News

'Average' Palo Alto students rank high statewide

25th percentile in Palo Alto is 75th percentile in California and nation, according to test data

"Average" students in Palo Alto may be smarter than they think: They are competing in a "rarefied" atmosphere laden with high achievers, school board members said Tuesday night.

A student with test scores in Palo Alto's 25th percentile ranks in the 75th percentile when compared to other students in California or the nation as a whole, according to data compiled by the school district.

"In some ways this makes it so hard on the kids in our community, because they think the whole world is like (Palo Alto)," school board member Barbara Klausner said.

"Do they realize they're in this very rarefied atmosphere?"

The school board Tuesday reviewed standardized test data showing that Gunn High School ranks first in the state in SAT test results and Palo Alto High School ranks fourth. In metrics from advanced placement exams to California STAR tests, both Gunn and Paly rank among the very top among California's 1,000 high schools.

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"These numbers are just phenomenal. It's absurd how high these numbers are," Klausner said, referring to a chart comparing Palo Alto's mean SAT score of 1920 with the California mean of 1511 and the national mean of 1509.

"I'd like to see a graphic to offer to our students to show them what it means that you're in the 25th percentile in Palo Alto but if we put you in a picture with 100 kids around the state and the country, you're in the 75th percentile."

Subdued by the death last week of a Gunn junior at the Caltrain tracks -- the fourth Caltrain death of a Palo Alto student in six months -- board members honed in with questions about mid-level students in the district's highly competitive high schools.

"I want to get to the issue of the percentage of students who take just one AP. Students go off from this district and find themselves at the top of the class in college and say, 'I never knew I was so smart,'" board member Camille Townsend said.

"I think this is an issue in our district. Parents say, 'My kid, who is seen as in the middle of the group here, isn't encouraged to take even one AP. What's the number of kids who take at least one AP?'"

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School officials could not offer a precise number, but estimated that between 50 and 60 percent of students take at least one advanced placement class in high school.

Student board representatives from both Gunn and Paly said last week's Caltrain death had an impact on both campuses.

Gunn representative Steve Zhou said there is talk of having "suicide survivors" and students with depression come together to form support groups with one another.

Zhou modeled his T-shirt, made and sold in large quantities by two Gunn seniors, that says "Talk to me," encouraging more open communication among students.

"Obviously we're in a tough place right now, and we're going to continue to work on these issues going forward," Superintendent Kevin Skelly said.

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'Average' Palo Alto students rank high statewide

25th percentile in Palo Alto is 75th percentile in California and nation, according to test data

by / Palo Alto Online

Uploaded: Wed, Oct 28, 2009, 9:05 am

"Average" students in Palo Alto may be smarter than they think: They are competing in a "rarefied" atmosphere laden with high achievers, school board members said Tuesday night.

A student with test scores in Palo Alto's 25th percentile ranks in the 75th percentile when compared to other students in California or the nation as a whole, according to data compiled by the school district.

"In some ways this makes it so hard on the kids in our community, because they think the whole world is like (Palo Alto)," school board member Barbara Klausner said.

"Do they realize they're in this very rarefied atmosphere?"

The school board Tuesday reviewed standardized test data showing that Gunn High School ranks first in the state in SAT test results and Palo Alto High School ranks fourth. In metrics from advanced placement exams to California STAR tests, both Gunn and Paly rank among the very top among California's 1,000 high schools.

"These numbers are just phenomenal. It's absurd how high these numbers are," Klausner said, referring to a chart comparing Palo Alto's mean SAT score of 1920 with the California mean of 1511 and the national mean of 1509.

"I'd like to see a graphic to offer to our students to show them what it means that you're in the 25th percentile in Palo Alto but if we put you in a picture with 100 kids around the state and the country, you're in the 75th percentile."

Subdued by the death last week of a Gunn junior at the Caltrain tracks -- the fourth Caltrain death of a Palo Alto student in six months -- board members honed in with questions about mid-level students in the district's highly competitive high schools.

"I want to get to the issue of the percentage of students who take just one AP. Students go off from this district and find themselves at the top of the class in college and say, 'I never knew I was so smart,'" board member Camille Townsend said.

"I think this is an issue in our district. Parents say, 'My kid, who is seen as in the middle of the group here, isn't encouraged to take even one AP. What's the number of kids who take at least one AP?'"

School officials could not offer a precise number, but estimated that between 50 and 60 percent of students take at least one advanced placement class in high school.

Student board representatives from both Gunn and Paly said last week's Caltrain death had an impact on both campuses.

Gunn representative Steve Zhou said there is talk of having "suicide survivors" and students with depression come together to form support groups with one another.

Zhou modeled his T-shirt, made and sold in large quantities by two Gunn seniors, that says "Talk to me," encouraging more open communication among students.

"Obviously we're in a tough place right now, and we're going to continue to work on these issues going forward," Superintendent Kevin Skelly said.

Comments

observer
Gunn High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 9:33 am
observer, Gunn High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 9:33 am
Like this comment

THANK YOU SCHOOL BOARD for looking into the situation our "middle" achieving students are in !!!


WY
Gunn High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 10:14 am
WY, Gunn High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 10:14 am
Like this comment

My kid has 2200 in SAT I, 800 in SAT II Math Level 2, 800 in SAT II Chem. He get these results in first attempts without attending any prep school.
Yet, he thinks he is dumb. His applications for AP classes have been rejected again, and again, and again.
He had a very successful internship during summer at one of the top 5 universities in the nation. He is the first author for an academic paper.
Yet, he thinks he is dumb. He thinks he has absolutely no chance at UCLA, which is for kids with a 4.5 GPA.
How many kids at Gunn have GPA over 4?
When getting a 5 is far much easier than getting an A at AP Calculus BC or other AP classes, something is wrong.
Please don't go to the press and advertise that the 'average' Palo Alto students are smarter than they think.
Just don't keep rejecting them.


Enough
Palo Alto Orchards
on Oct 28, 2009 at 10:45 am
Enough, Palo Alto Orchards
on Oct 28, 2009 at 10:45 am
Like this comment

Not for much longer. I was at a school function last night and word was spreading like wildfire that at Gunn now, there are no more tests. That if homework is not done, oh well. That there are no more grades, just pass/fail. If this is the case, then we have just taught our children a very dangerous lesson.

