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I posted this on another site so I'm sorry if youv'e seen it before but I thought it was note worthy. Despite the south's horrible reputation for public education (esp. SC) it seems that there are a few shining gems to consider. Some cities are expected others I'm sure will come to a surprise.

According to "expansion management magizine" these are the south's top public shool systems in 2005.

MSA's with over 250K students:

1. Tampa (#5 nationally)
2. Dallas (#6)

MSA's with 100K - 250K students:

1. Austin, TX (#1)
2. Raleigh, NC (#2)
3. Richmond, VA (#7)
4. Columbia, SC (#9)


MSA's with 50K - 100K students:
1. Sarasota, FL (#3)
2. Palm Bay, FL (#6)
3. Huntsville, AL (#10)

These were the only MSA's to rank in the top ten in their category.

Any thoughts questions concerns?

The south always gets a bad rap for public education, but its good to see some positive recognition for what it's worth.

source
 

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We've got great public schools here in Mountain Brook because we pay for them with higher property taxes. Alabama pays the lowest property taxes in the country and I guess "You get what you pay for" holds true since only a small number of generally suburban school systems are worth anything. They're the only ones with residents willing to pay higher property taxes.

It's nice to see Southern cities on this list, though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It really wasn't the source's decision. I just usually considered NOVA, DC, MD as mid atlantic states/ areas, but the could be considered southern. I know the census considers them southern but it doesn't matter to me.
 

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Texas Bred
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Houston Independent School District won the Broad Prize award for the top Urban School District in 2002

Aldine I.S.D.(Houston) was one of the 5 finalists in 2004 and is a finalist again for the 2005 award.

:)
 

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Just to rub it in a bit, Austin ISD voters just approved a 500+ million dollar bond package. So, it looks like we may stay on top for some time!
 

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In general, I find that most Southerners aren't that incredibly concerned about the quality of the education system, be it Elementary, Junior High, Senior High or even College. It's probably the worst feature of living in the South, and metro Atlanta in general. I definitely think that northern states expect much more from their public school systems, and are willing to pay for it with higher property taxes.

I have a two year old son and my wife and I plan on moving to a smaller house in one of the few good school districts in metro Atlanta before my son enters elementary school. We regret that our realtor didn't mention the quality of schools when she was showing us houses six years ago. We definitely could have done some homework on school systems for ourselves, but at the time we hadn't even decided if we were going to have kids.

I grew up in Milwaukee, and it really didn't matter where you lived in the metro area or even in the State of Wisconsin, because the public schools were excellent as a rule, not as an exception.
 

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WesternGulf said:
Isn't Providence in Charlotte suppose to be up there?
Providence is pretty good. I think my school (Weddington High, right outside of Mecklenburg County) ranks higher though. Schools in the wealthy areas of any state are pretty much always high ranking because kids are brought up in houses where education is stressed more than in lower income neighborhoods. Much of the South is still rural and low income so thats why so many of our school systems suck.
 

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King of the Queen
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i think providence still ranks higher than weddington?

raleigh is much higher than cms simply because cms only has providence and myers park as their good schools. they have a new one opening up in the south part of the county that will probably turn out to be a good one since the principal from providence is going there [mike matthews]. south meck could be good if the children there were actually challenged to do some work every now and then.
 

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Hmm it might be. I'm sure the students coming out of there get a better education than Weddington. Something like 95% of people at Weddington are at grade level, although I'm not sure how with the slackass teachers we have. You can literally never do your own work and graduate with over a 4.0.
 

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Good to see Tampa on that list. A majority of the schools in Tampa that have high grades are in the upper middle to upper-middle class areas. Even schools in lower-income West and North Tampa are making great gains.
 

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Birmingham wins #1 individual public school according to Newsweek

The Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School (Birmingham, AL) earned a #1 ranking by Newsweek in their list of America's Top Schools. And no... JCIB is not private. Alabama School of Fine Arts, also in Birmingham, came in at #61 in the list.

thanks to Blazer85 for the link.

-
 

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King of the Queen
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that list is out of wack.

