Saturday, December 3, 2011

What Are The Best Public High Schools On The Westside?

This question seem to comes up over and over in our discussions. Certainly a huge factor for families moving to an area is, what are the public schools like in the neighborhood ? Without a doubt, parent involvement is vital to a good school. Without getting into a full blown discussion about private versus public schools, let's discuss what people know about the different public high schools on the Westside.

Here is a list of schools of which to discuss.

Palisades High
Venice High
University High
Hamilton High
Fairfax High
Hollywood High
Marshall High
Westchester High
Santa Monica High
Malibu High

Culver City High

Beverly Hills High

If you are familiar with any of these high schoosl, let us know your experiences with them.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have kids in Santa Monica High and relatives in Pali High...they both seem the same. Lots of diversity.

Anonymous said...

Venice High is also very diverse and has some great teachers. Agreed though that the parents must be involved with their childs education at any school.

Anonymous said...

A lot of local kids don't like Westchester because of all the out of area kids. Lots of lower income students with no manners or respect because of their basketball/sports programs.

Anonymous said...

Palisades is the best public choice...Venice, University, Hamilton & Fairfax generally suck (if you don't believe me check the test scores from the CA Department of Education) and should be taken over the parents and made into charters...Malibu is ok, but lots of drugs...Beverly Hill High is good but lots of spoiled kids and lots and lots of drugs (the rich kids always have the best drugs, the poor kids only have attitude problems, but not a lot of drugs until later)

Anonymous said...

May i ask are there any statistics on what percentage of kids use drugs in palos verdes high schools vs manhattan beach ? Those are the public high schools i am considering. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Let us not debate the merits of the kids brought in from south central to pali high. Let us compare the schools with no bussing at all. That means ignore lausd schools and discuss non lausd

Anonymous said...

"Venice High is also very diverse"

you make it sound like a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Look, let's ignore the schools that have kids bussed in.

Let's compare the high school in Manhattan Beach to the ones in Palos Verdes Peninsula.

What is the relative drug use at each one? What % of the teens drive drunk at MB vs PV? If you had two identical teens and sent one to MB and one to PV which one would study harder - which one would be more likely to stay out of trouble?

Let's have an honest discussion

Latesummer2009 said...

This is a Westside Blog. If you wish to talk about drug use at Southbay High Schools, I suggest you try the Manhattan Beach Confidential Blog. We are discussing Westside Public High Schools only here. Please try to stay on topic.

Anonymous said...

Latesummer this is your blog and I respect your wishes 100%.

In terms of average standardized test scores, the very highest scoring public high school on the West Side is Malibu High School. Malibu High School just doesn't draw students from any traditionally disadvantaged demographic groups.

There really isn't any other school on the West Side that is at Malibu High's level in this regard.

Malibu high stands alone on the W Side in this regard.

Anonymous said...

Its depends on the program. The Humanities Magnet and Music Magnet at Hamilton are second to none of the public schools with amazingly focused challenging programs, dedicated teachers, diverse student bodies, extremely competitive scores, reasonable class size and very high (96% for Humanities Magnet) acceptance into four year colleges. I think the convention wisdom keeps people from looking at the facts, but parents have to be involved.

Anonymous said...

"Humanities"- isn't that the major of choice for the kids protesting in OWS because they "have no jobs and lots of student loan debt"?

Anonymous said...

go to star.cde.ca.gov and check out school 2010 mean scores (CST English Language Arts for 9th, 10th and 11th grades)

Palisades 384.2 364.5 372.1
Culver 373.3 358.6 352.6
Venice 333.7 337.7 338.5
Beverly Hills 400.5 379.4 372.9

only 1 metric,

latesummer2009 said...

Test scores are important, but are not the only thing when choosing a high school. A good principal, good magnet programs, a good college counselor and a nice selection of AP classes should also be considered for college bound students. Try to find out exactly what schools their students are getting into from the college counselor. If parents are involved and on top of the teachers and adminstrators, a good education can be had at LAUSD.

Anonymous said...

I have been an SAT/ACT tutor on the westside for over 10 years. I tutor kids from private and public schools. Granted, I teach kids who are in need of tutoring, but I see every level of ability. The schools I am impressed with that 1)offer good AP programs and 2)seem to be turning out kids with critical thinking skills, good test scores, and a pretty good education are:

Santa Monica, Hamilton (Humanities Magnet and Music Magnet), Culver, University, and Beverly Hills (though the kids at Beverly are some of the most entitled, jaded, lazy, etc)

I was really unimpressed with Palisades, but was told it's become a charter school(??) I haven't had kids from there in the last 3 years, so can't comment on current offerings.

I would not send my child to Malibu, Fairfax, Hollywood, or Venice.

I don't know Marshall or Westchester.

Off topic, but LOVE Mira Costa in the South Bay. Great students.

Anonymous said...

Anoo 11:40 - could you tell us why you wouldn't send your kids to Malibu, Venice, Hollywood or Fairfax? Have you tutored anyone from those schools? If so, how many and what was your experience?

Anonymous said...

Could anyone with first hand knowledge of Malibu high comment?

As far as I can tell, Malibu high has the absolute highest test scores of any high school on the West Side West of Beverly Hills.

LAUSD high schools have kids bussed in from outside the neighborhood but Malibu doesn't

Anonymous said...

Let's have a sober and respectful discussion. Just don't forget that Santa Monica High includes gangbanger types from the neighborhood at Pico and 18th street.

many of the people on this blog are new to the west side and don't know that Santa Monica has some rough neighborhoods

Have you ever been to the Pico neighoborhood? The intersection of Pico and 18th, where the teenage gangbangers covered in tats hang out?

with their pregnant 13 year old girlfriends smoking cigs sitting on the stoops?

