't understand it, so I'll try to clarify. IF such titles have been "devalued" then it has been devalued at high school institutions like Odyssey who give out awards to entire panels of people who do NOT QUALIFY for the title based upon the title's definition. If you do not like giving awards to the TWO HIGHEST ACADEMIC ACHIEVERS (or in some cases 3 or 4), then CHANGE THE NAME OF THE AWARD and go ahead and confer it upon a plethora of Greece grads, enough so that you will feel OK doing it. Calling 35 Odyssey (or Athena, Olympia, Arcadia) grads "valedictorians/salutatorians" is an outright lie and a joke!

Why is it OK to have awards in this district for "Most Valuable Player" or other such distinctions on sport teams?? But not in the academic realm?? I think it's because this school district is pandering to a bunch of arrogant, whiney parents, instead of doing the right thing by the kids. And for the record, the kids know this "honor" is watered down. They joke about it.

Also for the record, Greece Central is so well known for it's mamby pamby approach to academics regarding GPA, top honors, class ranking etc. that at least one local college of repute tells parents who visit that they recompute ALL GPA's etc. on their incoming freshman to level the playing field in determining admissions. Greece is used as the example of why they must do so. How does that help Greece's reputation? I think it mars it.

SCATS said...

To 11:28AM ~~ Yes, let's leave those labels off such awards! If the award doesn't fit the definition of the title, then it's fraud anyway ;)

SCATS said...

To 11:34AM ~~ The numbers that remain important at most colleges who are getting larger numbers of applicants each year is selecting "THE BEST STUDENTS." They don't want the ones that won't be successful, when there are plenty to choose from who will be.

As I said earlier, Greece needs to come clean and change the title of this award, since it doesn't fit the definition as it is!

By the way, this is another example of what Steve Walts left this district: watered down academic expectations for those who are supposed to be the best of the best.

SCATS said...

To 11:28AM ~~ By the way, 35 out of 113 is NOT even close to "almost one half". Where did you go to school?

Anonymous said...

What would a graph of those scores look like. 37 is one third of the 113 so the 35 students represent just a little less that one third.
Usually in a bell curve graph of performance the thin edge of high achievement is matched by another thin edge of low achievement. Is that the case in the greece high schools? Have we truly become Lake Woebegone where all the children are above average? Or do we have to look at the statistics of the high school grads across the district to see the normal curve? Are there 33% low achievers across the other 3 high schools to make up for this woebegone effect at Odyssey? Does anyone know the numbers at the other schools?
And we must factor in the students who did not graduate too. Or are they excluded from the statistics?

Anonymous said...

SCATS -- Could you clarify some things for me because I am a bit confused.

Earlier you stated that the Valedictory and Salutatory status wasn't devalued (9:41). Yet, today at 12:14 you seem to concede the point but have come up with your own 'facts' about why this is the case.

Is your issue with the award that each student doesn't get to give an opening and closing speech at graduation (since that is what the words 'Valedictory' and 'Salutatory' mean)?

Also, the comparison between having an academic MVP and a sports MVP falls apart on closer examination. Determining an MVP for sports is very subjective (look at professional sports and you will see the award is as much a popularity contest as one of actual accomplishment). Is this really a road that you would endorse?

Lastly, for other readers:

Does anyone else find it odd that SCATS continues to try and diminish Newsweek's ranking of Odyssey by suggesting that Greece has a 'mamby pamby' approach to academics and that the academic expectations have been 'watered down'? I wonder who is more impartial: Newsweek or SCATS? Using the fact that colleges try to use a set of standards to try to look at students evenly between districts is disingenuous at best because it has been in place for decades and is exactly the reason why items like class ranking have fallen out of favor in recent years.

SCATS said...

SCATS -- Could you clarify some things for me because I am a bit confused. Yes, of course.

Earlier you stated that the Valedictory and Salutatory status wasn't devalued (9:41). Actually, that is NOT what I stated at 9:41! What I said was: "If anything devalues Odyssey it is the fact that one school claims to have 13 valedictorians AND 22 salutatorians in a class of 113!" If you look back, you will see that I was responding to an earlier comment claiming that I had diminished Odyssey's success. That was the topic of that comment.

Yet, today at 12:14 you seem to concede the point but have come up with your own 'facts' about why this is the case. At 12:14 today, I broadened yesterday's remark to include other high schools: "IF such titles have been "devalued" then it has been devalued at high school institutions like Odyssey who give out awards to entire panels of people who do NOT QUALIFY for the title based upon the title's definition. If you do not like giving awards to the TWO HIGHEST ACADEMIC ACHIEVERS (or in some cases 3 or 4), then CHANGE THE NAME OF THE AWARD and go ahead and confer it upon a plethora of Greece grads, enough so that you will feel OK doing it. Calling 35 Odyssey (or Athena, Olympia, Arcadia) grads "valedictorians/salutatorians" is an outright lie and a joke!" That was in response to the portion of the comment that was quoted: "This led to colleges devaluing titles such as Valedictorian..." Got it?

