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skirby

Education in Arkansas

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There are repeated remarks about needing to improve education in the state. I believe two of the main problems with education in this state are the local school boards and the Arkansas Department of Education. To read more about probelms with my local board go to Beebe School Examiner

As for problems with the ADE they just do not have it together. Last Monday I sent in a FOIA request for a guideline concerning student policy. This should have been available according to FOIA regulations that day. It is now over a week later and still nothing. The last I heard was that it might not even exist. This is a guideline required by law to govern the local school districts and it cannot be found. There should be no more money spent until there is some control.

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There are repeated remarks about needing to improve education in the state. I believe two of the main problems with education in this state are the local school boards and the Arkansas Department of Education. To read more about probelms with my local board go to Beebe School Examiner

As for problems with the ADE they just do not have it together. Last Monday I sent in a FOIA request for a guideline concerning student policy. This should have been available according to FOIA regulations that day. It is now over a week later and still nothing. The last I heard was that it might not even exist. This is a guideline required by law to govern the local school districts and it cannot be found. There should be no more money spent until there is some control.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

A few weeks/months ago, there was a study on the ADE that said it was very unorganized. Not surprising.

Random Problems

-Schools with less than 1500 people and the delusional patrons who claim they get a better education there.

-Funding

-facilities in poor condition

I forgot the exact figure, but I'm pretty sure it would cost over 1.5 billion to repair the facilities to adequate conditions.

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A few weeks/months ago, there was a study on the ADE that said it was very unorganized.  Not surprising.

Random Problems

-Schools with less than 1500 people and the delusional patrons who claim they get a better education there.

-Funding

-facilities in poor condition

I forgot the exact figure, but I'm pretty sure it would cost over 1.5 billion to repair the facilities to adequate conditions.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I wouldn't say there aren't any advantages to some of the smaller schools. But realistically it's just not going to work, and any school that is shut down will make a big deal about it and get lots of press. They shut down one of the smaller schools in this area in the Boston Mountains and it got so much press. I've heard some contradictions of the facilities in poor condition. Some schools here in northwest Arkansas had some of their facilities mentioned as in poor condition and they were just built within the past 5 years. There aren't too many old schools up here. So there were some people questioning what they were considering 'poor conditions'. But I'm just being picky, all of what you said is true. But I also think part of the problem is that are there any job available for the people getting an education here? I don't think it's as bad as it used to be, but it seemed like hardly any of the graduates here at the U of A stayed in Arkansas. Even if they wanted to stay there weren't any jobs for them especially in the higher degree fields. I think that's still going to be a major problem for Arkansas. Trying to get away from the manufacturing sector and investing in more high tech industries. Although even some high tech jobs are being outsourced to other countries. Better education and diversifying the economy so it doesn't depend on manufacturing.

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I have meant to reply to this topic before this time but as stated above I am having problems with my local school board. Now they want to shut down my blog. If your are interested at all in public education you should keep a tab on your local school board. Attend meetings or at least read their minutes which by law should be posted to the school's website. I would say 90% of the school districts in the state do not follow the rules and regulations of the ADE or the state. I know that some of you live in NWA. Did you know that the Bentonville School Board makes illegal use of executive sessions to the point that they have made up their own reason to hold one. Also, they vote on student expulsions by including them in their consent agenda. There are very detailed regulations concerning expulsions and being included on a consent agenda is not one of them. There are no mention of hearings; just a vote to approve the expulsion.

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I have meant to reply to this topic before this time but as stated above I am having problems with my local school board. Now they want to shut down my blog. If your are interested at all in public education you should keep a tab on your local school board. Attend meetings or at least read their minutes which by law should be posted to the school's website. I would say 90% of the school districts in the state do not follow the rules and regulations of the ADE or the state. I know that some of you live in NWA. Did you know that the Bentonville School Board makes illegal use of executive sessions to the point that they have made up their own reason to hold one. Also, they vote on student expulsions by including them in their consent agenda. There are very detailed regulations concerning expulsions and being included on a consent agenda is not one of them. There are no mention of hearings; just a vote to approve the expulsion.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You can read about this at:Beebe School Board seeks to silence critic.

