Palo Alto Online : High school life: To whom it may concern

Palo Alto Online : High school life: To whom it may concern

Some ideas from a veteran teacher at Gunn High School, Palo Alto:

■ Start the school day later on Thursday so that kids can catch an extra hour of sleep;

■ Have the Adolescent Counseling staff visit classrooms to say “hi”;

■ Restrict the use of cell phones and other devices on campus during school hours;

■ Host a once-a-month, school-wide evening potluck so parents, teachers, students, administrators and counselors can mingle and hobnob;

■ Emphasize to new teachers, and enshrine in our culture, the immense worth of moment-to-moment affirmation of students (as expressed in Project Cornerstone’s “40 Ways Teachers Can Show Students That They Care”);

■ Unplug the round-the-clock, online feature that enables teachers to post, and students and parents to track, grades on tests, quizzes, homework and papers on a 24/7 basis;

■ Change summer-school curricula back from two semesters to only one (students’ GPAs and AP course loads — and most importantly, the kids themselves — will survive);

■ Require parents of a student registering for more than two AP classes to sign a form acknowledging that this course load may result in detrimental losses of sleep, time with friends and time with teachers and may lower their child’s resiliency, increase his or her anxiety and affect mental health;

■ Scuttle the “Titan Profiles” from morning televised announcements. These portraits of achievement are sometimes agreed to in order to please an adult but can also discourage our kids most affected by depression;

■ Move the counselors’ presentation on how to approach college applications from junior year back to senior year;

■ Add a technology that monitors students’ total nightly homework (with a function that gives teachers feedback on how long their assignments are actually taking) to the technology that tracks attendance and grades;

■ Institute policies that require special attention to homework loads in the immediate wake of any campus trauma (and require deferment of disturbing learning materials such as films or books that deal with genocide, war or torture);

■ Survey students to rate all teachers and coaches and administrators on how approachable they are (with the results communicated to the educators only upon request, in complete confidentiality, and with follow-up support and guidance or coaching made available);

■ Fairly and consistently enforce, and clearly communicate, rules against academic dishonesty so that our kids’ anxieties about whether the academic playing-field is level are allayed;

■ Keep teachers’ full-time loads at five classes rather than, as was proposed this past year, adding a sixth, once-a-week class period in which faculty are expected to bond with 20 more students and facilitate group discussions of personal issues;

■ Commit to the smallest reasonable class sizes so that teachers’ energies are husbanded and every student has a maximum chance to be heard, recognized and valued.

The Problem with Financial Aid – “need blind” or “need sensitive”

The Problem with Financial Aid by Daniel Luzer | Washington Monthly

But a college can’t keep offering more and more generous financial aid if the institution lacks the cash to keep up with its own higher pricing. And that’s the problem many of them have; their investments simply aren’t paying out the way they used to.

So many colleges are compromising. They used to be need blind and promise to meet need. But now Colorado College is “need sensitive,” which means the school considers if the student can pay when making its admissions decision. At Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University the school tells students who can’t afford the university not to come, or to come later.

The State in Arizona State – Privatize Part of a Public University

The State in Arizona State by Daniel Luzer | Washington Monthly

ASU is not the first public college to try this little dance. The law school at the University of Michigan and the law and business schools at the University of Virginia now receive no money from the state. In September UCLA proposed privatizing its business school.

Junior Achievement Social Innovation Camp

Juniors and seniors across Northern California are invited to participate in the JA Social Innovation Camp, presented by Hewlett-Packard and Junior Achievement on November 16, 2010. During this one-day, intensive experience a diverse group of 60 students from around Northern California will be brought together at HP Labs in Palo Alto and challenged to find entrepreneurial and innovative business solutions to hypothetical social issues.

Visit our website at to learn about the event and register.