What SHOULD be done is a comprehensive plan whereupon teachers from different departments communicate with one another so that kids do not have, for example, a huge test to study for the next day, a surprise project also due, and it's, for example, Spirit Week. I saw with my own kids that teacher didn't care what other teachers were doing. Even when the student spoke up and said that Mr. or Mrs. So and So assigned a huge whatever due, could they have a bit more time.
In real life kids will have to answer to bosses who won't care about excuses and workloads. So we have to mitigate the solution, balance being a kid with also teaching good life skills to these kids can face their future with some skills.


Parent of Paly grad
Palo Alto High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 10:57 am
Parent of Paly grad, Palo Alto High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 10:57 am
Like this comment

As a parent who has seen a very bright, but average Palo Alto student, fail to get into many, many colleges I can testify that my child did not feel clever at Paly. This good student did very well on SATs but was nowhere near a 4.0 - could not even get a discount on car insurance for being a good student because GPAs are so good in Palo Alto and insurance companies do not take honors classes into account, just basic letter grades.

So my very bright student did not get into a good college to see if it was a case of being cleverer than the State average until 2 years later with a transfer into a UC. Only then, did our average Paly student get to feel clever, found that the study skills learned at Paly, enabled a feeling of being clever in college. It took a long time, but now that my college student is in the real world as opposed to the Palo Alto bubble, does the values of all learned at Paly really kick in.


Parent of ex-Paly students
Midtown
on Oct 28, 2009 at 11:04 am
Parent of ex-Paly students, Midtown
on Oct 28, 2009 at 11:04 am
Like this comment

It seems to me that spreading the word that we're so much smarter will only result in "dumbing down" our schools and lowering achievement rates. My three kids had no problem getting into college. Maybe instead of dumbing down the schools, we should have more parental participation in our kids aims and achievements.


observer
Gunn High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 11:05 am
observer, Gunn High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 11:05 am
Like this comment

Dear Enough, I'd be interested to know what school function that was! My Gunn students were home studying for quizzes and tests and doing reasonable amounts of homework. I think you have some associates that are alarmists!


Gor for it
Fairmeadow
on Oct 28, 2009 at 11:19 am
Gor for it, Fairmeadow
on Oct 28, 2009 at 11:19 am
Like this comment

"'Average' Palo Alto students rank high statewide." That is not good enough, we're in a global economy; Palo Alto students must demonstrate they "rank highest in the World."

You can bet that both Japanese and Chinese students are being told they must do better than California students and be the highest achievers in the world. Don't accept just second or even third best in this global economy.

It is amazing that our School Board could be satisfied with "average students ranking high Statewide"!!


One Gunn Mom
Gunn High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 11:20 am
One Gunn Mom, Gunn High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 11:20 am
Like this comment

Gunn has not given up on tests or grades. While the school has backed off a bit, projects are still due, papers are being graded, and expectations are still high.

The emphasis on AP courses is part of the problem. AP courses are treated as the "norm" here in Palo Alto. Remember AP is a COLLEGE LEVEL course. Where else on earth do 50-60% of kids age 13-18 take college level courses? And they cannot get into all the ones they want? Next we will be giving 5th grade students calculus! We keep pushing curriculum down to the lower grades and never teach them skills to adapt, to handle disappointment, to talk about anger, to channel frustration. Nor do we give them the time to "try" new subjects, to have fun in school, to balance work and play (or just to play).

We need step back and really look at what high school should be--the whole picture, not just academics, and then make it happen.


JustMom
Downtown North
on Oct 28, 2009 at 11:32 am
JustMom, Downtown North
on Oct 28, 2009 at 11:32 am
Like this comment

Why underestimate the ability of the high achievers? Why to stop them all together? That was the original idea behind AP classes - to let the kids who are going ahead in some subjects be ahead and not stopped.

It's our responsibility, as parents, to guide and not push. My daughter did very well at STAR tests (missed 1-2 questions), was at the top of "advanced" group in CA, but didn't get into the GATE program, which only allows 5% highest school achievers. We had more than 5% kids with the score 100%. In any other area or district she will be in GATE program. So what? We compete with bright kids and involved parents. Do we need to stop highest achievers to meet our expectations? NO. We need to prepare our kids that loosing is equally important, it teaches you how and where to improve, give the real world example. and if it' too difficult for a child, too stressful, maybe there are other options, other schools, etc.


Resident
Barron Park
on Oct 28, 2009 at 11:41 am
Resident, Barron Park
on Oct 28, 2009 at 11:41 am
Like this comment

We are not living in the "average" area. Look around. Schools are packed with kids of Stanford and technology gurus around the world. How is the school model should be different here? Let's ask to close companies, so we, adults would feel more comfortable, less stressful and more secure. The solution should be - don't stress about it, do what you can, believe in yourself, don't compare, or otherwise - relocate to less competitive area. I am with JustMom on that.


Teacher
Menlo Park
on Oct 28, 2009 at 11:58 am
Teacher, Menlo Park
on Oct 28, 2009 at 11:58 am
Like this comment

LOL, what a way to de-stress your students Palo Alto!


Concerned Parent
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2009 at 12:03 pm
Concerned Parent, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2009 at 12:03 pm
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I am so sick and tired of hearing about test scores and AP classes. How about having a Happiness Index (HI!) with which we rate our kids. Oh no, let the kids self rank. We put so much pressure on our kids that as a parent volunteer I saw many children cheating in a first grade math lab hands on small group experience. I couldn't believe that even in first grade kids in our district feel the need to be number one. These kids were not Asia either. Come on parents........when does a young person have the time to be a young person and to find their sources of joy if all they get is this crap about test scores and "our school's better than your school....or every other school in the state for God's sake!).Geeeeeeeeeze.......why don't you Palo Alto parents get a grip? Back when my children were very young there was a book published called "The Hurried Child." I would suggest that a revisiting of this title might help some of the parents here. We are trying to help our children be happy well-adjusted people......not test taking, high scoring automatons!