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I have meant to reply to this topic before this time but as stated above I am having problems with my local school board. Now they want to shut down my blog. If your are interested at all in public education you should keep a tab on your local school board. Attend meetings or at least read their minutes which by law should be posted to the school's website. I would say 90% of the school districts in the state do not follow the rules and regulations of the ADE or the state. I know that some of you live in NWA. Did you know that the Bentonville School Board makes illegal use of executive sessions to the point that they have made up their own reason to hold one. Also, they vote on student expulsions by including them in their consent agenda. There are very detailed regulations concerning expulsions and being included on a consent agenda is not one of them. There are no mention of hearings; just a vote to approve the expulsion.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I actually hadn't heard that piece of info about Bentonville. But seems like I have heard a few whisperings about other things about the Bentonville schools.

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I have meant to reply to this topic before this time but as stated above I am having problems with my local school board. Now they want to shut down my blog. If your are interested at all in public education you should keep a tab on your local school board. Attend meetings or at least read their minutes which by law should be posted to the school's website. I would say 90% of the school districts in the state do not follow the rules and regulations of the ADE or the state. I know that some of you live in NWA. Did you know that the Bentonville School Board makes illegal use of executive sessions to the point that they have made up their own reason to hold one. Also, they vote on student expulsions by including them in their consent agenda. There are very detailed regulations concerning expulsions and being included on a consent agenda is not one of them. There are no mention of hearings; just a vote to approve the expulsion.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I tried posting a comment on the blog, but I haven't seen it show up yet. I can't say I am very familiar with most schools boards. It's been a while since I've been at school and I have no kids. Any idea if most are set up this way or is this something that seems to be a particular problem at Beebe? Granted I'm sure there's still much I should learn about the situation. But all of it almost reminds you of the way things happen in third world countries unfortunately.

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What Arkansas needs are more superintendents like Dr. Roy Brooks, of the Little Rock district. All though he received a very positive evaluation for his first year on the job he turned down a pay raise. He would not accept a raise because he had not been on the job long enough show the success he wants. The district did not get a raise from the state therefore he would not ask or accept one. Finally some one in education who believes in performance. The Arkansas school system if full of employees that believe they are entitled to a pay increase just because they show up.

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What Arkansas needs are more superintendents like Dr. Roy Brooks, of the Little Rock district. All though he received a very positive evaluation for his first year on the job he turned down a pay raise. He would not accept a raise because he had not been on the job long enough show the success he wants. The district did not get a raise from the state therefore he would not ask or accept one. Finally some one in education who believes in performance. The Arkansas school system if full of employees that believe  they are entitled to a pay increase just because they show up.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree, I understand you have to have a payscale to keep everyone simply from going to a neighboring state for more money. But some of the salaries really do seem inflated compared to what the average person in Arkansas is making. Education is very important and you don't neccessarily want to get too cheap, but surely there's also a better way than just throwing money at the problem too.

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How bad are Little Rock Schools? One of the main reasons for White Flight from LR is there are better schools in the towns outside of LR. It looks like WF is based on false beliefs. When you compare the scores for end-of-course math and 11 grade literacy tests for white students, one thing is very clear. LR for the last three years (average) out scores all other districts in 2 of the 3 tests. The districts in the comparison are Beebe, Benton, Bryant, Cabot, Conway, Greenbrier, Sheridan and Vilonia.

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Since this topic deals with education. The Bentonville school system is going to try to go paperless. They will get rid of books and go for e-books. An e-book can hold up to 40 textbooks in it's memory. Although some don't think there is a need to get rid of notebook paper and pencils.

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Since this topic deals with education.  The Bentonville school system is going to try to go paperless.  They will get rid of books and go for e-books.  An e-book can hold up to 40 textbooks in it's memory.  Although some don't think there is a need to get rid of notebook paper and pencils.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's awsome.

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Now I have to play catch-up since I was having computer problems. With all the growth up here in northwest Arkansas it also applies to schools. There are estimates that we will need around 500 more teachers in the next couple of years to fill all of the new schools being built here in northwest Arkansas. It's making Oklahoma and Missouri nervous because we're paying more than what's being paid in those two nearby states. And northwest Arkansas is looking everywhere to try to find people to fill all of these positions and it won't be long before teachers in these neighboring states start considering us.

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A few weeks/months ago, there was a study on the ADE that said it was very unorganized.

