Colorado schools give students an equal chance of success… or do they?

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Valor Christian High School. PhotoCo: Sam Mate

   Down the street a mile from Highlands Ranch High School sits Valor Christian High School, and in between is a tense ‘public vs. private’ school rivalry. In fact, many students
in the HRHS school boundary enroll to Valor instead. Sports, possible recruiting, and wealth weaves within the rivalry; the ultimate question being: which school is better? However, what we should be asking is: which school
does better? Putting all aside, does your upper 15k annual tuition to attend VCHS really give your student a leg up in the modern world?

   Niche.com lists Highlands Ranch’s average ACT at a high 27, while Valor at an even higher 28. While these numbers may be inflated, the fact remains that Valor students do better on the ACT than Ranch students. Similarly, Valor beats Ranch in average SAT scores by 80 points (according to Niche.com).

   So, is the academically advanced stereotype of Valor students correct due to better preparation at a private school? “Not necessarily,” says Valor High school teacher Lane Palmer, “A private school has potentially more opportunity to invest more individually with the student which may or may not set them up better, but I think public schools do and have done a wonderful job at setting students up and giving them opportunity.” Highlands Ranch High School offers many of the same classes as Valor Christian, and interviews seem to point to success having much more to do with the student than the school.

   Backing up this claim best is Valor senior Heidi Hammond, believing, “It’s truly how much you put into it.” Taking this a step further, investigati

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Highlands Ranch High School. PhotoCo:Ella Stilwell

on brings us to Manual High School in Five Points, Denver. ‘Inner city’ schools are generally prejudiced for their smaller funds and facilities. Niche.com lists Manual’s average ACT score at a 19… 8 below HRHS and 9
below VCHS.

 


Highlands Ranch councillor Amy Larson says “The success of the students depends on what the school has to offer.” Therefore we are led to believe the significant gap between MHS and HRHS and VCHS could be the facilities for inner city schools. If the government could find equal funding for all public schools, perhaps then test scores would be similar.

   While we can’t refute or confirm the stereotypes associated with public, private, and inner city schools, one thing is for sure; suburban schools are believed to be much safer than inner city schools. However, AreaVibes.com lists Highlands Ranch”s
crime rating a D over Five Point’s C. In fact, Highlands ranch has more violent crimes than Five Points 528 to 395.

   So is this rivalry valid? It’s up to you to decide.

Sam Mate, Guest Reporter

 

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