GreatSchools is only using STAAR End-Of-Course state exam scores for their "overall" rating... It is misleading as we no longer have 9th graders on our campus which include 9th grade STAAR EOCs - Alg 1, Eng I, Biology. FMHS is only administering these exams to students who are retesting or are just now taking those course for the first time as an upperclassman.
Please see information below.
1. Flower Mound HS is a 10–12 grade campus. The feeder FM9 campus has only been open for 2 years, starting 2014-2015. Thus the discrepancies in the scores. We used to have freshmen on campus and thus freshmen level exams of Alg 1, English 1, Biology. Great Schools should only be measuring exams given to the grade levels that are on campus. Those courses and exams include 10th grade – English 2 STAAR EOC exam & 11th – US History STAAR EOC Exam. Any other exam administered are students that are retesting and not a full population of students. If an exam is given to a small populations of students the Texas Education Agency does not measure schools on those values for our state accountability.
2. If the Great Schools rating of 0 – 10 rating are based only on state test scores this is a huge problem! Especially when our College Readiness and SAT/ACT/AP scores are off the charts higher than the state and National Averages. For the exams we do give to students on our campus, English 2 and US History, are well above the state average.
3. FMHS/LISD schools are already at a disadvantage because we are an Accelerate Block campus (much like how colleges operate on Fall / Spring class schedules by semester) and many students are testing during the December fall administration of the STAAR EOC exams when they are enrolled in the course. Fall scores are not in values you are using to rate the schools in Lewisville ISD. Only the Spring scores are represented.
4. Parents and community members who use this site generally do not sit & evaluate the data you are presenting… They only see the drop in test score averages and a low overall rating – without looking at the number of students tested. This grossly misrepresents our school and I am sure many other schools as well that are not full 9th–12th grade campuses. Obviously careful consideration is not paid to ratings if you have one of the highest academic performing schools in the state sitting at a 6.
The GreatSchools.com ranking is misleading. long story short, the data is accurate but a little misleading since FMHS went to a split campus between 9th grade and 10th to 12th grade. For example, FMHS Algebra 1 in 2015 shows 11 students tested and 55% (or 6) passed. However, Algebra 1 is normally a 9th grade level course for most students - so the 11 students who took it in the 10th to 12th grades probably had some issues with the course in general (and thus more prone to not passing). Similar scenario with Flower Mound Marcus. Where this is different with other local high schools (say Coppell High School which is 8 out of 10) is that most other schools are still operated as 9th to 12th grade campuses so the testing numbers are blended across a larger population and aligned with when the majority of students would take the class.
Now the primary issue here is that the ratings system at Great Schools seems to take into account just the pass rate of the courses and not weighting them by number of students that take a particular course (I'm not 100% sure of this, but it seems that this is the case). For example, as a parent I would be more interested in the fact that in 2015 at FMHS 576 students took English 2 and 94% passed which was much higher than the state average of 66% rather than 11 students who were bad at math taking a class 1 or 2 years behind schedule. However, I think the algorithm at Great Schools is taking just the pass rates and averaging them out directly and using that as the mechanism to come up with the score.
Both US News and World Reports and Newsweek recently had Flower Mound High School ranked quite high in the nation's best high schools. Flower Mound Marcus was ranked as 43rd (in the nation) and Flower Mound High was 117th.
This is an area that is discussed frequently. I think in general, all high schools forget that there needs to be a life - school - work balance and 2 hours of homework every night is an unreasonable load. Some teachers are good at recognizing this, but others think their class is the only that is important and don't recognize that if they give an hour of homework without consideration that other classes may do the same.
As previously stated in my explanation of the Circle of Friends group. They have great programs to be inclusive for developmentally challenged and other special needs students and encourage interaction between those groups of students and the regular student body.
The school leaders and teachers enforce academic honesty and deal with issues when they come up. They also do not tolerate bullying when they are made aware of issues. There are so many students that step in to assist other students as well. They have a great program called the Circle of Friends where students can mentor and buddy up with special needs and developmentally challenged students. No school is perfect, but Flower Mound High School does a great job at trying to instill integrity and being good citizens.
Both of my children graduated from Flower Mound High School. 1 required special accommodation for testing, etc. and the school was very receptive and accommodating. The counselors have always been very engaged and just like anything in life there are a few teachers that aren't as engaged or caring as some, but by far most employees are excellent at what they do. A few 1 star comments have to do with 1 incident at a basketball game that does not reflect the school, the students or the teachers at the school and was dealt with appropriately. There are lots of extra-curricular activities for all interests, an amazing 50+ national merit scholars last year and a 90%+ college-bound rate after graduation.