Garfield Tops for National Merit Scholars for SPS

This listing of semi-finalists for National Merit Scholars appeared in today's Times. Lakeside had 33 (tops in the state) while Garfield had 22 (tops for public high schools in the state). Other SPS high schools on the list; Center School (1), Ingraham (2), Hale (1), and Roosevelt (7).


Anonymous said…
There must have been a misprint ... Ballard doesn't have anybody on the list, and EVERYBODY knows that Ballard has better academics than Ingraham, which has two semi-finalists.
Anonymous said…
Let's not be unkind, okay?

But, folks, it does point to the fact that what you hear from a single source (or old District folktale) might NOT be true. Give schools a chance before giving them short shrift.
Anonymous said…
I have always thought that schools hang on to reputations way longer than deserved ... either good or bad.
Anonymous said…
Remember, these are just semi-finalists. All this means is that they scored very well on the PSAT.

Does that say anything meaningful about the schools?
Jet City mom said…
Criteria to determine NMS finalists are not just SAT & PSAT scores but-
Criteria, taken from a large volume of information submitted by the students and their schools, include not only grades, but also difficulty of subjects, scores on standardized tests, examples of leadership and community involvement and essays describing their goals and interests.

About 90% semi-finalists go on as finalists & half of that number go on to be National Merit Scholarship winners
They all are eligible to compete for about 8,000 scholarships.

I can't say about Lakeside- but at Garfield all students are encouraged to take the PSAT not only as juniors but also as sophomores- something that perhaps other Seattle high schools don't do.
Roosevelt encourages sophomores to take the PLAN which is the pre-ACT. My sons took the SAT as part of being in the highly capable program in 7th or 8th grade. Many times Kaplan or some other company gives it for free and it's a good chance to let your student see how difficult (or not) it is.
Anonymous said…
There are too few National Merit kids to go by -- far too many schools fluctuate between zero and four per year without it being an indication of anything particular (especially if you don't correct for the size of the school ... are Bush, Ballard, and Ingraham equivalent if they each have two semifinalists one year? or if they, along with some terrible schools, all have zero?). And it's partly a question of how good the school is at *attracting* the kind of student who's likely to score high, rather than how well they educate such students.
Anonymous said…
I know a NMS from last year. He grew up in my neighborhood. When I first met him his mother told me in one breath, "This is Josh, he can speak Latin and knows all the flags of the world." Josh was six.

So I feel it wasn't the school he went to. It was a very ambitious mother who had him study Latin and piano and violin when other kids in the nationhood were playing soccer, and riding bike and messing around.

I now have a very smart serious kid, that I am tempted to coax in that direction. And he seems happy by excelling but I wonder if I just let him be...what he will be...

How do we tell how much to encourage in that direction and how much we are actually pushing kids into our own unfulfilled dream? I wish I knew...
Anonymous said…
the fact that Ingraham had a couple may be the result of their IB program (just as the large number from Garfield is due to their hosting of APP). what is the size of the APP program at Garfield? Lakeside's class is around 130... i'm wondering if a higher % of APP students at Garfield gained NMS status vs. Lakeside.

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