Schools We Choose

Very often I am asked the question of which school to enroll a child in. It is a known fact that all schools are different and results of their teachings are dependent on a number of factors, such as the level of education of its teachers; well-developed curriculum, which differs from school to school; and, in my opinion, a crucial factor is faculty’s ability and desire to teach children.

USA is no longer a leader in high school education. President Barack Obama had to acknowledge this fact in his video and radio messages addressed to the country. “We fell behind in the past few decades. Our studies demonstrate that 15-year-old American high school students are not able to compete in fields of mathematics and natural sciences with their peers from other countries. Such findings are not only a threat to our leadership as a nation, they also foreshadow a less than favorable future for millions of Americans”, he said.

In schools of Pennsylvania tests were administered to students of three different age groups- 5th, 8th, and 11th graders, in order to determine their knowledge in fields of mathematics and English. 11th grade students that do not score high enough on these tests do not receive a graduation diploma.

The scores of school exams in math primarily depend on the amount of time students spend in class. International statistics show that school students that increased the amount of time spent in math classes scored significantly higher on exams that followed. Currently an average student in USA spends 45 minutes a day studying math (in 1995 the amount of time was 49 minutes).

Here are some scores of students from schools that our children attend. Let these be something for you to think about:

Central High School: below basic-15%; basic- 13%; proficient- 29%; advanced- 43%.

Neshaminy High School: below basic- 26%, basic- 20%, proficient- 29%; advanced- 25%. 72% of students take SAT, the average score in English is 570, in math-578.

Washington High School: below basic- 41%; basic- 27%; proficient- 23%; advanced- 9%. 70% of students take SAT, the average score in English is 423, in math-447.

Northeast High School: below basic- 38%; basic- 32%; proficient- 23%; advanced- 7%. 67% of students take SAT, the average score in English is 435, in math-433.

Council Rock North: 85% of students take SAT, the average score in English is 530, in math-560.

Council Rock South: 85% of students take SAT, the average score in English is 522, in math-554.

The overall impression is devastating, almost a half of students do not possess basic knowledge of mathematics. Together we will search for the answers to the eternal questions of “Who is to blame?” and “What to do next?”- I am inviting you to join the discussion.

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