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Newsweek has put out their rankings of public schools. Little Rock did pretty well. Central was ranked 20th and Mills was ranked 49th. Then there's a big jump to the next Arkansas schools. Bentonville was 404th and Fayetteville was 413th. Arkadelphia was 610th and Rogers was 771st. I didn't see any other Arkansas schools in the top 1000. Although it's possible I skipped over some trying to look through the whole list of 1000. Here's a link to the article and list in case anyone is interested.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12532668/site/newsweek/

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Newsweek has put out their rankings of public schools. Little Rock did pretty well. Central was ranked 20th and Mills was ranked 49th. Then there's a big jump to the next Arkansas schools. Bentonville was 404th and Fayetteville was 413th. Arkadelphia was 610th and Rogers was 771st. I didn't see any other Arkansas schools in the top 1000. Although it's possible I skipped over some trying to look through the whole list of 1000. Here's a link to the article and list in case anyone is interested.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12532668/site/newsweek/

I saw that earlier. Rogers is in there somewhere, but I can't remember at what number.

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Newsweek has put out their rankings of public schools. Little Rock did pretty well. Central was ranked 20th and Mills was ranked 49th. Then there's a big jump to the next Arkansas schools. Bentonville was 404th and Fayetteville was 413th. Arkadelphia was 610th and Rogers was 771st. I didn't see any other Arkansas schools in the top 1000. Although it's possible I skipped over some trying to look through the whole list of 1000. Here's a link to the article and list in case anyone is interested.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12532668/site/newsweek/

Good news for Central. Nearly all of the schools ahead of them were magnets that had very selective admission, such as the Gifted and Talented Academy and Science/Engineering Magnets in Dallas. Central takes all comers.

If you have a brilliant kid, Central is the best school in the state bar none. Better than the Math and Science school in Hot Springs, even. Their honors programs are outstanding. If your kid is marginal, though, you'd rather have him at a Fayetteville or Rogers or even better at a good private school. The old adage is that Central had the best and worst students in the state.

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The rankings don't include competitive entry schools like the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts.

Better than the math and science school is a stretch. We still have students from Central that apply and go here. Truthfully, if I had gone to a school like Central, there would have been a lot less incentive to apply to ASMSA. ASMSA is mainly for kids from schools out in the boondocks where proper courses aren't offered.

ASMSA is undoubtedly the better school academically in offerings and talent.

Have you taken a look at the course lists available for ASMSA students vs. Central students? Or the faculty of ASMSA?

There are so many things ASMSA offers and can offer that a school like Central High could never.

For example, I'm taking Folk Music and Acoustics, a class that is team taught by a PhD (and former professor) and a musician. Half the class is the physics of acoustics and the other half music theory and performance (we've had a few gigs through the year). The physics teacher has published papers on optics and has an incredibly thorough understanding of all types of physics. The music teacher is a published poet and a classically trained cellist. He also had his own band which can be found here . He wrote for an American newspaper in Greece before teaching here. Another member of his band was hired this year, and from what I hear, he is a great, interesting teacher as well.

My former government teacher was named a foreign diplomat to Mexico. He was a stellar teacher. Read here

My math teacher in junior year (for AP AB calculus) is the president of the Arkansas Countil of Teachers of Mathematics and has literally won dozens of awards (milken, teacher of year, etc.) Her bio from the ASMSA website:

Mrs. Nichols currently serves as an Advanced Placement Calculus consultant for the College Board, as the ASMSA representative on the Arkansas Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ACTM) executive board and is ACTM president-elect. Last year she was named Arkansas Teacher of the Year by the Arkansas/Oklahoma Mathematics Association of America and previously was named Teacher of the Year by Entergy Corporation. Mrs. Nichols is a past awardee of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Secondary Mathematics Teaching and the National Milken Educator Award.

My math teacher this year for multivariable calculus is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon, very refreshing, and very smart.

One of the math teachers here has an incredible background and expertise in math (they all have great backgrounds in math, but his record is stellar). He cowrote and Algebra II textbook. He teaches classes like vector calculus. To give you an idea of the caliber of vector calculus, let's examine the calculus of Arkansas schools. Calculus is the normal calculus. AP AB calculus is Calculus I in college. AP BC Calculus (which few high schools have) is Calculus II in college. Multivariable calculus is calculus III in college. Differential equations is calculus IV in college. Vector calculus is calculus V.

Another new teacher graduated from UC Berkley, and he was involved in some sort of social revolution in South America.

Most of the teachers here have PhDs.

