Some of the teachers are great, and some are so-so. There will never be a school where every teacher is amazing. Some of my teachers have changed my life over the years, and have supported me in doing whatever I aspired to achieve. Others of them were ok, nothing exceptional, while still others never taught anything ever. It all depends on which classes you are taking and who you get. Overall, I think most of the teachers are pretty good... it follows a pretty decent bell curve, with a few exceptional ones, a few sucky ones, and most of them in the middle.
Most people will say it's too much. Yes, there is about 8 hours of homework everyday. Is that a lot compared to other high schools? Yes. But I think that's the point. Debakey ISN'T like other high schools; it's a college preparatory program that introduces medicine to students and teaches them to deal with the rigorous coursework that they will face in college. So even though students may complain about the homework load, I think it's necessary. The hard work pays off in the end, I promise.
For those students that actually survive Debakey to their senior year (which is only about a quarter of them, according to last year's statistics) persistence and drive are needed. There really is no way to do well without really persevering and trying their best on every assignment, project, or test.
Through the health science course that is a mandatory course for the students to take, the students are taught how to care for patients and make them feel comfortable. They are taught the importance of being compassionate and empathetic, and really connecting with patients and people in general.
This school really brings out the best of people. It develops a strong character with its rigorous coursework so that students are prepared for college and the expectations that are set at that level. This school stresses on professionalism and emphasizes the importance of certain behaviors in the workplace.
Debakey is a great school for anyone who is willing to work hard. Yes, it is an extremely challenging school, and if you aren't up to it I don't recommend you go. But, if you want a high school experience that prepares you for medical school, and really college as a whole, then this is the school for you.
Just a fun fact: half of the freshman class don't make it to sophomore year. Yes, HALF of the students drop out of their first year here. It is overwhelming if you aren't prepared for it, and it isn't the typical high school. You must know that you have to work very hard just to get good grades like all A's. Studying every night and getting all your work done is a must. You will probably lose a lot of sleep over the course of the year, but you (and your parents) will sleep better knowing that you are ready for college and beyond.
If you think that you are smart because you breezed through middle school, chances are you're in for a shock.
I, as well as the majority of the upperclassmen, do agree that it is better to be a top-ranking student at your base high school than it is to be the bottom-bencher here. But, with a little extra hard work, you can definitely do well here. It's far from impossible, contrary to popular belief.
Overall, this unique school is really gives you the opportunity to have an amazing high school experience, expose you to the medical field, and prepare you for the rigors of the coursework in college.
I have mixed feelings about my DeBakey experience. First and foremost, I am incredibly grateful for the wonderful teachers who helped shape my educational journey forward- I was accepted to Ivy League universities and well-regarded liberal art colleges with full ride scholarships. I appreciated the student body immensely, with its uncharacteristic diversity and friendliness. The health science opportunities I received would have been unheard of anywhere else. My experience in the high school itself was ultimately positive, and I did not expect to worry about college rigor since I did very well at DeBakey. However, the transition to a liberal arts college, which I matriculated to, was incredibly jarring and uncharacteristic. At these colleges, there is a significant emphasis on independent thinking and creativity- characteristics which I lacked in due to the more pre-professional, task-oriented nature of this high school. Despite receiving distinctions in my English classes and earning a score of a "5" on both AP English Literature and Language, my first college paper was a C-. My peers had extensive preparation in seminar styled coursework and discussion, whereas I was learning these skill-sets for the first time. While I was able to adapt, I often felt that while I learned a lot at DeBakey, very little of it was actually used in college. More significant was an implicit bias towards STEM disciplines due to the heavy emphasis they receive at this school, which stunted the amount of growth and curiosity I sought out at my college. Although this school is one of the highest rated in the country, be warned that the education offered here is by no means exceptional- much of the rating is attributed to the strength of the student body itself.
Very unhappy with this school. At orientation the administration paints a fantastic picture, so much of what they tell the parents is not true. i.e.: The assistant principal told us- "our students are good kids, trustworthy, so if for example we see a student on their phone in the hall or at lunch we will not punish them". This statement couldn't be further than the truth. Last year DeBakey collected over 14k in phone fines, highest amount in the district. Personal experience, my child calls me during lunch and phone is confiscated, can't pick it up for days and fine is $15. The administration in this school should change careers from education to the Prison System. Or possibly the military. Students are treated and spoken to with no respect. You would think...students attending DeBakey who study 6-7 hours every night and much more every single weekend just to keep their grades up would be treated decently. At orientation principal and asst. principal inform the parents: Colleges love students from DeBakey. NOT TRUE. Colleges only care about GPA/class rank. I would not recommend this school.
DeBakey High School is Houston's number one high school for a reason. However, it is not for everyone. It is for those willing to give up free-time for homework and studying. The loss of this time is compensated by the great experiences no other high school can offer such as more exposure to the medical field and access to knowledge of medical science. In addition, the students are kind; none or rarely any bullying. Many are willing to help. Also, the preparation makes college easier. The pros outweighs the cons.
DeBakey has very rigorous courses but it's only worth going to if you're able to take many Pre-AP and AP classes. Course selection is very inflexible and the counselors do not care for the students at all. Most of the teachers are very good and want to help you, but some are just awful; however the administration does not care and it is nearly impossible to complain or even change teachers. There are no sports teams and extracurricular activities are hardly existent with the exception of HOSA. You should only consider DeBakey if you're willing to give up other activities and your social life. Despite this, it still leads to many other opportunities, including the hospital rotations and Baylor-UoH program.