Is your issue with the award that each student doesn't get to give an opening and closing speech at graduation (since that is what the words 'Valedictory' and 'Salutatory' mean)? Try to keep on topic. We were talking about the person/s who are supposedly ranked first and second in their classes, not about giving speeches. My issue is with the fact that as a school district, we are giving out specifically named academic recognitions to people who do not qualify for the title of the award given. It's dishonest. It waters down any meaning the award might have had in the past. It's been crafted into a "feel good" moment for a large group, instead of a moment of authentic pride for true academic accomplishment. It's very much akin to how the district marketed the reduction of electives next year for HS seniors in "The Connection" by saying it gave them "flexibility in scheduling" instead of saying it gave them fewer choices of classes to take. It's a lie, and the students know it! (Continued...)

SCATS said...

(Continued ... )

Also, the comparison between having an academic MVP and a sports MVP falls apart on closer examination. That's YOUR assessment, not mine ;) Determining an MVP for sports is very subjective (look at professional sports and you will see the award is as much a popularity contest as one of actual accomplishment). We were talking about GCSD, not professional sports. Let's try to keep the focus.Is this really a road that you would endorse? If I endorsed that, I would likely be fine with having 35 students with top honors, which I'm not! Perhaps that is why this was changed: to base it more on popularity than academics.

Lastly, for other readers:
Does anyone else find it odd that SCATS continues to try and diminish Newsweek's ranking of Odyssey by suggesting that Greece has a 'mamby pamby' approach to academics and that the academic expectations have been 'watered down'? WHERE have I diminished Newsweek's ranking? Their ranking has to do with AP/IB classes taken. It has NOTHING TO DO WITH VALEDICTORIANS/SALUTATORIANS which is the direction YOU CHOSE TO TAKE THE DISCUSSION ;) I wonder who is more impartial: Newsweek or SCATS? Using the fact that colleges try to use a set of standards to try to look at students evenly between districts is disingenuous at best because it has been in place for decades and is exactly the reason why items like class ranking have fallen out of favor in recent years.HUH?? If you want to question how colleges look at their population of incoming freshman, then please take it up with them. If you are looking for "genuine" standards, then like someone else suggested, let's be sure that GCSD starts tracking its graduates to see how they fare once in college. Too many of these so-called "valedictorians" drop-out or take many years struggling academically to complete a 2 or 4 yr. degree.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of the other ranked schools on Newsweek's list are private schools like Odyssey?

Anonymous said...

Interesting article on this topic:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/27/education/27valedictorians.html?src=me&ref=homepage

SCATS said...

To 7:18PM ~~ Thanks for the link! I especially liked this quote: "It’s honor inflation,” said Chris Healy, an associate professor at Furman University, who said that celebrating so many students as the best could leave them ill prepared for competition in college and beyond. “I think it’s a bad idea if you’re No. 26 and you’re valedictorian. In the real world, you do get ranked.”

That restates much of what I've already said.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with changing the valedictory and salutatory ranking sytstem but we then must use weighted scores. For example, a B+ in an AP or IB course is not the same as a B+ in a regents course. Prior to Walts, we actually did this in greece. But, the problem was that all our valedictorians were music students as Voice IV and Select Choir were weighted like AP courses. This created an unfair system. So, Walts made the current change. He also changed to the 4.5 scale along with quality points. Both of which are harmful. Take into account the student that works hard and scores an 89 for a quarter grade. Thanks to our quality point system the grade is averaged it is changed to a 3.5 which is the same as an 84.5. So, we just robbed 4.5 points from the student! I will tell you when trying to motivate a student to do the little extra they often choose not to if they won't jump to the next letter grade. This is especially harmful to our students on the lower end. A 64 is averaged as a 0 on the quality point scale, just like a score of 30. So, try explaining to a student with a 55 that they need to work hard for the last 2 weeks of the quarter - not happening. In the past when every point a student earned counted, students would work for those extra points.

So, forgive my ramblings but, if you want the valedictory and salutatory honors changed we need to :
1. Get rid of the 4.5 scale.
2. Go back to averaging the numbers earned by students not convert them to quality points.
3. Weight AP and IB courses appropriately. And only weight those courses recognized by the college board or a local college. Advanced music should not count unless it is an actual college credit bearing course.
Then, the term valedictorian and salutatorian will truly go to the right students.

SCATS said...