At ASMSA, the teachers are all amazingly qualified. The least qualified have at leasts master's degrees. Most of them are originally from Arkansas, and many have some claim to fame.

In the past years, we've had students, with the help of teachers:

-Sweep various olympiads (physics, chemistry, etc.)

-Win various math competitions

-Win science intel science fair at state

-win college programming competitions in Arkansas (sad, isn't it?)

-win high school college programming competitions

-win miscellaneous club competitions

I have friends going to Harvard, MIT, Yale, and other top colleges. I'm going to Wash. U. on nearly a full ride. The majority of my friends are staying in state for full rides to the various schools.

The average ACT on my floor is a 31 (although I'd say I live on a particularly smart floor). If some of these people studied, the average would probably be around a 32-33.

Classes the Central can't (or probably can't) offer:

Astronomy (maybe they can)

Astrophyics

Multivariable Calculus

Number Theory

Differential Equations

Vector Calculus

Quantum Mechanics (Yes, i said quantum mechanics. This is for really advanced students. As in AP BC calculus and AP Physics C before seniors year.)

Folk Music and Acoustics

Genetics

Linear Algebra

Optics (we have an advanced, expensive optics lab donated to us)

Math Modeling

Biomedical Physics (the only class of its kind in the nation for high schoolers)

Microbiology (maybe)

Developmental Biology (oh no, evolution! herasy!)

Botany

Zoology

Immunology

Computer programming III

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (Woohoo)

Electric Circuits

Electronics

Engineering Problems

Computer Aided Drafting (CAD)

2d3d Graphics/Animation

Oracle (they probably can take this at Central)

Ancient Greek Literature

Survey of Women Writers

Survey of British Lit I and II (they might be able to take this at Central)

Study and Creation of Temporary Writing

Comparative World Religions (only in an academically inclined school would a class like this ever be allowed)

Science and Technology in World History

African American Lit.

Philosophy through Film and Lit.

Survey of American Lit. 1492-1900

Survey of American Lit. 1900- pres.

Literature of Contemporary South (this one's for next year, otherwise i would have taken it)

Rant over. But please do not get the misguided notion that Central offers more academically. True, if you want the occasional football championship and the la-di-dah fanfare associated with that type of stuff, Central is a much better school. If you want to be around students and teachers who challenge you mentally, socially, philosophically, and otherwise, ASMSA is a much better school.

If you have a student who is amazingly brilliant and taught himself differential equations, multivariable calculus, and the like while in Junior High (which we have had), ASMSA is the better way to go. We had a student like that a few years back, and the math teacher simply created highly advanced math courses to quench the student's needs. Classes are created here on a dime, and new classes are constantly created according to a teacher's expertise.

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The rankings don't include competitive entry schools like the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts. You can see the discussion here: http://www.arktimes.com/blogs/arkansasblog...2.aspx#comments .

Better than the math and science school is a stretch. We still have students from Central that apply and go here. Truthfully, if I had gone to a school like Central, there would have been a lot less incentive to apply to ASMSA. ASMSA is mainly for kids from schools out in the boondocks where proper courses aren't offered.

ASMSA is undoubtedly the better school academically in offerings and talent.

Have you taken a look at the course lists available for ASMSA students vs. Central students? Or the faculty of ASMSA?

There are so many things ASMSA offers and can offer that a school like Central High could never.

For example, I'm taking Folk Music and Acoustics, a class that is team taught by a PhD (and former professor) and a musician. Half the class is the physics of acoustics and the other half music theory and performance (we've had a few gigs through the year). The physics teacher has published papers on optics and has an incredibly thorough understanding of all types of physics. The music teacher is a published poet and a classically trained cellist. He also had his own band which can be found here . He wrote for an American newspaper in Greece before teaching here. Another member of his band was hired this year, and from what I hear, he is a great, interesting teacher as well.

My former government teacher was named a foreign diplomat to Mexico. He was a stellar teacher. Read here

My math teacher in junior year is the president of the Arkansas Countil of Teachers of Mathematics and has literally won dozens of awards (milken, teacher of year, etc.) Her bio from the ASMSA website:

Mrs. Nichols currently serves as an Advanced Placement Calculus consultant for the College Board, as the ASMSA representative on the Arkansas Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ACTM) executive board and is ACTM president-elect. Last year she was named Arkansas Teacher of the Year by the Arkansas/Oklahoma Mathematics Association of America and previously was named Teacher of the Year by Entergy Corporation. Mrs. Nichols is a past awardee of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Secondary Mathematics Teaching and the National Milken Educator Award.

