Cooper, Midori, Amanda
The most prominent features that stuck out about these “most successful” high schools that made them different from the “failing schools” like Mission were the fact they seemed to have more subject-specific opportunities for students, similar to those offered at a college. Instead of simply having a science class, many of the high schools have very detailed and specific science classes such as engineering which you usually only find at a college level. The high schools seem to be very focused and oriented on the AP tests and state standardized tests, preparing all of their students for college much more than an average high school in the U.S., most having a 100% measurement for how many students took the AP tests in the High School and were prepared for college after graduating from the high school. Also, most of the high schools have a very high percentage of white students in their student body population and a very low percentage of students that receive any aid for their lunch programs such as reduced pricing or free meals. They tend to be very heavily populated with students from wealthy backgrounds and upper-class families that increase their chances of receiving a stronger education, especially charter schools which typically have more freedom to alter their curriculum or kick students out of the school if they are not performing to the standards required by the district.
We all were able to relate and agree that during our high school experiences we witnessed that many high schools seemed to only care about their image or their title that is shown to the public, not always necessarily what the students are learning or how they are growing academically within their education.
The BASIS Curriculum
Throughout my entire life and my educational experience, I feel as though class, race, and culture have all aided in well rounding my understanding for other individuals everywhere I go. I have always lived in a fairly diverse community and never found myself in any educational scenarios that were clearly divided by class, race, or culture. Especially since coming to USF, I believe I’ve always had a very well balance of exposure to many different cultures. It’s affected my individual learning by giving me a bigger picture to look at and has made me less narrow-minded. I have always found myself very interested in learning about different cultures and I always respect and enjoy learning about new beliefs or ideas from people I have met throughout my entire life.
For example, back at home, I have a lot of Hispanic friends. As far as I can think of, I have more friends that I could consider my “best friends” that are Hispanic than any other race. After moving here and meeting my roommates, I found that one of them was from Guam. This was a completely new culture for me, but I have found him and his other friends he knows at USF that are also from Guam, to become some of my best friends here on campus. I have constantly found myself surrounded by different cultures, race, and social classes my entire life and I have always loved it. I love learning about them and becoming very familiar with them. To be honest, I could honestly say I find other cultures and people from differing social classes or races than my own to be more friendly and welcoming than the people I may fall under the same category with.
The controversial topic I chose to read about using Wikipedia was abortion. Given that the information contributed in a Wikipedia article comes from many anonymous sources changes how I evaluate only some of the contents of abortion that I read. The contents that I trust a bit more on this subject are the facts in the article. Such as the definition of abortion, the history of it, the procedure, the safety etc. I trust anything that I know cannot be argued or quarreled and that can be proven by science. However, given that multiple sources can anonymously add information to Wikipedia, I usually do not trust any information that could possibly be biased or anything that could be opinionated.
A few pros to Wikipedia include that you can find almost any topic you could ever think of on Wikipedia. Its range of information is one of the largest in the world for a search engine. Also, most articles have links and resources embedded throughout the entire thing, so if you don’t understand a word, a subject, or who someone is, there is almost always a link attached to it that you can click on to learn more about it. However, with these pros come a few obvious cons. The first and the biggest is the fact that most of the information comes from multiple anonymous sources. This could very easily lead to biased information and sometimes completely false information. Also, since Wikipedia is free, that usually means that less time and money has been involved in creating the articles for the information you are reading. Overall, Wikipedia is and can be a very useful source for information, however, if you’re writing a paper or researching a topic, it is probably best that you use Wikipedia as a starting point to understand the general idea, and definitely should not stick to it as your only source.
University rankings have become some of the most important determining factors for many upcoming college students, regardless of the fact of whether they know what the effect of the ranking number with have on the quality of their education. Typically, universities with lower ranking systems do not necessarily “have a better education”, however, they do typically spend more money on teaching their students. Whether it be providing better resources, more features into the classrooms such as in science labs, or it quite literally be on the educational resources such as textbooks and content being taught.
According to the wall street journal, the outcomes of university rankings are as follows:
- Graduation rate (11%)
- Value added to graduate salary (12%)
- Value added to loan default (7%)
- Academic reputation (10%)
This data represents how much of a percent the university ranking affects each topic, whether the university has a lower or high ranking. Universities with extremely high acceptance rates and lower tuitions, typically don’t necessarily provide students with a “worse education”, however, those institutions typically do not spend as much on the quality of the education that is being taught to their students like the “elite” and higher ranked universities.
N.A. (2018). Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2018 methodology. Times Higher Education: World University Rankings. Retrieved March 5,2018 from https://www.timeshighereducation.com/wall-street-journaltimes-higher-education-college-rankings-2018-methodology