March 28, 2018

Successful v. Failing High Schools | Brandi, Kelly, & Hector

According to Niche, Walter Payton College Prep in Chicago was ranked as the #1 public high school in 2018. This high school excels in many different ways especially when it comes down to test scores. When looking at the websites that gave information about these high schools, we were only able to find statistics. These statistics included average test scores, AP tests taken and passed, etc. These more successful high schools had higher graduation rates and higher rates of their students going to college. We were unable to find hard evidence that proved one school was better than the other. Everyone feeds into these statistics but they are not necessarily always helpful when trying to validate the value of a school over another. Students and their success should not be a statistic and we should not merely focus our attention on these statistics.

Brandi: My school (Moanalua High School) seemed like it was kind of in between these schools because we didn’t really focus on AP tests or standardized tests specifically all the time, but we did focus on them sometimes. Once a year, the juniors take a practice ACT test to prepare for the real test, and we were given practice SAT booklets, however it was never really discussed in any of our classes except for our homeroom, which was only about 30 minutes. I thought of my school as a pretty decent school because I felt like most of my teachers didn’t just focus on students getting perfect scores, however, when I started taking AP classes, there wasn’t much room for the teachers to teach anything other than what was going to be on the exam.

Kelly: My high school experience was a little different than others in how I didn’t have to take any standardized tests after my first year.  During the period I was in high school, New Jersey was changing its standardized tests. Because of this, students in my class did not have to take the test to graduate, and the teachers didn’t really do any standardized test prep in class.  This left a lot more freedom to the teachers to create their own curriculum. Because of this, I feel like I was more prepared for college-level classes which require creativity and critical thinking.

Hector: I attended Segerstrom High School, a public high school in the city of Santa Ana. We are located within Orange County. The public education system within Santa Ana isn’t necessarily the same as other high schools in Orange County. We have lower graduation rates, lower test scores, higher levels of Spanish speakers, and less students attending a 4 year university right after graduating from college. A lot of the schools within Santa Ana, like my own, are very similar to Mission High School in San Francisco.



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