When will all the "talking heads" that give panels on teen depression etc. start talking about some real solutions. The solutions start at a very fundamental level. It's not hard to see what is going on if you are really truly willing to look and get out of the huge river in Egypt.....it's called Denial!


pamom
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2009 at 12:17 pm
pamom, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2009 at 12:17 pm
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It's true that some very bright students here think they are dumb. Both my children told me that in high school. I've known students to get a B- in a science class, think they are not good in science, but after a four year university education find out they really like science and go on to Cal Tech and MIT. Hello! That does add to the stress when very bright children feel dumb. Sometimes it is ridiculous what a student has to do to achieve an A. There are many other reasons for stress -- some stress is probably good -- but there are things our high schools can do to reduce bad stress. Keeping AP classes limited, not preparting students well enough (look at the middle school program), and making it difficult to get good grades (when the student gets a 5 on a AP test), are all problems the high schools and middle schools should look at.


palo alto mom
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 28, 2009 at 12:31 pm
palo alto mom, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 28, 2009 at 12:31 pm
Like this comment

Justmom - there really isn't a GATE program in PAUSD, so relax about that. And its not uncommon for kids to get a perfect or close to perfect score on STAR tests when the students are young because there are very few questions per subject (the reverse is also true). STAR tests are great for judging a whole school, but are not really geared statistically for individual students.

I don't think anyone wants to stop AP classes, just return them a bit to their original intent which was to provide additional challenge in a subject the student is passionate about.


Mom of average kid
Meadow Park
on Oct 28, 2009 at 12:57 pm
Mom of average kid, Meadow Park
on Oct 28, 2009 at 12:57 pm
Like this comment

It is true...outside of our PA school district, our "average" kids shine, and our "superior" kids get bored as freshmen at even the top universities.

Tell your kids over an over again, they are swimming with the biggest fish here, so it is easy to feel "small", but in the rest of the nation, they are just fine. Tough to feel ok about yourself when you are comparing yourself with 28 National Merit Finalists in the Senior class, with kids getting 5s on 8 APs and 2350-2400 SAT scores. That is great for those kids ( I had one of those who has moved on to university now), but for the more typical kid, it is really tough ( I have one of those, too).

Personally, with my "average" kid who felt dumb, I pulled him/her and moved to another school, where s/he can now see that s/he is not "dumb" after all, and in fact has some strengths that can now shine out amongst all the other "average" kids ( who are all above average, frankly, but would just be average in PA).


Parent
Gunn High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 1:11 pm
Parent, Gunn High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 1:11 pm
Like this comment

My daughter refused to apply to Stanford or Ivy league schools because she only had a 4.03 GPA, 2190 on her SAT. She is unique in other ways but felt that she had no chance relative to her classmates at Gunn.


Old Palo Alto
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 28, 2009 at 1:31 pm
Old Palo Alto, Old Palo Alto
on Oct 28, 2009 at 1:31 pm
Like this comment

What a great place to learn and challenge yourself! It's only when you start comparing yourself to others via test scores that the melancholy sets in. Isn't this true of life in general?


another gunn parent lll
Barron Park
on Oct 28, 2009 at 1:33 pm
another gunn parent lll, Barron Park
on Oct 28, 2009 at 1:33 pm
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to parent, member of gunn hs community<

if your daughter refused to apply to stanford or ivy league school, , she probably would have refused no matter what her scores were. i'll bet she will do fantastic where ever she is. if she is as unique as you believe,(and i'm sure she is) she has an extremely bright future ahead of her. she will be just fine.


I
Gunn High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 1:44 pm
I, Gunn High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 1:44 pm
Like this comment

No, we don't live in an average area. Yes, our schools are packed with kids of Stanford and technology gurus.
But, that doesn't make Gunn High into University of Gunn.
That doesn't make every one of our Gunn juniors having the maturity of a Stanford junior.
Of course, "highest achievers" should be allowed to achieve. Just don't limit the life chance of other "high achievers", just don't stick a label of "underachieving high achievers" on their faces.
Having to cope with 4 deaths in a few months is not the worst for my kids. The worst is to witness the absence of empathy/respect to the victims among some of their fellow students.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Parent
Community Center
on Oct 28, 2009 at 2:09 pm
Parent, Community Center
on Oct 28, 2009 at 2:09 pm
Like this comment

palo alto mom,

Actually there is a GATE program in PAUSD:
Web Link.
But it's not my point. And NO, I am not stressing about it. I agree with the Gunn Parent - you choose what's better suits your child. And if PA schools are too stressful - look at other options, don't blame the system or reduce AP courses. AP after all (I agree with you) lost it's original meaning - to challenge kids that are advanced and bored in some regular classes. It's an attitude, stress adjustment, family vein parents that we need to concentrate. Or as adults we wouldn't survive somebody who is more successful, more beautiful, wealthier, etc.

Dear member of the Gunn High School community,
I am 100% with you. EVERY SINGLE KID is unique and talented. We need to start looking at colleges, that add stress to high and even middle schoolers! 10-15-20 years ago it was manageable. Now - the list of expectations is so high that kids are getting frustrated, lost and stressed. I feel so sorry for all 4 kids and also everybody who is effected by this tragedy (including all of us here, not mentioning our growing kids).


palo alto mom
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 28, 2009 at 2:39 pm
palo alto mom, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 28, 2009 at 2:39 pm
Like this comment

Technically there is a GATE program in the elementary schools, but "these differentiated curricular opportunities are available to all students, not just those who are formally identified" so its not something worrying about if you have an elementary student.

I love hearing that every kid is talented, unfortunately school is not a "talent" that all kids have.

I have 2 kids at Paly and high school is really not about the learning at all. Everything is about "building a resume" for college. I would never want to hold back the high achievers, but I cringe when I hear well-meaning parents refer to the rest of the kids as slackers.


Greendell Grandma
Charleston Gardens
on Oct 28, 2009 at 2:45 pm
Greendell Grandma, Charleston Gardens
on Oct 28, 2009 at 2:45 pm
Like this comment

For goodness' sakes, please explain to our students the realities of school in Palo Alto, Back in the very early 1960's Mr. Ford was principal of Greendell. He stood up in front of a PTA crowd and told us that most elementary schools had a handful of gifted students. That particular year, about a third of my kid's class, one class, was tested as gifted. A single class in the school, as example. Mr. Ford went on to explain that part of the story was the high number of parents with Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees in the Greendell community, mothers as well as fathers. I doubt that has changed very much in the past 40 years or so. Yes, he also told us an "average" kid here was way above average elsewhere! We must have forgotten that...