California Bay Area – Selected High Schools & School Districts




Accountability Progress Report

01 Alameda URL APR
07 Contra Costa URL APR
38 San Francisco URL APR
41 San Mateo URL APR
43 Santa Clara URL APR


School District


Accountability Progress Report

Cty #

D01 Dublin Unified URL APR 01
F01 Fremont Unified URL APR 01
L01 Livermore Valley Joint Unified URL APR 01
P01 Piedmont City Unified URL APR 01
P02 Pleasanton Unified URL APR 01
A01 Acalanes Union High URL APR 07
M01 Mt. Diablo Unified URL APR 07
S01 San Ramon Valley Unified URL APR 07
S02 San Francisco Unified URL APR 38
F02 Fremont Union High URL APR 43
G01 Gilroy Unified URL APR 43
L02 Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union URL APR 43
M02 Milpitas Unified URL APR 43
M03 Mountain View-Lost Altos Union URL APR 43
P03 Palo Alto Unified URL APR 43


High School



SD #

California High School
880 S01
Dougherty Valley High School
Academic & Career Center
905 S01
Monte Vista High School
Counseling and Career Center
897 S01
San Ramon Valley High School
Counseling & Guidance
Career Center
885 S01
Amador Valley High School
877 P02
Foothill High School
Career Center
889 P02
Dublin High School
Career Center
842 D01
Irvington High School
College/Career Center
830 F01
Mission San Jose High School
Career Center
948 F01
Granada High School
Academic Counseling Center
Career Center
830 L01
Piedmont High School
College Center
904 P01
Acalanes High School
Counseling & College/Career
902 A01
Campolindo High School
Counseling & College/Career
919 A01
Las Lomas High School
Counseling & Career Center
858 A01
Miramonte High School
Counseling & College/Career
Counseling Office
927 A01
Northgate High School
College & Career Center
855 M01
Lowell High School
949 S02
Cupertino High School
Guidance & Counseling
College & Career Center
879 F02
Homestead High School
Guidance & Counseling
College & Career Center
853 F02
Lynbrook High School
Guidance & Counseling
College & Career Center
926 F02
Monta Vista High School
Guidance & Counseling
College & Career Center
935 F02
Los Gatos High School
College/Career Center
874 L02
Saratoga High School
College & Career Center
933 L02
Milpitas High School
784 M02
Los Altos High School
College/Career Center
825 M03
Mountain View High School
College and Career Center
865 M03
Henry M. Gunn High School
College & Career Center
915 P03
Palo Alto High School
College and Career Center
899 P03
Gretchen Whitney High School
College Center
988 (#1 in CA)

Note: All APRs are linked to 2008-09 Accountability Progress Reporting available on CA Department Education API website.

How many people get perfect 2400 in SAT test?

According to this article, “Over 100 Score Perfect 2400 in New SAT”:

  • as the 300,000 students who took the first sitting of the new test March 12, 2005 began receiving scores, the College Board reported that 107 scored a perfect 800 on each of the three sections – writing, critical reading and math. [That is 1 out of 2803, 0.000356%]
  • Of the 1.4 million 2004 high school graduates who took the old SAT, 939 scored a then-perfect 1600 [That is 1 out of  1490, 0.00067%]

According to this article, “Michigan Teen Gets Perfect Scores On SAT, PSAT, ACT Tests” (April 27, 2009):

  • The College Board has reported that roughly 1 in every 5,000 students taking the SAT gets a perfect score.
  • The ods for the PSAT are 1 in every 1,000
  • The ods for the ACT are 1 in every 14,000
  • 17-year old Willa Chen, a senior at Canton High School in Canton, Michigan, has made history by getting a perfect score on all 3 of her exams (PSAT, SAT, and ACT).

According to this article, “Willa Chen is one in a million. And then some” (April 27, 2009):

  • She was accepted to the University of Michigan and Massachusetts Institute of Technology but will attend Princeton in the fall. She fell in love with Princeton’s campus on her first visit and always considered the university her first choice. She plans on studying applied math or computers, but she’s keeping her options open.

According to this article, “Willa Chen scores perfect on her ACT, SAT and PSAT”:

  • The College Board reports approximately one student in 5,000 taking the SAT gets a perfect score of 2,400, while the odds are a little better, one in 1,000, on the PSAT, The Detroit News reported.
  • The other major college entrance test, the ACT, which comes from a contending organization, states the odds of a perfect finish are one in 14,000.

