- Is there a significant difference between PA high schools and schools in other affluent districts, such as Menlo-Atherton or Los Altos High? It seems like these districts also have affluent, educated parents, and motivated and advantaged kids. Yet these high schools didn't make the rankings (which I realize only measures one dimension of performance - specifically, AP tests).
- Is the environment at Paly and Gunn more competitive/high pressures than other schools in the area?
I have heard great things about Paly and Gunn, and I have wondered, is it hype? After all, there are many educated, involved, and wealthy parents in other school districts, shouldn't these schools be good as well? I realize "good schools" is a subjective opinion, I am curious whether there are significant differences in student attitude, culture, teachers, etc.. between PA and other areas. (I live in the Los Altos district now although my kids are young and quite far from high school and the college admissions rat race...)