SameMom
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 28, 2009 at 2:47 pm
SameMom, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 28, 2009 at 2:47 pm
Like this comment

Don't generalize "school" - one kid may bloom in math, the other in social studies. somebody is a late bloomer, but it maybe too late for the college. S/he may transfer and continue at her own speed. I agree with you on "building a resume". Stanford labs seeing more and more volunteers that are getting younger every year. That's the time that kids need to spend with friends, family, outside, etc. It's all a college problem, as I mentioned earlier.

And don't cringe when you hear well-meaning parents refer to the rest of the kids as slackers, just kick them. LOL


Gunn Parent
Gunn High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm
Gunn Parent, Gunn High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm
Like this comment

Why you people keep bringing up train victims when discussing academic pressure/stress in PA high school? So far, there is not even a remote evidence points to school class pressure as the cause for three Gunn victims, all evidences point to something else.

Talking about pressure in PA high school, wait until you hear from those schools in Fremont, Cupertino, and San Jose. Yes, we have ~10% of National Merit Semifinalists, but those schools have >20%. I'm not endorse the high school competition on way or another, but just to let you know that PA is not unique in this.


Walter_E_Wallis
Registered user
Midtown
on Oct 28, 2009 at 4:42 pm
Walter_E_Wallis, Midtown
Registered user
on Oct 28, 2009 at 4:42 pm
Like this comment

Let' face it. Palo Alto students are smarter than Palo Alto teachers and administrators. That's why they get movies by Moore and Gore.


Jim
College Terrace
on Oct 28, 2009 at 5:36 pm
Jim, College Terrace
on Oct 28, 2009 at 5:36 pm
Like this comment

Ya, put more pressure on these kids.


PA Parent
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2009 at 6:27 pm
PA Parent, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2009 at 6:27 pm
Like this comment

Open Cubberley. There will be more spots in AP classes, more kids in the top of their class, more openings in extracurricular activities. If Cubberley were a choice school, kids from both Gunn and Paly would have an alternative. Instead of making Gunn and Paly larger, more impersonal schools as is now in the planning, our high schools could be much more normal and manageable. We could probably renovate Cubberley for just the PREMIUM on building the multistory structures required -- that the district is planning to build -- to enlarge the schools. Gunn and Paly could spend the money just on the IMPROVEMENTS that have been planned -- and things like better climate control for Gunn which have not -- opening Cubberley could allow us smaller, more personal schools again.


Mary
Menlo Park
on Oct 28, 2009 at 6:33 pm
Mary, Menlo Park
on Oct 28, 2009 at 6:33 pm
Like this comment

Someone should tell the kids how "smart" they are. They obviously don't here it enough from parents, teachers, or the community. And those inflated 4.0+ GPAs are a joke. The universities are on to the con. Taking AP classes gives students a fake bump in their grades.
Anyone with a pulse can enroll in Gunn's Social Studies AP classes. The principal does have the guts to turn anyone down. In 1994 there were only FOUR AP classes in the Social Studies Dept. at Gunn. The AP program meant something then. Now there are about 12 AP classes. There is even serious effort to add yet another high profile program (IB) to the curriculum.

How does this effort and current number of AP classes close the "achievement gap?"


Mary
Gunn High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 6:37 pm
Mary, Gunn High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 6:37 pm
Like this comment

Dear Walter W.

You have quite a sense of humor. Guess the kids are smarter than you as well.


go IB!
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2009 at 8:27 pm
go IB!, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2009 at 8:27 pm
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Mary,

IB is actually a better program than AP, and could provide a necessary alternative. It's more about a well rounded curriculum, founded in 1968 in Switzerland, it's less macho ish. IB is about pre-university, while AP are college level courses.



OhlonePar
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 28, 2009 at 8:28 pm
OhlonePar, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 28, 2009 at 8:28 pm
Like this comment

Gunn Parent,

What evidence? And how do you know that the environment at Gunn was absolutely not a factor? You don't. The victims had a school in common--so it's worth looking at that common denominator and see if it was any kind of factor. It would be illogical not to do so.

Also, whether it's a factor or not, the fact it is a commonality means that it's worth looking at the school to see if there's a way to create a more supportive atmosphere at the school and to look for ways of spotting at-risk kids.

It's not a question of "blaming" Gunn. You have an issue at Gunn, whether you think the school's at fault or not. The suicides themselves decided to make a connection for you by choosing an identical method and location.

Now we have to deal with it as a community. I appreciate the board acknowledging that the average student being head-of-the-class most places is an issue for a lot of kids--particularly since they usually have head-of-the-class parents who expect their kids to do similarly well.

PA Parent,

I agree with you about Cubberly, even a small program would offer some sort of alternative. We have the money to build, we have the property. I just don't get the megaschool building focus when we know kids don't do as well in large schools.


Former Gunn Student
another community
on Oct 28, 2009 at 8:36 pm
Former Gunn Student, another community
on Oct 28, 2009 at 8:36 pm
Like this comment

I graduated from Gunn several years ago. When I was there, I would say I was more of an "average" kid. My peers did everything possible to obtain success, both academically and socially. I wish I had more opportunities to learn instead of fighting for my grades all the time.Parents were pushy. Some teachers were great but others were far too hard on students. They favored the bright, outspoken students in my class. I never felt good enough at Gunn.

What I can tell you several years later is that in the general scheme of things, I'm doing well and consider myself "above average". Many of my classmates that went to great colleges are now unemployed and living with their parents. Others didn't do so well in college. I, on the other hand, did very well in college. I graduated at the top of my class and many of my professors really liked me. I stood out. I went through an excellent Graduate program and now have a great job.

