This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
High Tech High Media Arts School1
Posted November 06, 2013
- a parent
I agree with all the negative parent & student comments. Fortunately for my daughter I recognized these flaws about the school within the first months of school and started looking into the school's accountability act, and meeting with principal and teachers about the curriculum, or lack thereof, but getting nowhere. Staff is all well prepared to avoid answering direct questions, which basically cleared up any doubts I might've had about the school and made my decision easy. Unfortunately, I had to leave my daughter through a full year of HTM (8th grade) where she earned As and Bs -based on the school's standards , which are basically nonexistent. My daughter's freshman year of high school was tough, and even though she missed her HT friends she was glad she was back to a 'real school' where she was being tested and pushed to do better. She is now a 10th grader and is in full swing of high school and preparing for college, because contrary to what HT claims public schools do prepare kids for college. Sorry to all the parents who are seeing their kids' college careers be a struggle to them. I knew more of us would start speaking up and unveil the truth behind this school.
College is hard, and anyone who is not responsible enough to care about their own future will not succeed! Sure, there are a few students who are used to having parents or guardians telling them what to do at all times. And when they fail, they must blame someone else. I graduated within 4 years of a 4-year university, and I was not a straight A student. I must admit that, I took remedial classes in college myself but I went to summer school and made up for those credits. The exhibitions, POLs, internships, and projects that are though at HTHMA really help students to get an idea of college, and to be prepared for it. You don't get any of this at a regular public school! When sitting in a 200 student class, I would participate and ask questions. This is because when I graduated HTHMA I was confident enough to know that I had the right tools to navigate in the 'real world'. Some of the classmates that graduated with me, didn't even attempt to stay a full semester because they needed a 'break'. Who is to blame HTHMA? Every student is responsible for their own decisions! The school is diverse, just like college, just like the world. - HTHMA Alumni
This school is not successful in keeping teachers around and keeping students in college. The administration brags about all students getting into college, but this is only true because they make their students fill out community college applications (community colleges accept all students). Students who do go to college often drop out within the first semester or flounder through community college for several years before giving up. I recently saw my son's friend working at Home Depot (they both went to High Tech High Media Arts). When I asked what happened to her schooling, she said she felt overwhelmed and needed a break. When I asked when she would return, she said she was not sure she would. My son is struggling in college as well and, like other parents have mentioned on this cite, he has been put into remedial courses at his college. I did not know that the success rate for students going to college and succeeding was so low. I am very disappointed. My son was an A and B student and did "well" at this school. Hopefully, through tutoring and help from professors he will be successful. Holding my breath..... Disappointed Dad.
If I had it to do over again, I would not send my kids to this school. I was disappointed in so many ways. The environment was chaotic & noisy, teachers had little or no experience who pounded extreme liberal views into young minds. It's nice to get good grades, which they did, but both left ill prepared for college. If you are looking for solid education with college prep, go elsewhere. There are plenty of great schools that actually teach high school curriculum- you won't find it here.
I'm a senior at my university and hoping to pursue a PhD after. HTHMA made me who I am now and without the help of the phenomenal counselors, I wouldn't have gotten a full-ride scholarship. The projects I did in HTHMA inspired me to pursue a degree in international relations due to the emphasis on global citizenship and world affairs in various classes. With its project based learning approach and diverse body of teachers, HTHMA provided me the knowledge to succeed academically and also professionally. While at HTHMA, I participated in 2 internships which later helped me in college applications. In addition, I was placed in advanced writing due to the strong emphasis in the argumentative writing I was exposed to at HTHMA. While there are many reasons why I consider this school my second home, I think that the connection I had with my teachers was essential. Many of them stayed after school to make sure we understood the material, and incorporated our artistic talents to create innovative projects. HTHMA is place for the future problem solvers, and without the guidance of my teachers, I wouldn't have gone to college. Submitted by an extremely proud HTHMA alumnus
This school is like a circus, mostly flashing lights and colorful distractions. Teachers are nice, some have experience and some don't. Seems like a very smart staff but not very effective teachers when it comes to state standards and college testing. My son has had a lot of turn over with teachers. Would have liked him to have more stability. He is worried about getting recommendations because so many have left or were fired. Students are nice to each other, although my sons class were cyber bullying each other to the point where their emails were shut down. My son is not testing well on SAT, and he says that is because they teach that tests are not important. I tell him that while that is kind of true, his future depends on them. I confirmed that they teach this mentality with my child's friends and other parents. My son complains about the principal and feeling scared /uncomfortable around him. He states he is not the only one. If I had it to do over, I would send my child elsewhere. I was sold on the idea but not convinced by the product.
I'm really surprised to see the negative responses about HTHMA. My experience (as a parent) has been completely different. The teachers are young, engaged, and dedicated. Not to mention uber smart. They have PhDs on staff! The challenge is that it is project based learning and some kids don't respond to that. Learning is a two-way street, not just a teacher dumping info into an open head. The curriculum does require engagement and curiosity - not every student will excel in that environment.
My son graduated from HTHMedia with a solid B average. His teachers loved him. He loved his teachers. We all knew he could get A's but no one at the school ever pushed him to do more... a B was good with them. We thought many of the teachers were great, but the principal was a huge joke. Imagine our surprise when he called from college -- a great university outside of California - and told us he didn't know what the heck he was doing. He had never been asked to really study or take tests. He failed his freshman math class. We had to get him a tutor to get him through his freshman requirements. He said everyone he knew at school had covered much of the material in their high school careers, but this was stuff he had never been exposed to! It looks great on paper but ultimately the High Tech schools fail to deliver in the real world. Oh, and that baloney about 99% of the kids go to college? Forget it. Most of his peers went to community college and dropped out after the 1st year. The few that got into 4 year colleges are struggling.
I was shocked to find out my daughter had to take REMEDIAL Math, Science, AND English classes her first year at CSU after graduating with above a 3.5 GPA from HTHMA. When I contacted her counselor at CSU, I was told that ONE PERCENT of incoming students from HTHMA demonstrated "college readiness". This is a college preparatory high school that prides itself on a "liberal arts" (according to Larry Rosenstock) education. Clearly the administration needs to review the leadership and the quality of the teaching staff at this school. I am shocked.
I wish I could list my millions reasons as to why I thought this academic institution failed but it would pages instead of paragraphs. HTHMA is all about college preparation and as a college student having attended this school I can say that I wasn't very prepared. I'm an english major and although the english classes were sufficient yet filled with random and unnecessary subject matter I was completely screwed in my science/math classes. Unlike english where you can get away with presenting random subject matter sometimes, science and math you CAN'T WHATSOEVER and HTHMA is guilty of that. I and a few other friends who attended HTHMA have had to repeat math classes in college. Those who fortunately haven't were really struggling, especially in chem. I remember when I took chem I didn't do an experiment one. If I was a science or math major I would be EXTREMELY WORRIED.