I’ve barely begun the research and processing of the data I’ve collected about this so keep that in mind. I get a weekly email from my school district. I believe this is information that goes out to parents and others across the county. Typically I skim through the email and move on. Today I was struck by two bits and followed the links to more information.
One was a list of 44 students in my district who were named scholarship winners from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (which I didn’t realize was a corporation, but that’s a whole other line of thought). I was curious to see which schools have winners. My district has 25 high schools as well as two alternative high schools. Nine of those high schools have winners. One, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (a magnet high school) has 34 of the winners. Two other schools have two winners each. I was curious to look at the demographics of these schools, specifically at the percentage of students receiving free or reduced price lunches and the percentage of students who are learning English.
The magnet high school, with so many of the winners, has 2% of students receiving free or reduced price lunches and under 1% of students who are limited English proficient. The other schools percentages of students receiving free or reduced price lunches are 2, 9, 10, 11, 13, 16, 26, and 40%. (That 40% is pretty impressive and is the high school I attended many years ago.) The limited English proficient percentages are 1, 4, 5 (three schools), 6, 9, and 20%.
In comparison, the high school my current students will attend has 55% of students receiving free or reduced price lunches and 22% of students who are limited English proficient. The students at my former school will attend a high school with 57% receiving free or reduced price lunches and 22% of students who are limited English proficient.
I’m not sure what I’m taking from this, but it’s been fascinating to look at schools across my district. I may need to take some time to graph data from all our high schools and compare those with winners. We’ll see.
The other bit I clicked on was about the 52 schools (out of just over 200) in my district that won Virginia Index of Performance awards. Fifty-two different schools means I will have to take a bit more time to figure out what I think I can learn from that data. One thing I did learn is that there are multiple schools in my district with fewer than one percent of students receiving free and reduced price lunches. Given that I work at a school in which 88% of students do, I found that quite surprising.