The unfortunate issue here is that the low self esteem that I developed back in Middle School and High School is still with me. I dont know if it was solely the academic pressure or pressure in other areas, but I cringe when I think about my time at Gunn. On the other hand, maybe being in such a competitive environment motivated me to do better in life? Who knows.


observer
Gunn High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm
observer, Gunn High School
on Oct 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm
Like this comment

We didn't have finals in high school.

We didn't have AP classes either. All of the seniors in the language classes took the AP test and all of the seniors in the upper lanes took the AP tests in English and Social Studies. We got credit or we didn't. That was it. We didn't even know the program existed. And there were no extra points on the GPA. What has happened to this process since 1975?


parent of Middle School
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2009 at 8:49 am
parent of Middle School, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2009 at 8:49 am
Like this comment



Former Gunn student,

great post, I think nobody survives Middle or High School culture without some cringing, and if it was bad when you went to school, it's actually worse now. Everyone thinks it's supposed to be that way, but why?


pamom
Barron Park
on Oct 29, 2009 at 9:10 am
pamom, Barron Park
on Oct 29, 2009 at 9:10 am
Like this comment

Former Gunn Student -- you are not alone and you wrote a very telling and good post. Gunn culture does have a major impact on our students. My two children did very well (both National Merits), but they were discouraged by some teachers at Gunn. Some of the teachers there were wonderful, but some were too tough on very bright students. Both my students felt dumb at Gunn. Middle school did not prepare them well enough and that added to the stress. Despite how bright they were, they were not allowed into certain classes. There is a problem there. This is not to blame Gunn for the suicides -- we can't know why those students did it. But there are problems, and making it too tough -- hard to get good grades, making students jump through hoops to get into a class, not providing enough support -- that can be changed.


Gunn Parent
Gunn High School
on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:18 am
Gunn Parent, Gunn High School
on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:18 am
Like this comment

OhlonePar,

It's wrong and dangerous for people to speculate, and make accusation while sit at their cubicle, with no knowledge of what's going on at all about the school environment, that's basically what you are doing.

Just go back to look at your argument, "What evidence? And how do you know that the environment at Gunn was absolutely not a factor? You don't. The victims had a school in common--so it's worth looking at that common denominator and see if it was any kind of factor. It would be illogical not to do so."

So, those kids all live in PA, then all kids in PA should be looked at? or their parents all have similar jobs, we should also look into that?

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Do students at PA high schools have pressure? Of course they do, but that's true for all other high schools as well. But the pressure is not necessary a bad thing as long as you deal it with the right attitude, that's where both the parents and school can help. Plus, the pressure to "fit in", "be popular" is much intense than class work, as repeatedly pointed out by many former & current students.


former Paly parent
Palo Alto High School
on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:24 am
former Paly parent, Palo Alto High School
on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:24 am
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All this talk about AP scores, grades, college apps. How about learning and getting an education?
I have done a test in past whereby I engage a "top" high school student in conversation, casually asking about an academic subject or course in order to gauge their enthusiasm or get them to open up and show some knowledge. Usually I have found they have little enthusiasm and are taking the AP (APUSH comes to mind) just to get another brownie point. Don't play this game! Take the advanced courses you care about and actually learn something.


myohmy
another community
on Oct 29, 2009 at 11:04 am
myohmy, another community
on Oct 29, 2009 at 11:04 am
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It appears every thread regarding Palo Alto children eventually arrives to the subject of how wonderful (or not) the schools are in the city. Toot, Toot, and compare! Now we have a thread discussing the board informing the community don't worry even "average" kid is "above average." Has the pervasive need to instill self-esteem in children really better served at the parental level in Palo Alto? I am being a little cynical, but I was hoping to read comments that go to the root of the problem. Why so many suicides at this one school? Does the gene pool of the area produce a higher level of depression. IQ to level of happiness. Is there no where for these students to turn to.

If I look at a family, I look to who creates dysfunctional family dynamics. Is it the child or the parent? parent and their decisions and reactions. In an office environment, who creates the dynamics? We have only to look at the recent Letterman incident to see a culture created and its effect. Who can change that culture? Who ultimately is creating the culture of Gunn and Paly? Is it the elementary child who thinks up the idea of going Ivy league or is it introduced by an adult? Who is putting pressure on the PAUSD for more advanced courses? Who is asking for International Baccalaureate program? Who is putting pressure on the teachers to put unbelievably high expectations on the students? Can the PAUSD change focus without backlash from parents? .........what do you think?

There are scores of communities like PA around the country....yes, there are...check out the state of MA. Do they have a high school where four students committed suicide and another student's attempt was thwarted in a span of a year? If so, you all would be better served to compare the schools vs. comparing AP to IB.


another parent
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2009 at 12:11 pm
another parent, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2009 at 12:11 pm
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myohmy

you have hit the nail on the head - parent culture in PA. I think it's generally a good culture, very caring about our schools. Elementary goes by fine (maybe with the exception of Everyday Math which was a legitimate debate, like it or not, and school officials can't possibly expect to not hear legitimate debate).

Middle and High School is a totally different ball game.

After Elementary school, there is a culture of "parents you are out," unless the administrators make it a point to include parents, or teachers reach out to include parents (rare).

Some teachers in the older grades act like young adolescents themselves, and you wonder how many adults are helping out with the culture.

So, along with the general success culture, plus this area's particular success culture, kids make up their own success culture.


PAUSD can change focus in Middle and High School, but if they do it alone, charge ahead and exclude parents, it will only muck things up even further, and part of it is accepting legitimate debate, listening to parents, after all - we are the biggest influence on culture.

About the IB thing, it's not college level classes like AP, it's a well rounded pre-University curriculum that many students could already qualify for.

If the idea is to shut parents up, blame them, and not accept any suggestions, what kind of culture is that?



myohmy
another community
on Oct 29, 2009 at 1:14 pm
myohmy, another community
on Oct 29, 2009 at 1:14 pm
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Another parent,

I am familiar with IB as I have a child who is in the IB program at their high school. AP classes may or may not be college level courses based on teacher. The ultimate result is the test and how many students received a 4 or 5. One can go online and take an AP course or study a AP workbook and then take the test and get the credit.