25 | Harding University* | Charlotte | N.C. | 4.017 | 38.3

harding , myers park , north meck [red neck tech] , and olympic outplaced providence. BULLSHIT for anyone who knows how schools are in charlotte.

the number of Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests taken by all students at a school in 2004 divided by the number of graduating seniors.

there's the problem. many people can take the test, but when it comes down to it, what are the scores? there should [in theory] be a bell curve on the AP tests. same number of students get a 1 as they do a 5, same number of students get a 3 as a 4 and the bulk of students should recieve a 3 on the test. at providence, that is not the case by far. take for example US history AP. that is the most taken AP course in the country. at providence, it is in the bottom three of AP clases that are taken. why? the class is friggin hard and very few people get an A. the pay off? everyone comes out of that testing room knowing they got a 3 or a 4 on the exam. that is different from a bunch of iditos going in and getting a 1 and recieving no college credit for their work. the same could be said for many of the other AP courses at providence. providence is known for being a hard school. an AP class is a hard class while at other schools it is just a normal class. the scores on the AP tests reflect the amount of work that has gone into their AP programs.

they should base it on the number of 3s, 4s, and 5s on AP exams out of number of graduating seniors. there should be many more factors other than 'number of people taking exams out of seniors.'

so, this list is basically someone who wanted to cruch as little numbers as possible and put a story out. typical bullshit from the news media of this country. let's have a good list put out, please.
 

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Style said:
that list is out of wack.

25 | Harding University* | Charlotte | N.C. | 4.017 | 38.3

harding , myers park , north meck [red neck tech] , and olympic outplaced providence. BULLSHIT for anyone who knows how schools are in charlotte.

the number of Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests taken by all students at a school in 2004 divided by the number of graduating seniors.

there's the problem. many people can take the test, but when it comes down to it, what are the scores? there should [in theory] be a bell curve on the AP tests. same number of students get a 1 as they do a 5, same number of students get a 3 as a 4 and the bulk of students should recieve a 3 on the test. at providence, that is not the case by far. take for example US history AP. that is the most taken AP course in the country. at providence, it is in the bottom three of AP clases that are taken. why? the class is friggin hard and very few people get an A. the pay off? everyone comes out of that testing room knowing they got a 3 or a 4 on the exam. that is different from a bunch of iditos going in and getting a 1 and recieving no college credit for their work. the same could be said for many of the other AP courses at providence. providence is known for being a hard school. an AP class is a hard class while at other schools it is just a normal class. the scores on the AP tests reflect the amount of work that has gone into their AP programs.

they should base it on the number of 3s, 4s, and 5s on AP exams out of number of graduating seniors. there should be many more factors other than 'number of people taking exams out of seniors.'

so, this list is basically someone who wanted to cruch as little numbers as possible and put a story out. typical bullshit from the news media of this country. let's have a good list put out, please.
Research has shown that the scores someone makes on AP and IB tests arent as relevant as the numbers of students taking the tests. Some schools pad their scores by only allowing people that made As in the course to take AP or IB tests, artificially raising the average scores of their students. Not only that, but it's unfair to prevent students that may have made a B (or any grade from that matter) from taking the tests. Research has shown that the number of people taking the tests is a better indicator than actual scores because it's the preparation for the tests that leads to greater success in college, not just for those that do well on the tests. My alma mater, JCIB takes first. You can dispute the rankings if you want, but every poll or ranking is only going to look at a few factors. The academic reputation of JCIB is hard to dispute, however. A couple years ago, JCIB was ranked 7th in the nation in average ACT score, so not only do most students take AP and IB tests, but they do indeed actually perform at a high level. Even if they HAD looked at actual scores of AP and IB tests, JCIB would be at or near the top still. The good thing is... it's Newsweek. Not just some hokie no-name magazine.
 

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Hmm.. I remeber seeing a story on Nightline and on cable news networks earlier this year(or late last year) about widespread grade inflation.. but it involved mostly colleges like Yale and schools on the west coast and northeast. The grading involved something along these lines, if you turned anything in or were present in the class you automatically got a passing grade and in some places could not receive lower than a C. I know when I was growing up and when I went to college, anything under 70 was an F and everyone got the grades they deserved.

I think I really like NCLB. There were several non-southern states that liked to claim they had among the best public education systems in the US and insult education in southern states, but according to the state report cards.. 2 of those states only received around a 40% passing mark the first 2 years. Also, there was a story on the national news yesterday about Oakland and how the city's student drop out rate is 52%!! After all that, people from those areas still want to claim that their education systems are far superior to those in the south.
 

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Great point vasquez. I think of that supercilious attitude many people outside the South have of the region when the inevitable riots occur almost every time a Northern pro sports franchise or especially when a Big 10 school wins a championship in a major sport. Does anyone notice how people inevitably set cars on fire and turn them over yet this is someone supposed to be cool. You very rarely see that kind of idiotic behavior when a team from the South wins.
 
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