My math teacher this year is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon, very refreshing, and very smart.

One of the math teachers here has an incredible background and expertise in math (they all have great backgrounds in math, but his record is stellar). He cowrote and Algebra II textbook. He teaches classes like vector calculus. To give you an idea of the caliber of vector calculus, let's examine the calculus of Arkansas schools. Calculus is the normal calculus. AP AB calculus is Calculus I in college. AP BC Calculus (which few high schools have) is Calculus II in college. Multivariable calculus is calculus III in college. Differential equations is calculus IV in college. Vector calculus is calculus V.

Another new teacher graduated from UC Berkley, and he was involved in some sort of social revolution in South America.

Most of the teachers here have PhDs.

At ASMSA, the teachers are all amazingly qualified. The least qualified have at leasts master's degrees. Most of them are originally from Arkansas, and many have some claim to fame.

In the past years, we've had students, with the help of teachers:

-Sweep various olympiads (physics, chemistry, etc.)

-Win various math competitions

-Win science intel science fair at state

-win college programming competitions in Arkansas (sad, isn't it?)

-win high school college programming competitions

-win miscellaneous club competitions

I have friends going to Harvard, MIT, Yale, and other top colleges. I'm going to Wash. U. on nearly a full ride. The majority of my friends are staying in state for full rides to the various schools.

The average ACT on my floor is a 31 (although I'd say I live on a particularly smart floor). If some of these people studied, the average would probably be around a 32-33.

Classes the Central can't (or probably can't) offer:

Astronomy (maybe they can)

Astrophyics

Multivariable Calculus

Number Theory

Differential Equations

Vector Calculus

Quantum Mechanics (holy crap, yes, i said quantum mechanics. this is for the REALLY smart juniors)

Folk Music and Acoustics

Genetics

Linear Algebra

Optics (we have an advanced, expensive optics lab donated to us)

Math Modeling

Biomedical Physics (the only class of its kind in the nation for high schoolers)

Microbiology (maybe)

Developmental Biology (oh no, evolution! herasy!)

Botany

Zoology

Immunology

Computer programming III (yeah don't understand this stuff too wel. not my area)

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (Woohoo)

Electric Circuits

Electronics

Engineering Problems

Computer Aided Drafting (CAD)

2d3d Graphics/Animation

Oracle (they probably can take this at Central)

Ancient Greek Literature

Survey of Women Writers

Survey of British Lit I and II (they might be able to take this at Central)

Study and Creation of Temporary Writing

Comparative World Religions (only in an academically inclined school would a class like this ever be allowed)

Science and Technology in World History

African American Lit.

Philosophy through Film and Lit.

Survey of American Lit. 1492-1900

Survey of American Lit. 1900- pres.

Literature of Contemporary South (this one's for next year, otherwise i would have taken it)

Rant over. But please do not get the misguided notion that Central offers more academically. True, if you want the occasional football championship and the la-di-dah fanfare associated with that type of stuff, Central is a much better school. If you want to be around students and teachers who challenge you mentally, socially, philosophically, and otherwise, ASMSA is a much better school.

The Harvard student body president a couple of years ago was from Central. The school has very high national profile and rep which no doubt helps it get this kind of recognition, deserved or not.

Not trying to argue but I dated a girl that took Organic Chemistry and Microbiology as a HS junior down there and struggled immensely in college as pre-pharmacy and ended up abandoning science. I went to a little old college prep school with essentially NO electives but an emphasis on a solid base education and I sailed through college and med school. I am a staunch believer in the traditional college prep curriculum. Of course, people are taking Japanese and Quantum Mechanics at Central as well but at least there is a lean towards the more traditional curricula.

Anyway, Central tends to do very well in the state math and science competitions. Note the AJAS results - the state winners in Physics, Biochemistry, and Mathematics were from Central.

The difference is that for your school admission is selective, for Central it is not yet they continue to lead the state in national merit semifinalists and Ivy League matriculees.

I think the location of the school in Hot Springs was a mistake. In LR I think the fact that it is within an hour of a million people at least would've made it possible for a large number of students to live at home and commute. As is in Hot Springs it is essentially a boarding school and the vast majority of desirable students are unwilling to go, though I'm not saying the number that do are unqualified as they seem to get a number of NM semifinalists and finalists as well.