It is not root of the Gunn problem.....back to issue...survival of the fittest plus status and its effect on the culture of Palo Alto schools and many communities like it. The parental wants and needs place an undue burden on the children and the school system. I think parents need to look in the mirror.




another parent
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2009 at 1:40 pm
another parent, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2009 at 1:40 pm
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[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Seen It
Barron Park
on Oct 29, 2009 at 3:03 pm
Seen It, Barron Park
on Oct 29, 2009 at 3:03 pm
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"Yet, he thinks he is dumb. His applications for AP classes have been rejected again, and again, and again."

The PAUSD system selects students who are ready to grub for points: extra credit, every homework assignment, etc. It punishes students who do not grub for points. I can only guess that your son is very, very smart and perhaps hard-working but not driven to grub for points. Perhaps he is driven by intrinsic motivation because he loves those subjects. If so, he will go much farther than the grubbers, the kids who are doing it just for points, though not with any help from PAUSD.


palo alto mom
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 29, 2009 at 3:30 pm
palo alto mom, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 29, 2009 at 3:30 pm
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I have an Gunn AP class question - if you have completed the described prerequisites (grades, classes, etc.) how do you get rejected from taking an AP class. Or was the student in question rejected because the did not complete the prerequisites? I've never heard of a qualified Paly student being rejected from taking an AP class.


Terminator
Gunn High School
on Oct 29, 2009 at 3:50 pm
Terminator, Gunn High School
on Oct 29, 2009 at 3:50 pm
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[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


OhlonePar
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 29, 2009 at 4:01 pm
OhlonePar, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 29, 2009 at 4:01 pm
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Gunn Parent,

What's ridiculous about looking at common factors? And, yes, it is worth looking at kids in Palo Alto and their backgrounds. It is definitely worth looking at the environment where these kids spend a large amount of time and have the majority of their peer-to-peer interactions.

What's ridiculous is to proclaim that this environment had no effect on any of these kids.

The pressure at these schools is not simple whether academic work is easy for a given student, but that the expectations are extremely and narrow. The competitiveness combined with size translates into a school where many kids clearly feel isolated. It is not, in essence, a forgiving environment. Severe academic pressure affects the social pressures at the school. They're not separate.

No, I don't have your inside knowledge. But I do know something about Gunn, know students, parents and faculty there and at the schools in this district. I also know something about depression and being a teenager.

It's not difficult to see that the environment at Gunn is, again, an unhealthy one for kids vulnerable to depression. My own suggestions have not been about reducing advanced classes, but in fostering a more supportive environment.

The suicides, alone, are a stress factor for the kids at Gunn. Again, it's not about blame, but stating what is pretty obvious.


Gunn Parent
Gunn High School
on Oct 29, 2009 at 5:02 pm
Gunn Parent, Gunn High School
on Oct 29, 2009 at 5:02 pm
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I don't know how Paly handle their AP registration, but Gunn has clear instruction printed on the School Catalog for all APs. Besides the specific pre-requirement for each AP, you need to be a junior or senior to take the class. There are only a limited spots available for each classes, so the priority goes to senior, then junior if the demand is higher than available seats.

In general, the teacher for that class has the final say on who can enroll, but they rarely do anything unless it's the underclassmen, or the class is overcrowd. It appears the teachers/school basically rely on the student themselves to make the right judgment on their qualification, or comfortable level.


Hurr
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 29, 2009 at 6:27 pm
Hurr, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 29, 2009 at 6:27 pm
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I am OhlonePar. I make sweeping generalizations.

San Francisco has lots of homeless people. San Franciscans often live in small houses. Therefore, living in small houses turns you homeless.


Unbelieable
Barron Park
on Oct 29, 2009 at 7:42 pm
Unbelieable, Barron Park
on Oct 29, 2009 at 7:42 pm
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This is exactly what the school district wanted to do, "get you disrupted from the real problem that Palo Alto students are experiencing" At the board meeting they were very happy to announce the merit students, and spoke a lot about scores, but nothing was mentioned about what are they doing about the suicides, which is the real problem. Ha, Ha, they got you! Now you are discussing the scores too, instead of pushing the district and city to stop young children from taking their lives.
Now District does not have to worry about the suicides because they are showing you that it was worth it if 3 students. After all the results are great, except for three students who took their lifes.


OhlonePar
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 29, 2009 at 8:07 pm
OhlonePar, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 29, 2009 at 8:07 pm
Like this comment

Hurr,

No. I'm not making a correlation equals causation error here. I've been very clear about that.

Again, everything described about Gunn makes it clear that it's not an emotionally healthy environment for students prone to depression.

I notice that no one really argues with that, in part, I think because people know surprisingly little about depression. I've been surprised, actually, given how common it is.

unbelieable,

It's pretty clear that a lot of people have a lot invested in not changing the status quo.


Jarred
Midtown
on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:06 pm
Jarred, Midtown
on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:06 pm
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I've seldom observed such a frothy mix of whiny victimhood and thinly-veiled braggadocio as in this thread. "My kid got 2400 on the SATs, won the Nobel prize, and cured cancer, but still has low self-esteem because of this hellish mixture of affluence and competence at our schools." Gag me.

Palo Alto kids are mirroring the angst and neuroses of their over-privileged parents.

This study is the junior edition of the "I may only have an average income for Palo Alto, but I make more than 95% of workers nationwide" mantra with which Palo Alto parents lull themselves to sleep at night.

News flash: there are places where people lack food and medicine, and there is no espresso whatsoever. Stop whining.


CP
Midtown
on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:35 pm
CP, Midtown
on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:35 pm
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Well said Jarred! I echo your sentiments!


A Noun Ea Mus
Professorville
on Oct 30, 2009 at 12:53 am
A Noun Ea Mus, Professorville
on Oct 30, 2009 at 12:53 am
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Don't know if this is relevant, but was a true conversation.

Years ago one of my son's middle school teachers was complaining to me that he didn't exert enough effort. While true the fervor and angst over what kids that age should strive for irritated me.

My response...

"I suppose if every month the lowest achieving student was taken out and shot then he would step up the pace. But we might be achieving that eventually as our suicide rates approach that of Japan. It just won't be the worst performing kids, but the second to the best."

My two cents worth on it.


