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Best Fairfax County High Schools – Ultimate Ranking (2011-2012)

Finding The Best Schools among Fairfax County High Schools is tough. Should you use SAT scores? Or SOLs? How about using The Ultimate Ranking?

Choosing The Best Schools is a very personal thing – like choosing a running shoe

Do you like your running shoes cushioned, or minimalistic?  Or do you choose by them by color? Most people, before they choose their running shoes, they research ratings to help them get a more objective point of view on which the best ones might be.

Choosing a school is like choosing a running shoe

Choosing among Fairfax County High Schools is a matter of personal preference (like choosing shoes)

Like when choosing a shoe, choosing the best school requires research

Are you partial to large schools with lots of resources, or are you more comfortable with small, community-fostering schools?   Or perhaps there is a sport program that is of the utmost importance to your selection. Or a foreign language.

Regardless of personal preference, most people research to find the best schools first and then narrow down their choice based on their special program requirements.

And what they mean by best schools is, generally, using some kind of rating or score to compare the schools using an objective measure.

Choosing the best school using scores can be helpful… sometimes

Choosing one score to use to find “the best school” can be tricky, especially when comparing Fairfax County high schools.  Should you use the average SAT scores by school?  Or perhaps the Standards of Learning (SOLs)?  Or, maybe The Washington Post’s Challenge Index®?

In the past several weeks, we have published Fairfax County high schools rankings using these scoring methods.

And the feedback has been quite positive – except that, when faced with more than one ranking, it’s difficult again to compare them all and come up with the simple answer to:  “What are theBest Fairfax County High Schools?” Continue Reading…

Fairfax County High School Rankings: IB vs AP

When choosing a high school, either for a current high-schooler or for the future, there are several considerations.  One consideration which is in almost every parent’s mind is: How good is the school?

And, well, “good” is quite a subjective measure

But when they say “good”, most parents are referring to how much their children will be challenged to reach their highest potential.

Children love to be challenged (IB vs AP)

Children love to be challenged

One way to ensure that children have the opportunity to be challenged is by attending a high school offering a high-level program of courses.  Two of those programs are the Advanced Placement program (AP), and the International Baccalaureate (IB).  Continue Reading…

Fairfax County High School Rankings – by 2011 SAT scores

SAT scores are one measure to get Fairfax County High School Rankings

SAT scores are one measure to get Fairfax County High School Rankings

Most of us, at one point in time, have set a goal to lose some weight.   And the goal is not so much to lose “some” weight, but usually, the goal is a measurable goal. It’s usually: “to fit in my skinny jeans”, or better yet, “to lose 21.5 lbs. by Thanksgiving”.

Setting measurable goals is very important if one is determined to succeed

Setting measurable goals (and measuring them periodically) allows us to see our progress and to figure out how much do we still have to work to achieve our goal.

One of the ways high school students measure their progress toward being ready for college is their SAT score

SAT tests are standardized tests, and are administered by The College Board. The purpose of the SATs is to measure a student’s proficiency and readiness for college.  Most colleges require prospective students to provide their SAT score as part of their admissions package.

Average SAT scores can be used to compare high schools

At the high school level, the average SAT score for the school is one way to compare how well one high school prepares their students for college.  When we review the Average SAT scores by high school, it gives us a parameter to help us compare high schools.

Below is a table ranking all of the Fairfax County High Schools by their average 2011 SAT test results.   It’s important to note that, this year, there were 9 schools (out of 26) that improved their scores from last year’s (2010) average, and their improvement is noted in the last column. Continue Reading…

Fairfax County Public Schools ranking vs nearby districts

How does Fairfax County Schools compare to other districts?

How does Fairfax County Schools compare to other districts?

Kids love to compare. From when we are little, we learn to make decisions by comparing attributes.  Who runs faster?, Who is older?, Who is taller?

When we grow older, we still love to compare. Which way is faster? Which grocery store is cheaper? Which school district is better?

In this post, we analyze three points of data to help you compare one school district to another.


Continue Reading…

The Top 10 FAQs for Moving to Fairfax VA

The DC area reminds me of a revolving door. People from all parts of the US (and the world) are often moving to Fairfax VA (a suburb of Washington, DC) due to their job assignments.

The DC area revolving glass door

People are often moving to Fairfax VA due to job relocations and military orders

With military and government personnel plus a fair bit of private-sector employees always on the move, we’ve had plenty of opportunities for answering their relocation questions.

Here are three of the Top 10 FAQs (frequently asked questions) for Moving to Fairfax VA: Continue Reading…

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