I noticed the Dallas's Gifted and Talented Academy was #1 and Science and Engineering Academy #5 or so on that list. I think part of the reason they are there and the Math and Science schools in HS is not is because they chose to go the "boarding" route and didn't get access the same pool of applicants they would've had otherwise.

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The Harvard student body president a couple of years ago was from Central. The school has very high national profile and rep which no doubt helps it get this kind of recognition, deserved or not.

Not trying to argue but I dated a girl that took Organic Chemistry and Microbiology as a HS junior down there and struggled immensely in college as pre-pharmacy and ended up abandoning science. I went to a little old college prep school with essentially NO electives but an emphasis on a solid base education and I sailed through college and med school. I am a staunch believer in the traditional college prep curriculum. Of course, people are taking Japanese and Quantum Mechanics at Central as well but at least there is a lean towards the more traditional curricula.

Anyway, Central tends to do very well in the state math and science competitions. Note the AJAS results - the state winners in Physics, Biochemistry, and Mathematics were from Central.

The difference is that for your school admission is selective, for Central it is not yet they continue to lead the state in national merit semifinalists and Ivy League matriculees.

I think the location of the school in Hot Springs was a mistake. In LR I think the fact that it is within an hour of a million people at least would've made it possible for a large number of students to live at home and commute. As is in Hot Springs it is essentially a boarding school and the vast majority of desirable students are unwilling to go, though I'm not saying the number that do are unqualified as they seem to get a number of NM semifinalists and finalists as well.

I noticed the Dallas's Gifted and Talented Academy was #1 and Science and Engineering Academy #5 or so on that list. I think part of the reason they are there and the Math and Science schools in HS is not is because they chose to go the "boarding" route and didn't get access the same pool of applicants they would've had otherwise.

People are taking Quantum mechanics at Central? I simply don't believe that. If AP BC is the highest math Central High offers, how can they offer a class that requires AP BC and AP Physics C before even entering? I'll ask a friend from Central if I get the time.

Maybe the girl you are talking about simply wasn't very talented in those fields? How did she rank relative to ASMSA? The average ACT at ASMSA is still a 28-29, so for every 34 there's a 22. With a new Dean next year, hopefully ASMSA will get better at recruiting (we've had a not-so-good dean the past few years).

And let's make this point clear about ASMSA too: it attracts a lot of academically gifted, low income students. Students come from the boondocks of Arkansas, not Little Rock. Their parents are paper mill workers, home depot salesmen, teachers, not doctors or engineers (ok, maybe a very small percentage). At ASMSA, the teachers have to first bring up the students to the same level before they can even start pushing them further than the normal limits.

Students come from schools where the highest math class is trig (but that supposedly changed with new state law). Students come from schools where the graduating class has 20 people (that's rare with consolidation now).

In lower class-middle class families, achievement is generally less emphasized. If your parents never went to college and never really pushed academic areas of your life, it's that much harder to motivate yourself.

Central High did have more science fair winners, but barely. Central high had 20 place awards, ASMSA had 19. In ratio to school size, ASMSA was the winner by a longshot. (The senior class, which competes in science fair, has just over 100 students.) The winners at ASMSA come from towns where the industry is logging or the like. Besides, most everyone at ASMSA truly hates science fair as it takes away from all of our other competitions/activities/schoolwork. Thus, most spend a small amount of time on it (I won state science fair awards in 9th grade, but I didn't even qualify for state as a senior).

This is science fair. Central does well here, but is underrepresented in the ACTM, AMC, programming competitions, etc (compared to ASMSA). ASMSA won the Axciom collegiate programming competition. It's the only school in the state invited to the competition. ASMSA won 1st and either 2nd or 3rd for the Oracle database competition. There are many other competitions which ASMSA enters and Central can't simply because of ASMSA makeup.

Central leads in NMFs, but not by much. Again, it must be taken in consideration that many students at ASMSA come from poor schools and poor backgrounds. If the NMF test was in senior year, as opposed to junior year (fresh out of their bad school), more students would qualify for NMF, I'm certain. I'm personally only NM commended (2 pts below the SF cutoff. ouch), but my actual SATs and ACTs are higher than most NMF in AR. I attribute that to gaining a more thorough understanding of english, math, reading, etc during my stint at ASMSA as well as actually studying for the damn thing. The threat of college is a powerful motivator.

