Archive for Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lawrence high schools left off list of top high schools in Kansas

June 24, 2009

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The top ranked high school in Kansas according to a list released by Newsweek is Sumner Academy in Kansas City, Kan. It came in as as the 109th best high school in the United States.

Others cracking the top 1,500 high schools in the nation include No. 375 Blue Valley Northwest, Overland Park; No. 577 Wichita East, Wichita; No. 722 Blue Valley, Stilwell; No. 779 Blue Valley North, Overland Park; No. 842 Blue Valley West, Overland Park; and No. 1,437 Manhattan, Manhattan.

Neither Lawrence High nor Free State High made the list.

Public schools are ranked according to a ratio devised by Jay Mathews: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and/or Cambridge tests taken by all students at a school in 2007 divided by the number of graduating seniors. All of the schools on the list have an index of at least 1.000. They are in the top 5 percent of public schools measured this way.

Comments

KSManimal 5 years, 10 months ago

By this definition, a school that served mainly underprivileged, at-risk students; and did a damn fine job of turning their lives around; making them into productive, contributing citizens rather than liabilities (a.k.a. - criminals and prisoners); but....didn't happen to churn out a load of AP scholars; would be labeled a FAILURE.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 10 months ago

The USD 497 project was in cahoots with the Chamber of Commerce PLAY proponents who still are pushing the sale of houses and who believe this will PLAY a part.

Of course each new residential = tax increases

Each new property value increase is a tax increase

$15-$20 million worth of athletic stuff plus staffing and increased property taxes which could have been applied to http://www2.ljworld.com/polls/2007/oct/how_should_school_district_pay_20_million_maintena/

blindrabbit 5 years, 10 months ago

Boy, this does not square with all of the chest pounding that has come out of the District and School Board for the past several years. I remember the old "Lawrence Ranks High" chant from LHS in years gone by. Wat Happnd!

gsxr600 5 years, 10 months ago

"It came IS as the 109th best high school in the United States."

.... um, alright.

Lori Nation 5 years, 10 months ago

Our school board isn't concerned with education only improving the looks of the athletic fields so these schools could finally come here face it these schools don't waste money education comes first then looks!! And they have a bus system for their students (even better)

Richard Heckler 5 years, 10 months ago

USD 497 has lost teachers to Blue Valley because they pay more. There may be more to it than that. K-10 is not that much fun.

Confrontation 5 years, 10 months ago

The real problem is that we keep giving these teachers raises without making them prove themselves. A bunch of incompetent idiots are getting raises.

deskboy04 5 years, 10 months ago

Where is Dick Patterson when we need him?

cato_the_elder 5 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence High School was poised to become one of the top academic high schools in the nation when a narrowly-focused group of people gained control of the school board and twice forced a split high school on the community as its only option to alleviate perceived overcrowding. What they really wanted was expanded activities, especially in sports, with top-level academic course offerings necessarily relegated to a lesser role because of the financial considerations inherent in operating two high schools instead of one. What has been offered academically at the high school level in Lawrence over the past 12 years, while undoubtedly adequate in the eyes of the activities crowd, pales in comparison with the world-class academic offerings that we could have had if we had chosen to remain with one high school instead of incurring the significantly increased cost of operating two - but the prevailing sentiment was, and still appears to be, that having two sets of sports teams is more important than greatly expanded academic offerings, an anomalous result in a community that prides itself in having what many residents believe is one of the finest public universities in the country.

cowboy 5 years, 10 months ago

Did nobody pick you to be on their team in school , what a bunch of major whiners posting above.

The athletic facilities have been ignored for at least 3 decades so the recent investment is fully justified and long overdue. Name one major school district that does not have decent athletic facilities other than Lawrence. Even the new ones are rather half-a$$. It is absolutely a proven fact that kids involved in extra curricular activities are a lot better off in life due to learning how to win , how to lose , and how to work for a goal be it sports , pom , band , debate , or what ever the group activity.

Any of you harping on the teachers should go spend a day in their shoes , taking care of your problems as you drop them off each day for 8 hours. 15% of the kids in Lawrence are on IEP programs , thats a bunch. You deliver a motivated , well adjusted child into the school system and they will do wonderful , you deliver a kid who has had little time spent by parents learning basics , work ethics , manners , and whose parents are disinterested in the child's progress and you'll have a child who struggles.

Alot of this is society's way now , rush rush , try to make enuf to pay bills , no time for kids. A lot of it is just plain lazy or selfish parents also.

straightforward 5 years, 10 months ago

Machiavelli makes a very good point. Smaller rural schools produce very bright students but often times, aren't given the chance to take advanced courses because they are not offered. Smaller school districts can't justify the additional costs. It's the trade off for having other opportunities that students in large schools do not have.

And KSManimal, I think you may being slightly dramatic. Not being on this list does not mean you are a failure, otherwise nearly every school in the state would be a failure. No one is discounting the quality teachers and schools that work with under-privileged children. I wouldn't put too much concern into the results of this survey.

mom_of_three 5 years, 10 months ago

"Any of you harping on the teachers should go spend a day in their shoes , taking care of your problems as you drop them off each day for 8 hours. 15% of the kids in Lawrence are on IEP programs , thats a bunch. You deliver a motivated , well adjusted child into the school system and they will do wonderful , you deliver a kid who has had little time spent by parents learning basics , work ethics , manners , and whose parents are disinterested in the child's progress and you'll have a child who struggles." IEP does not mean the above, cowboy. I have one kid who has an IEP since 2nd grade because of dyslexia and other issues, and another who does not, and has over a 3.8 gpa while playing sports and taking advanced classes. IEP kids can not be lumped together in one big group. My kid with an IEP has made great leaps and bounds over the past 4 years. For the majority of the past 8 years, I have fought with the schools over what should be on her IEP and then fight to have it upheld. Her 5th and 8th grade teachers and specialists were great. The rest of the years I had to work hard to advocate for my kid because the teachers and the specialists didn't seem to care. Don't lump IEP kids together by saying parents didn't care or teach. Know what you are talking about before you make generalizations.
I am glad LHS is getting fields. So "not all students will be benefitted.." which is b.s. but then again, I could say not all students would benefit if sports were eliminated or other "academic" elements were added.

storm 5 years, 10 months ago

Thupid survey. Academia bad. Sports good. See even FSHS agrees because they post academic events at highschoolsports.net.

denak 5 years, 10 months ago

Aren't they closing Sumner???? That is what I heard.

kugrad 5 years, 10 months ago

As for the astroturf, it will save the district over $80,000 annually in maintance (water, mowing, etc) which is why they did it.

The Lawrence Public Schools are very good, they just don't happen to meet the criteria of this particular list. Consider that some of the schools are private and do not have to educate all students, just those whose parents are highly invested in their children's education and willing to pay for it - an entirely different situation from the 2 high schools here - and include particularly well-funded, high-paying districts and surprise, you get what you pay for.

Lawrence residents have excellent schools despite the naysayers here who typically are like Confrontation, just trolling with nothing but blanket assertions and no actual knowledge or specifics to back up their arguments.

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