I recently graduated in the top quartile of my class, distinguished achievement, and I will be attending my first choice university in the fall. In the course of four years, I have had three phenomenal teachers during my time at Carnegie, teachers that embodied the spirit of hard work and integrity, and I grew a lot under their instruction. I learned how to manage my time and how to calculate my strengths and weaknesses as well as the limit of my endurance on minimal hours of sleep. These are skills that I am grateful to have developed at Carnegie. That being said, I did not enjoy my time there. Arguably, high school is unenjoyable for the majority of teenagers, but there are a variety of problems I observed and experienced while I was there. First, there has been a lot of turnover in the teaching staff. In most of my classes, I had to teach myself though internet sources and YouTube videos. Second, there is a rampant cheating problem. One person had been suspended for cheating and yet there was no consequence to their GPA so they nevertheless graduated in the top 15%. Third, Carnegie is not a neutral field. It is expected of public schools that they avoid topics of religion and ideology. Carnegie is an extremely Progressive school. There is nothing wrong with this when balanced with other views and when not directly broadcast in classrooms, but Carnegie felt very much like an incubator for extreme Left wing Liberals. It was not an environment that supported differing views, and teachers did not make an effort to maintain a neutral position in class. Finally, students are almost always in a state of stress. There is little support or relief provided by administration to help cope with the stress and expectations placed on students. Many of my classmates suffered bouts of depression or anxiety attacks. Into senior year, people left the school; out of 225 entering freshman, only 148 students graduated.
No because there's no punishment for cheating. There were several known cheaters that were able to graduate even after being caught or reported. One person was suspended for cheating in junior year and yet they graduated in the top 15% of the class.
Yes. I had three teachers that were amazing. Two are gone and I said thank you to the last. They were refreshingly honest and blunt about what was expected of us and they worked as hard or harder than the students. Their effort and attitude made high school more bearable.
Some teachers are phenomenal, but the majority of the good ones retired. A lot of them aren't that great and you learn how to self teach fairly quickly. There's a difference in studying and learning the material from scratch by yourself or with a tutor.
There's too much useless work. Plenty of the work is worthwhile and you definitely need it to practice and learn. However, when it isn't checked for accuracy and is just another meaningless grade in the book, it isn't worth much. A lot of busy work is given out in class and for homework, rather than assignments that genuinely are useful for students.
Of course. It encourages competition and the will to rise above others in your class. They emphasize to returning students each year that they are the "survivors" and that they are strong enough to finish. You must have persistence and determination to make it all four years, and even then you have to be invested enough to come back. That's why you see students leaving to attend other schools even in junior and senior year.
The school cares about the ranking more than it cares about developing compassion or empathy. Rather, it's focus encourages students to be neurotic, dishonest and self-centered. People that can withstand the environment and rise above the undercurrent of pressure to beat someone else's scores are not receiving help from administration. They are practicing principles that may be verbally supported by administration but that are not necessarily encouraged in practice.
The focus on the learning and critical thinking process and very small class size teaches students to own their work and really get to know their teachers. No one in this school will skate through unnoticed. Because of that, for a student to be successful, they must find their own distinct voice. That voice will become unmistakably theirs which absolutely encourages honesty and integrity.
As for fairness, the way they encourage tolerance can only lead to fairness among students. The environment makes it "uncool" to be intolerant of differences. When it comes to teachers, I have seen nothing that would indicate any unfairness or favoritism. Every student in this school is identified as gifted & talented so the spectrum of intellectual ability is smaller that most other public schools. They know each of these students is here because they are smart and ready to learn.
The commitment level of the teachers at CVHS is amazing! They make themselves available before and after school as well as during lunch to help anyone. Our daughter hasn't had a teacher yet who she didn't feel genuinely cared about how well she understands the work, not just being able to memorize and recite.
I have trouble answering this question. My daughter has 3-6 hours of homework per night. But we expected that. It is an academic college prep focused high school. And she is a perfectionist, so she's not quick. She's really good, but definitely not fast when it comes to homework. If you are prepared for that much homework, you won't be bothered by it. But if you aren't, you would definitely say there is too much. We were prepared.