Public high school versus "great" public high school


teachjpg-e6c7ffd82066d271The year or two after I graduated from high school, George W. Bush implement the “no child left behind” policy. That was when I found out, I went to a school that rank 1/10 .

Going to a low rank high school, doesn’t make me a bad person. Most of what shapes me is from home. I turn out just fine. Generally, at home we have our rules, then when I go out to the world, I apply the same rules. The point is you can’t leave everything to the educator, you have to do your part as parents.

I support all parents’ decisions on where to place their kids. After all, there isn’t a right way or perfect way to raise a child. They will act and think differently than what you’d expect out of them. However, there is some of the perks going to a “bad” school:
I got to play varsity on everything if I choose to play anything. Most kids in poor area didn’t have the money or didn’t like to get involve. So if I get involved on freshman year, by sophomore year, I was varsity. I played varsity golf.

I took many college courses while I was still in high school. I graduated top of my class. It would be a lot harder to achieve when I go to a “good” school. This opened door to tons of scholarship. I had 4 full tuition packages at my fingertip. I picked a private college nearby, graduated with a doctoral degree within six years. I don’t think I could achieve this had I chose a public college.

People were less pretentious. Of course there were some peer pressure of what to wear. But these HS kids were still poor, vs in rich area, it will be super hard being frugal. I spent $0 on prom, just borrowed a dress from my cousins.

Teachers were much younger, so they had a lot of motivations. Well, they were fresh out of college, can’t get into a good school, so they were stuck with a “bad” school. They saw a dedicated kid like myself, recommendation letters from them were top notch.

Around here, the top notch high school are in the county, some of those are “drugged” school, having too much money can be a problem. They have SAT as a class, how fair is that? Anyhow, their kids would have higher SAT score. Early advantage give them an edge or a sense of entitlement? I don’t know.

Again, there are perks going to a low rank high school, but ultimately, it’s the parent decision on how to raise their child.

update on soccer: I took 40 people to a professional game. The kids had a blast playing a real soccer field. The grass was so smooth. They treated us with pizza, cupcakes and drinks. Parents and children are now asking to come back. I guess, I’m pretty good at public relation. I made the right connection at the right time. While my team get to go down the field kicking the ball, other kids has to sit there and watch us scoring goals. Ehhehehe


  1. Well said. My high school is rated a 7/10, which wasn’t what I expecting (elementary is a 2/10, Middle a 6). I grew up in a small, farming town and few go to college after graduation. There was a mix of groups, but the mentality in general wasn’t open. I remember lobbying for more class choices in high school since we had a limited choice unless we wanted an agricultural class. Still, we had an active theater group, orchestra, sports, band etc. which is more than what other schools had (come to find out). There is no one size fits all in education, which is why its important for parents to take advantage of what kids their child best and understand it isn’t going to be the same for all.

    • Since my high school wasn’t up to par (not enough AP courses), I opted to take college courses at a discounted rate :P. If “there is a will there is a way”.

      My high school guidance counselor told me I can’t do 2 math classes, I can’t do chemistry and biology at the same time, how dumb is that? I ignored her and take the extra class at the community college nearby.

      • That’s silly that she said that. My college offered very few AP courses, but I did take 1. Since graduating, my high school has offered the option of taking community college classes and online college courses to meet student needs that can’t meet course wise (i.e. German, advanced math).

  2. Great read. Far too often, parents blame the school for their kids behaviors. When I was in school, my mother always told the teacher, after you beat him, let me know, I have another one for him. Schools could give out punishment back in those days.

    I hate to see the USA in 50 years. There will be no one to work for NASA, only a few will be smart or dedicated enough…

  3. Wonderful words of wisdom. Super thanks!

    Good school district but pricey houses OR average school district but slightly affordable homes has been something I am struggling with for the past year now. I have come to the following understanding about my dilemma.

    + An average school has a higher risk quotient than a good school. What do I mean by that? An average school is like a small cap stock….the upside and downsides can take big swings around the median. A good school is like a large cap stock…the upside and the downside will take only small swings around the median. The risks can be academic, social, environment, facilities, etc etc etc. If by nature one is conservative (prefers large cap stocks), then one would prefer good schools…just as a risk reduction method. But, there is always a gem hidden somewhere where a small cap stock become a wonderful large cap stock…I am searching now to see if there is such a school.

    + As a parent, I have found that I want my kid to go to a better school than the one I went to. I would say that I went to an average and probably a below average school and I want to do better for my kid.

    Let see how I can come to peace with my dilemma. Thanks for the post!

    • When the kid is 3 or 4 years old ready to have their own room. It’s not the kid’s problem to adapt, it’s the parents who couldn’t let go. We always feel guilty that we could have done this, could have done that. But in the end, children possess the great ability to adapt, we are there to give them guidance when necessary.

      I have a co-worker, she has the money saved up for her son’s college education, but she didn’t tell him that. She will use the money to pay it off after he’s graduated. 🙂 Talking about tough love 🙂

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