To 10:54PM ~~ I don't know why you think we "must use weighted scores" if we change the system? In the early 2000's before the current system was in place at all schools, there was NO WEIGHTING USED in at least one Greece HS. And although there may have been very small numbers defining the differences between the top 2 to 4 students, it was also pretty clear that anyone with a 4.0 GPA for all 4 years was valedictorian, especially when number 2 had a 3.9 something GPA. In my mind, it's OK. It's how the real world operates.

You propose a lengthy list of things we "must do" yet where were you when the new system was put into place and foisted upon a group of HS juniors who already had 3 yrs. of stat keeping under the older system? When the question was asked "How do you meld 3 yrs. of a 4.0 GPA scale with 1 yr. of a 4.5 GPA scale, the response was a blank stare! I attribute it to Walts Math Investigations.

Anonymous said...

The reason for weighted grades is the increase in the number of ap courses and number of students trying them. The result is that we are asking our students to try the harder classes. Let me ask you, a student can easily get an A in a regents class my work twice as hard and get a B+ in an ap class. Without weighting the ap score, why would this student try it if they can only win accolades based on their GPA? As to where was I when all the changes took place, well I will be honest, i was a second year teacher praying not to catch the attention of the wrong person in the Walts admin. Unfortunately, I have seen the negative impact that this quality points system has on our students.

SCATS said...

To 2:48PM ~~ Most students I know take an AP course to get college credit. That is the intended purpose of an AP class, isn't it? Honestly, I've never heard of a student refusing to take an AP class because of the potential impact on GPA, unless they thought they may not be capable of "passing the test" for the college credit anyway. Since these classes cost $$, I can understand the reluctance in that situation.

Anonymous said...

To the teacher that was trying to stay off the Walts radar screen. First of all if you were under the age of 40 when you were hired you had nothing to worry about with the gestapo. They were targeting older staff. And a question. Are you saying that students chose courses based not on wanting to learn or being challenged but on where the weighted grade in that course would place them in class rank? Were the parents guiding the students in this course choice or were they guided there by the counselors in the middle and high schools?
And your opinion about who would bother with AP courses without weight "why would this student try it if they can only win accolades based on their GPA?" Some students are in school to get through and some to do that and learn and yes some are competitive .
Those accolades may get one into a school that is considered better or the best but the innate talent and knowledge and character of the student will get them through a rigorous college program. Some students blossom in the university where they are studying with like minded people under dedicated faculty. Some adults that never cared for high school start college later without competing for a space and waiting for acceptance letters and do very well going part time. And remember that even after one receives the diploma or the graduate degree there is now the expectation of constant further education and training on most employees parts.
This competition at the high school level is universal across the US and really helps with the marketing at the college level as they compete for students by making themselves look like a hot commodity that few will be able to attend. It really works.

Anonymous said...

AP and college credit bearing courses are two different things, Scats. It is confusing and unless explained thoroughly, many are led to the same conclusion you hold. Advanced Placement courses are NOT college credit course...they ARE more rigorous in content and the assessment is more challenging than a Regents examination (and scored completely differently). Just wanted to clear up the confusion regarding this.

Anonymous said...

Additionally, it does not cost money to take the AP class (it MAY to take the test, but I don't believe so). College credit classes DO cost money (usually a reduced rate tuition for whatever college is granting the credit or allowing transfer of the credits).

SCATS said...

To 4:25PM & 4:27PM ~~ I am quite knowledgable about the difference and I'm definitely NOT "confused." FYI, AP courses are often granted college credits depending on the exam score, the college one attends, etc. They DO cost students since GCSD has a policy that if one takes an AP class they MUST take the required exam. If I'm not mistaken, the College Board gets a portion of the cost and GCSD gets a portion for proctoring the test, around $85 as of several years ago. Several classes can be taken for college credit too. Enrolling in MCC used to be around $35 per credit hour granted for courses the student could then transfer to another institution.

Anonymous said...

I have seen plenty of instances where students have opted out of more challenging courses for fear it would damage their GPA and class ranking. Give credit to the IB kids because they are taking the risk that a college will look beyond the grade, which will certainly be lower. It's all about following the $$$, which in many cases is more objective than it should be. Schools with tens of thousands of applications don't take the time to compare an IB or AP grade to a Regents grade.

Also, engineering schools, for example, typically don't care about IB, while small liberal arts schools do. Students who elect for IB have to think 2-3 years ahead to the kind of college they will be applying for. This is a cutthroat system.

SCATS said...

To 8:16PM ~~ It's too bad you have so little faith in the students. No wonder our district's performance brings up the rear of the pack.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I (and some students) have little faith that colleges will look at a good grade in a difficult course as a bigger achievement than a great grade in an easier course.

SCATS said...

To 2:10PM ~~ If you have that fear then perhaps it would be a waste investing in any college to educate your kid/s who invokes such a fright.