Unhealthy
Gunn High School
on Oct 30, 2009 at 2:50 am
Unhealthy, Gunn High School
on Oct 30, 2009 at 2:50 am
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[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


parent
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2009 at 8:30 am
parent, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2009 at 8:30 am
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Unhealthy,

sadly, we experienced similar things as early as Elementary school. There is always an eager political correctness police, and people that can't accept dissent from their cause are the norm in our school system.

Some teachers are instigators, with one side of their mouth they are saying let's respect a different view point, and in reality they are actually propaganda machines themselves, they can't help themselves or they are in denial.


pamom
Barron Park
on Oct 30, 2009 at 9:03 am
pamom, Barron Park
on Oct 30, 2009 at 9:03 am
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Posted by Jarred, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, 10 hours ago

I've seldom observed such a frothy mix of whiny victimhood and thinly-veiled braggadocio as in this thread. "My kid got 2400 on the SATs, won the Nobel prize, and cured cancer, but still has low self-esteem because of this hellish mixture of affluence and competence at our schools." Gag me.

Jarred -- you miss the point -- The point is even the high achievers are very stressed out. This thread points to a number of problems with the Gunn culture. You are trying to shut the discussion down, but when we've got this cluster of suicides, it's time to look at what people think might be contributing factors -- right or wrong, that can be debated -- and what can be changed.


Lagunal
another community
on Oct 30, 2009 at 11:32 am
Lagunal, another community
on Oct 30, 2009 at 11:32 am
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The childhood suicide rate in Japan in the 1980s was also high. I was a teacher there for seven years and witnessed first-hand the pressures the young children faced.

Studies found a correlation between the high incidence of suicides to the amount of hours of playtime the children experienced before the middle school years. The children, who did not socialize and PLAY in a non-competitive environment with other children, had a higher rate of depression when they entered the middle school years. They were also more socially awkward and naive which lead to an even greater anti-social lifestyle. On top of those factors, the pressure to get into a top university in Japan in the 1980s was so culturally emphasized that many middle school kids, who just could not handle the academic pressures and who did not have the social-smarts to talk about their problems or find comfort in friendships, ultimately took their own lives as an answer to their problems.

Maybe the Palo Alto parents should start re-evaluating their children's social calendars and see which ones are attending parties and school dances, and which ones are involved in clubs and other non-academic clubs. If your child in sitting at home on a Friday and Saturday night studying and/or playing on the computer, you may want to encourage a more diversified lifestyle.

There will always be pressures in life. Teaching kids how to deal with those pressures is key. Better nutrition with live foods (enzymes decrease mental stress), exercise, fresh air, sunshine, church attendance, friendships, pets, hugs, starting the day with a smile, etc all play a positive role in improving a person's psyche and helping people cope with difficulties in life.


Gunn Parent
Gunn High School
on Oct 30, 2009 at 1:38 pm
Gunn Parent, Gunn High School
on Oct 30, 2009 at 1:38 pm
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Lagunal,

That might be true, but the pressure/competition in India, China, Taiwan are more intense than Japan and here, but you don't hear much about suicidal attempts there.

It's a combination of many things, but culture and society are the main cause behind all of these, not just pressure, though I don't deny pressure plays a part in it.


Gunn Parent
Gunn High School
on Oct 30, 2009 at 1:44 pm
Gunn Parent, Gunn High School
on Oct 30, 2009 at 1:44 pm
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[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Palo Altan
Palo Alto High School
on Oct 31, 2009 at 2:04 am
Palo Altan, Palo Alto High School
on Oct 31, 2009 at 2:04 am
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I don't think this article is inferring that we should "dumb down" the school system in order to alleviate teen stress. The kids of palo alto should be aware of the hyper-accelerated learning environment they are in so they don't feel overwhelmed by the pressure to achieve high GPAs.
The problem is that Colleges are not aware of how much of a difference it makes going to high school in Palo Alto. I am a Palo Alto High School Alumnus now in my second year of college. I was an "average" student at Paly with an average GPA. In college, my palo alto friends and I are the smartest people I know. I have met other students from other high schools who had extremely high GPAs in high school but are immensely struggling in college. I have found college to be very easy compared to high school. I actually believe that the majority of my graduating class could compete at any of the Ivy leagues because of how well they are prepared by Palo Alto school systems.


Speak Facts
Palo Alto High School
on Oct 31, 2009 at 11:21 am
Speak Facts, Palo Alto High School
on Oct 31, 2009 at 11:21 am
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Gunn Parent: Re your statement: "That might be true, but the pressure/competition in India, China, Taiwan are more intense than Japan and here, but you don't hear much about suicidal attempts there."

You think they heard about our 4 suicides in Palo Alto? Sure, suicides occur over there, they just don't personally email us each time they do. Imagine being a dumb person living there, where academics is all you're worth.

There is a culture clash here because the Asian immigrants are practicing their culture of academics-only and Americans are accustomed to a more balanced lifestyle. I am Chinese-American and prefer more balance because office politics is equally as important as job performance, as many of us have witnessed the popular employee with less qualifications promoted.


OhlonePar
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 31, 2009 at 12:59 pm
OhlonePar, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 31, 2009 at 12:59 pm
Like this comment

Gunn Parent,

You don't hear about it only because you're not paying attention.

Wikipedia on suicide, for example:

"Most suicides in the world occur in Asia, which is estimated to account for up to 60% of all suicides. According to the World Health Organization, China, India and Japan may account for 40% of all world suicides."

And here's an article reporting that the highest teen suicide rate in the world is among young women in southern India:

Web Link

China's teen suicide rate is triple the worldwide average

Web Link

And that's not even taking into account how damn hard it is to get accurate statistics in countries, such as China, where suicide is considered shameful or India where it's plain old difficult to gather accurate statistics.

More to the point, the class systems in China and India are still such that the bulk of the population is never even going to consider getting a higher education. The total percentage of adults with a college-level education in both countries is quite low--very different from here, where a college degree is seen as increasingly mandatory.

If you're privileged enough to be in the educated classes in China or India, you're rich enough and connected enough to get an education.

By the way, the rate of depression among young Asian-American women is particularly high and so is the suicide rate--second only to Native Americans who face some major stressors, such as poverty and alcoholism:

Web Link

Okay, so let's not go the way of Asian schools when it comes to pressure. Thanks.


