Where Do South Lakes and Herndon Rank?

Washington Post publishes its annual challenge index.

How do Reston-area high schools measure up?

Herndon High is No. 22 and South Lakes is No. 32 in this year's Challenge Index, the annual list of area local schools organized by education resporter Jay Mathews of The Washington Post.

 Since 1998,  Mathews has ranked Washington-area public high schools using the Challenge Index, his measure of how effectively a school prepares its students for college.  

The formula: Divide the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or other college-level tests a school gave in 2010 by the number of graduating seniors. The index is not a measure of the overall quality of the school, but the rating can reveal the level of preparing average students for college.

To see the entire list, click here.

Nicole May 30, 2011 at 04:39 PM
You know parents...the Ivy League looks highly at IB. AP? have you taken OUR IB tests? it takes more sophistication and effort for an IB test. and the reason why many kids do not receive the IB diploma is because they don't give a a crap for the IB exams. so, don't complain about the SCHOOL, you should complain about the lack of motivation your kids have. I'm a senior at SL, I've done ALL my work throughout high school, I'm a full on IB diploma student. ANYONE can be an IB student. Students have the choice to be one or not. So, if your kid chooses to be one, good for them. It's going to help YOUR kids in the end because of all the writing we've done throughout school. Don't sit here on your butts and complain. Because of IB, I KNOW college will be a breeze for me. I'll no longer have to pull all nighters in my life writing a paper because I'll know how to write a good paper. AP can't teach you that. AP can only teach you how to choose the "best" answer out of the choices they give you. If you don't want your kids exposed to the wonderful program known as IB, then please leave SL :D
James May 30, 2011 at 06:11 PM
John, While I am sorry to hear that your children were "forced" to take IB courses against your instructions, but from my and what seems to be many commenting perspective, this simply is not the case for most students. As for who I am, I am a South Lakes alumni that graduated in 2010 like your child. Nobody at South Lakes are forced to take IB courses. If you a referring to the college level courses, such as calculus (known as IB Math in SLHS), and that IB is the only option for these higher level courses, this is because the school itself is an IB school. I could say the same about AP schools, they are limiting my higher level courses to only AP. If this is the case I would say going to another nearby high school would be the best option, since in the FCPS system the only higher level courses offered are strictly AP or IB. You also mentioned that your children could not switch out of IB courses they are taking till after 1st quarter. This is the school's policy on switching out of any class, not just IB courses. I believe this policy is in place in order to make registration for classes go more smoothly. The policy is also in place to keep students from switching out during the first week or so, when they have barely experience what the class will be like for the year. Please keep in mind this policy is in place once classes have started and anytime before they are free to switch. (My comment is rather long and will continue in the next post).
James May 30, 2011 at 06:27 PM
I personally had a similair issue and got it worked out over the summer through email with a counselor. Also John, please back up your statistics you are using in your comments with concrete sources and evidence. I am not saying your stating incorrect facts, but I would like to see where these numbers are originating from. Do not ask me to go and ask conselors and to look for the sources myself, since the burden of evidence is on you. (You are making these claims, I am not). Such as "less than 20% of Reston kids go to Herndon," and your other claims that, "For 96% of South Lakes kids, IB doesn't work." And please dont make this personal with comments such as, "My youngest was miserable, especially after his friend, Josh Anderson, died." That was simply uncalled for and disrespectful to Josh since his death is in no way relevant to why SLHS is responsible for the "miserable" experience your child had. (An experience many students would not agree with, including myself and much of the class of 2010 I was close friends with.) As for the IB vs AP debate, it is simply an opinion as to which curriculum is better for students. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. From my personal experience, IB has much better prepared me for college than the AP curriculum would have for me. (And that college is NYU if you are curious). Not once did I have to pull an all-nighter to get a paper or report done for any of my college courses this year, and had a successful first year.
Nicole May 30, 2011 at 06:44 PM
Also, Reston has 3 different zip codes...20194, 20190, 20191. 20194 go to Herndon 20190 and 20191 go to South Lakes and RIP Josh Anderson
Gabriella May 30, 2011 at 09:45 PM
Guys. Almost the entire class of 2010 went to good Virginia Universities. There were also a handful of students who got accepted into ivy league schools. Why? Because these kids took IB courses, or went for the full diploma. Please get your facts together because an emotional argument does not always win.


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