According to this article, “Willa Chen scores perfect on her ACT, SAT and PSAT“, she also participated in the Math Olympiad and loves jazz, tap and ballet dancing.

To see a photo of Willa Chen from 2009, read this article “2009 Michigan Junior Miss winner – first runner-up Willa Chen of Plymouth Canton

Willa Chen’s LinkedIn Profile (with photo) shows she is currently working for Google.

She also has a page on Quora,a website and a Facebook page – Willa’s World Cartons.

According to this article, “How many people have gotten a perfect score on the SAT”:

  • Of the 1.5 million students who took the SAT in 2008, only 294 students earned a perfect score.

According to this article, “Four area students score 2400 on SAT — perfect” (September 5, 2009):

  • Profile for: Tom Hui is a self-described video game lover. Michelle Liu calls herself a nerd. Marissa Pan simply likes books, and Tanya Nguyen prefers balance in her life.
  • What do they have in common? All scored 2400 on the SAT, putting them in the elite company of 297 nationwide and 10 in Georgia earning perfect scores last year (2008).

According to this article, “Perfect score on the SAT?” (link to PDF file):

  • 294 college bound seniors out of a total of 1,518,176 who took the test in the year 2008 got 2400
  • 5683 college bound seniors out of a total of 1,518,176 who took the test in the year 2008 got 2300 or more
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Education Funding

Is CA ranked 47th or 25th?

10 Facts About K-12 Education Funding

Interactive Map: Title I Education Grants

Comparing California (June 2008)

Analysis of the 2008-09 Budget Bill: Education – Per-Pupil Funding

Getting the Facts Straight on Per Pupil Spending in California (Posted on April 03, 2008)

The Census Bureau report strongly refutes the oft-cited “fact” that California is near the bottom in per-pupil school spending. The national average was $9,138 in 2005-06. California was at $8,486, with New York the highest at $14,884 and Utah the lowest at $5,437 – one of 22 states, in fact, that fell below California’s level.

In terms of school revenues, California was 25th among the states at $10,264 per pupil, just under the national average. It was above average in per-pupil income from federal and state sources and about $1,700 per pupil below average in local revenues, thanks to Proposition 13, the 1978 property tax limit measure.

Per-pupil spending rankings all relative

Why are the rankings so different?

Education Week adjusts per-pupil spending to reflect regional variations in cost of living, particularly teacher salaries, and the National Education Association does not.

Both start with similar spending in California during fiscal 2004-05. Education Week uses federal data, $7,905 per pupil; the NEA uses its own data, $7,942 per pupil.

Then Education Week applies a 1990 federal “geographic cost of education index” that drops California from 30th to 46th at $7,081 per pupil, well below the national average of $8,973 per pupil.

Spending more than $12,000 per pupil in Education Week‘s ranking are New York, New Jersey, Vermont and the District of Columbia. Below California are Idaho, Arizona and, at the bottom, Utah at $5,463 per pupil.

Per-pupil spending in public schools (2001-2002)

National Per Student Public School Spending Nears $9,000 (US Census – May 24, 2007)

The nation’s public school districts spent an average of $8,701 per student on elementary and secondary education in fiscal year 2005, up 5 percent from $8,287 the previous year, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today.

New York spent $14,119 per student — the highest amount among states and state equivalents. Just behind was neighboring New Jersey at $13,800, the District of Columbia at $12,979, Vermont ($11,835) and Connecticut ($11,572). Seven of the top 10 with the highest per pupil expenditures were in the Northeast.

Utah spent the least per student ($5,257), followed by Arizona ($6,261), Idaho ($6,283), Mississippi ($6,575) and Oklahoma ($6,613). All 10 of the states with the lowest spending per student were in the West or South.

Education spending, per pupil, apples to apples

More spending doesn’t equal more learning

Los Gatos Education Foundation – Finance A-B-C’s

Q&A: Why disparities exist in some California school districts
Analysis compares districts’ spending, academic performance

Spending far from equal among state’s school districts, analysis finds

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