Then just for kicks these little gang bangers will shoot another kid they know from SAMO. Didn't you read about the teenage pico gangbangers shooting a kid dead in virginia avenue park -I think it was six months ago. google it.
Drive over to pico and 18th and report what you see

just note that there is a "mix" of kids at Santa Monica High

Anonymous said...

everyone on this blog forgets that santa monica has really bad neighborhoods. Ever been to the santa monica trailer park ?

ever been to the 99 cent store on pico?

Anonymous said...

http://www.thesamohi.com/news/smpd-will-increase-presence-around-samo-after-shooting

http://santamonica.patch.com/articles/girl-escapes-attempted-kidnapping-on-pico

Anonymous said...

Westchester High School....

Simply annectodal observation here, but I drove by the school one day when school let out.

Almost all the students were African American. A handful of latino students. No caucasian, no asian at all.

I believe the population statistics for the school support my observation as the rule rather than the exception. Considering the ethnic mix of the surrounding community, it appears that few if any students that live nearby actually attend Westchester. Rather it appears most students are bused in.

Rather than consider this a race issue, I'd consider it a money issue. People in the surrounding community can afford to send their kids to a private school and so they do.

A similiar situation exists nearby and has nothing to do with race. Ladera is majority African American. Yet hardly any send their kids to the Inglewood School District where they are zoned. Its an upper middle class and wealthy area, and the people there can afford private schools, so they do. Same thing with Westchester.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 8:34

However, do not generalize. there are plenty of areas in which the neighborhood is upper middle class and or wealthy and the parents still decide to send kids to public high school

For example, San Marino. affluent parents send kids to public high school Manhattan beach, affluent parents send kids to public high school. Calabasas affluent parents send kids to public high school

If you are affluent there are plenty of places where you can move to and send kids to public high school along with other affluent parents.

Actually, if you are affluent and you live in Palos Verdes or Manhattan Beach there are VERY few great private high school choices. So the decision to send to public high school is easier.

On the other hand, if you live in Encino, there are a huge number of super prestige private high schools right there - Harvard Westlake, Curtis, etc etc so it is very easy to send to private high school if you live in Encino

Anonymous said...

One of the most interesting trends of the past 15 years has been the different trajectory of prices in the trendy but more dangerous neighborhoods vs the "always been safe" neighborhoods

For example, trendy but more dangerous lower east side of Manhattan is up much much more in % terms than always been safe upper east side

trendy but more dangerous abbot kinney in Venice is up much much more in % terms than "always been safe" Brentwood or Beverly Hills

I am a bear. And like others on this blog I think realtors are scum. That being said, what do people see as the trajectory of prices over next ten years in the more dangerous but trendy places vs the always been safe places

Anonymous said...

One of the most interesting trends of the past 15 years has been the different trajectory of prices in the trendy but more dangerous neighborhoods vs the "always been safe" neighborhoods

For example, trendy but more dangerous lower east side of Manhattan is up much much more in % terms than always been safe upper east side

trendy but more dangerous abbot kinney in Venice is up much much more in % terms than "always been safe" Brentwood or Beverly Hills

I am a bear. And like others on this blog I think realtors are scum. That being said, what do people see as the trajectory of prices over next ten years in the more dangerous but trendy places vs the always been safe places

Anonymous said...

Granada Hills Charter & El Camino in the west san fernando valley are very high achieving LAUSD schools...

Granada Hills Charter won the national academic decathlon this past year. They schools are very diverse yet have high API scores. I think my child would be much better off in one of those schools than a sheltered rich kid school.

Anonymous said...

Venice may be up more than other areas in the last 10 years, but it is down in the last 3 years too.

Anonymous said...

Anon@2:59,

This thread is for commenting on west side schools.

However I will point out how your example is different from the westside and where it is similiar.

It is different because the two high schools you mention are the best high schools in LAUSD from a academic standpoint and from a safety standpoint. Students are NOT bused into El Camino or Granada Hills Charter like they are in every single westside LAUSD schools, even ones in very wealthy areas like Pacific Palisades or Holmby Hills.

The way they are similar....nearly every other SFV school is quite subpar, with many being horrible....much like the westside. For instance, if you live in Granada Hills/Northridge/North Hills, etc and are not going to the Charter schools, you get to go to the very poorly performing James Madison. Yay!

Anonymous said...

Ooops, meant James Monroe.

Not to mention its VERY non diverse student ethnic mix(its almost entirely latino).

Anonymous said...

I think that it is very fair to discuss the charter schools on this blog.

Reason is that most people reading this blog WILL be able to get their children in to the charter schools.

So yes, if a person reading this blog buys in North Hills and fails to get children in to the charter school, then must pay for private school.

If you look at the IQ test scores needed to get in to charter school, you will see that most people on this blog have families that qualify for the charter schools.

So it is quite relevant for someone reading this blog to compare for example, buying a house in North Hills and sending children to Charter school vs buying a house in Calabasas and sending children to normal Calabasas high school

Putting it another way, if you are reading this and your family IQ is too low to get in to a charter school then you should buy in Calabasas or Palos Verdes, where every single child gets in to a good high school

If your family IQ is high enough to get in to a charter school then you can certainly consider buying in North Hills.

I am sure that we all agree that a person should KNOW the odds of getting in to the charter school before buying.

Anonymous said...

Granada Hills Charter High... Ranks higher than all those westside schools... Do you count westside of the valley as westside? www.niche.com

Granada Hills Charter High is ranked #1 in CA and #10 in the nation.

Latesummer2009s@gmail.com said...

Granada Hills Charter High is a great school. But, the Westside does not extend past the Santa Monica/Hollywood Mountains. Good choice if the drive doesn't bother you.