Jan. 31st, 2010

Today, while doing some work, I had to look up Regents scores for a number of high schools throughout this city. Included on this list were all four of the best public high schools in New York City (Stuyvesant HS, Bronx Science HS, Brooklyn Technical HS, and Townsend Harris). Now, in NYC, students get a surprising degree of latitude in selecting their own high school. However, before that application process begins, nearly every 8th grader takes the SAT-style that determines admittance to the specialized HSs. There are only three of these, and the results of the test are strictly bell curved - the top 800 scorers in the entire NYC are admitted to the best of these three schools (Stuyvesant), the next 800 are admitted to Bronx Science, and then the next highest 1000 or so are admitted to Brooklyn Tech. Every other kid then goes about the application process. To the best of my knowledge, the only other high school with a test is LaGuardia, which is actually got an audition process. As a result, these three schools take the best kids, and leave the rest to other schools - but the administrators at these other schools still, in many instances, get to pick their kids, and the result is the existence of Townsend Harris, which isn't part of the test, but only admits the best of the best.

I'm a Stuyvesant graduate. I was above the bell curve by 4 points. A friend of mine in HS, Evan, went to Townsend Harris his freshman year and then transferred, and he told horror stories of how much he hated it there and how awful it was, and how Stuy was easier, and ever since then, I've wondered: Could Townsend Harris possibly be a better (more difficult, with superior students) school than Stuy?? Thus, today, as I sat with the report cards doing my job, I realized that I couldn't pass up this opportunity to, all these years later, figure out if I could vindicate my high school alma mater.

The Quick-and-Simple Research Model )

This pointless waste of time has been brought to you by, well, me, bored, tired and hungry, waiting for the boy to wake up so I can make pancakes. :)

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