Sometimes I question ASMSA's location too. While other math and science schools are on a college campus, we're tucked in a valley in an old hospital in hot springs. I think it hurts the school a lot.

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People are taking Quantum mechanics at Central? I simply don't believe that. If AP BC is the highest math Central High offers, how can they offer a class that requires AP BC and AP Physics C before even entering? I'll ask a friend from Central if I get the time.

Maybe the girl you are talking about simply wasn't very talented in those fields? How did she rank relative to ASMSA? The average ACT at ASMSA is still a 28-29, so for every 34 there's a 22. With a new Dean next year, hopefully ASMSA will get better at recruiting (we've had a not-so-good dean the past few years).

And let's make this point clear about ASMSA too: it attracts a lot of academically gifted, low income students. Students come from the boondocks of Arkansas, not Little Rock. Their parents are paper mill workers, home depot salesmen, teachers, not doctors or engineers (ok, maybe a very small percentage). At ASMSA, the teachers have to first bring up the students to the same level before they can even start pushing them further than the normal limits.

Students come from schools where the highest math class is trig (but that supposedly changed with new state law). Students come from schools where the graduating class has 20 people (that's rare with consolidation now).

In lower class-middle class families, achievement is generally less emphasized. If your parents never went to college and never really pushed academic areas of your life, it's that much harder to motivate yourself.

Central High did have more science fair winners, but barely. Central high had 20 place awards, ASMSA had 19. In ratio to school size, ASMSA was the winner by a longshot. (The senior class, which competes in science fair, has just over 100 students.) The winners at ASMSA come from towns where the industry is logging or the like. Besides, most everyone at ASMSA truly hates science fair as it takes away from all of our other competitions/activities/schoolwork. Thus, most spend a small amount of time on it (I won state science fair awards in 9th grade, but I didn't even qualify for state as a senior).

This is science fair. Central does well here, but is underrepresented in the ACTM, AMC, programming competitions, etc (compared to ASMSA). ASMSA won the Axciom collegiate programming competition. It's the only school in the state invited to the competition. ASMSA won 1st and either 2nd or 3rd for the Oracle database competition. There are many other competitions which ASMSA enters and Central can't simply because of ASMSA makeup.

Central leads in NMFs, but not by much. Again, it must be taken in consideration that many students at ASMSA come from poor schools and poor backgrounds. If the NMF test was in senior year, as opposed to junior year (fresh out of their bad school), more students would qualify for NMF, I'm certain. I'm personally only NM commended (2 pts below the SF cutoff. ouch), but my actual SATs and ACTs are higher than most NMF in AR. I attribute that to gaining a more thorough understanding of english, math, reading, etc during my stint at ASMSA as well as actually studying for the damn thing. The threat of college is a powerful motivator.

Sometimes I question ASMSA's location too. While other math and science schools are on a college campus, we're tucked in a valley in an old hospital in hot springs. I think it hurts the school a lot.

Missing the point about the number of students, sure Central has more. However, they don't get to choose them. They simply are the students that live in a wedge drawn on the map of LR that includes a nice slice of LR including most of the poorer areas of the city and some of the nicest as well. That's what makes it so impressive, it's just a regular school. That's not to mention that many if not most of the bright students in its district are siphoned off to private college prep schools. Look again at those rankings - how many of those schools at the top are general high schools and not gifted and talented or academic magnets of some sort?

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Missing the point about the original point about the two schools: ASMSA is superior in academic offerings and faculty.

Undoubtedly Central is a good school with a lot of good students, but the original question posed was whether Central had better academic offerings than ASMSA or not.

The answer is no, it does not.

Missing point about students coming from the middle of nowhere, AR.

(Side note: The truth is, ASMSA accepts more than half of its applicants. I for the incoming junior class. The charter classbelieve something like 150 out of 250 applicants were accepted this year was supposedly the best, with the incoming classes getting poorer academically. There were some major shakeups this year in the administration with hopes of changing recruiting prospects in the future.

Additionally, I wonder if the top 100 students at Central are on par with those at ASMSA. Central has about 605 per class. If they are, then Central should have a better performance at all sorts of academic competitions and not just science fair.)

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Oh yeah, one more thing to note: this is based on AP tests.

Arkansas pays for all AP tests. They just started to last school year (just in time for my first AP).

Did this boost AR's rankings?

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