Racists
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 31, 2009 at 2:16 pm
Racists, Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 31, 2009 at 2:16 pm
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[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


pamom
Barron Park
on Oct 31, 2009 at 3:22 pm
pamom, Barron Park
on Oct 31, 2009 at 3:22 pm
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Palo Altan (former student) your comments are spot on. What I think is a problem at our high schools is that some teachers seem to think only a certain number of students can get an A and that number can be very low. Pop quizzes that are ridiculously difficult help to achieve this reduced number. This kind of stress on our high achievers is wrong. This is not about inflating grades. On the contrary, it is about what our students would make as comparable grades in other high schools. It is very stressful to be in an environment where the teachers keep down the number who can achieve A's no matter what.


macaroni
Gunn High School
on Oct 31, 2009 at 3:46 pm
macaroni, Gunn High School
on Oct 31, 2009 at 3:46 pm
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Dear everyone,
First i would just like to point out how there are very few balanced, well researched, and eloquent responses to this article.
Next, i would like to point out how some of you parents have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what it is like to be a gunn student. I take 5 ap's this year, and i have read very few commments that actually describe what it is like to be in an AP class.
Also, the SAT now is much different than what it used to be, so you parents who think you know what ur talking about think again. And if you do know what the SAT is all about, i would ask why? Let ur kid do the studying...

I am happy my school is so highly ranked. But i would like to point out that there is nothing in our school besides the culture that pushes people to achieve so highly in the SAT. In addition, the score you get on the SAT is NOT, I repeat NOT very closely correlated to your intelligence. Studying and prep courses are much more influential than base knowledge. Personally I got 2000. Yes, because of the culture I was a bit upset. But I also have a 3.95 unweighted GPA, which i think is much more related to how intelligent I am.

To the first parent "WY" you are so off you have no idea. YOU pushed your child to try so hard. Obviously the studying payed of. But I would like to ask if he got 800 on the Math SAT II, shouldn't it be easy for him to get an A in AB Calc? and what in the world is wrong with a B?

In any case, the thing that is the most stressful isnt the classes its the culture. And a large portion of that comes from parents. Kudos to people who posted those statistics.

If any of you who are interested in what students actually feel, check out this website.

hmggmh.wordpress.com


macaroni
Gunn High School
on Oct 31, 2009 at 4:14 pm
macaroni, Gunn High School
on Oct 31, 2009 at 4:14 pm
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One thing i forgot.

If you would like to feel the way a gunn student feels when outsiders try to figure out whats going on, watch the Dead Poets Society. Particularly then end. Sometimes parents think they know what they are doing, and then they don't


Gunn Parent
Gunn High School
on Oct 31, 2009 at 9:17 pm
Gunn Parent, Gunn High School
on Oct 31, 2009 at 9:17 pm
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Speak Facts,

I sense some "sour grape" in your tone that your co-works with "less qualifications" were promoted. :-)


OhlonePar.

I wanted to continue the debate with you until I read this comment from you. A friendly advice to you, don't tell people that you know India or China at all, otherwise you will make a foul of yourself!

"If you're privileged enough to be in the educated classes in China or India, you're rich enough and connected enough to get an education". -- OhlonePar


Gunn Parent
Gunn High School
on Oct 31, 2009 at 9:29 pm
Gunn Parent, Gunn High School
on Oct 31, 2009 at 9:29 pm
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"The problem is that Colleges are not aware of how much of a difference it makes going to high school in Palo Alto." -- Palo Altan


Palo Altan,

Actually, colleges do know the difference in each school, just like the employers know who are the good colleges. While I was at Sun, a former director of college admission from Stanford came in to give a speech, he mentioned many admission related "secrets", include "each high school has a parameter attached to it", that parameter is the total strength of the school.

A friend of mine whose uncle is an assistant director at one of the Ivy school, he mentioned the same thing before.

Just think about this, almost every high school has more than 10% population get 3.9+ GPA, most of those cannot even send ONE student to Ivy schools, while Gunn does send a few. So your Gunn status does make a difference, and the colleges know that.


Speak Facts
Palo Alto High School
on Oct 31, 2009 at 10:27 pm
Speak Facts, Palo Alto High School
on Oct 31, 2009 at 10:27 pm
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[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


OhlonePar
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 1, 2009 at 12:35 am
OhlonePar, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 1, 2009 at 12:35 am
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Gunn Parent,

Given your ignorance about the high suicide rates in India and China, I don't think you're really in the position to huff and puff about anyone else's lack of knowledge about either country.

The schools don't send kids to the Ivy League--we don't have feeder schools the way they do in some countries. If you're the star student from a crappy high school with the grades, scores and the right classes, you're in a better position to pick and choose among colleges than just one of many at a larger high school. The schools want geographical diversity. Which is why it can be easier to get into Harvard than Stanford if you're in the Bay Area, but not if you're in Massachuesetts.

macaroni,

Thank you for the blog link. It feels like students are trying hard to connect and that there are teachers reaching out--but there's a big gap between students and parents--in the forum it comes across as a sort of talking at cross-purposes. In the blog, there's just no sense that parents would be a source of solace.


Perspective
Midtown
on Nov 1, 2009 at 8:08 am
Perspective, Midtown
on Nov 1, 2009 at 8:08 am
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Many people like to speculate on everything about a poster, from race to gender, age, education and income. It has happened to me and I get a huge kick out of it always being so completely wrong.

Maybe as more and more of our nation wakes up and realizes how destructive this kind of ad hominum categorization of others is we will move into the truly great ability to focus on issues and facts without vetting the "intent" of the one who brings the message based on race, gender, age, or "status"...?? Something about finally realizing MLKs dream of judging based on content, not color.

Back to the issue.

Which is..what?


Gunn Parent
Gunn High School
on Nov 1, 2009 at 10:38 am
Gunn Parent, Gunn High School
on Nov 1, 2009 at 10:38 am
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OhlonePar,

I told a few of my Chinese & India co-works about your comments, there are quite a few, and everyone of them advised me to ignore you, given your ignorance of either China or India education.


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