BEST MATH Programs at BS

<p>Exie-</p>

<p>I agree with you. David Field came into PA at the highest math level. (Last year another student did the same thing.) They were already standouts. But to me, what schools like PA, PEA, and L'ville seem to do a very good job of is meeting all students where they are and developing them further, even the kids who are truly outliers. They've got the resources and expertise to meet the needs of exceptional students. I've been impressed with PA's math assessment. As an incoming student, you take some pretests prior to attending. Then during the first few weeks, there is further assessment to make sure the student is in the right class. I expect they do that at most schools, but I only know our experience.</p>

<p>So if I had an exceptional math student as a child, I'd want to know which schools would be able to meet his/her needs with higher level math courses, independent studies, etc. And who does it well and on a regular basis. </p>

<p>Though for my child, who is bright, but perhaps not a math genius, I would venture to guess that many more schools would do just as good a job with meeting his/her needs. </p>

<p>Now, PA and physics is another story. I'm not sure what they do differently than other schools, but they had phenomenal advanced placement scores in physics. I don't want to misquote the figures, but it was really high across the board...</p>

<p>St. Mark's has Math Institute directed by Dr. Jim Tanton. Dr. Tanton leads and trains math talented students by meeting together very frequntly. I was so impressed by him.</p>

<p>JaHarrison,</p>

<p>Point taken. </p>

<p>I only worry that there are so very many people who come here looking for the "magic pill" that will turn otherwise bright - but perhaps not genius - students into an exceptional one. Know what I mean? It's an awful lot of pressure for the students who can't measure to those standards and expectations. </p>

<p>That type of "pressure" has often lead to suicide attempts.</p>

<p>Hence, Fields is top flight - but that doesn't mean that "Joe Schmoe" will be too.</p>

<p>Still - good point on your part. Kudos!</p>

<p>Ah, really? That's scary. :D</p>

<p>Exie, now I see what you were getting at. (Sorry this is a bit long.)</p>

<p>My d ended up being fairly good friends with Mr. Field through their mutual sport. Last year there was a point at which I could tell she was feeling 'less than' a lot of her peers. Apparently this is not an uncommon phenomenon according to her advisor. She was a freshman and hung out with upperclassmen. Well of course, if you run with a high powered group of kids, you probably won't be at the top of the heap like you were back home. The thing is, they are all high powered kids. </p>

<p>However, being in the middle of the top 1-5% is not a bad thing, in my book. The norm is so high and the kids (and parents) can easily lose sight of that. We, as parents, need to recognize that and help our kids keep it all in a healthy perspective so they can have a positive experience rather than letting their relative class position get the best of them. The kids put enough pressure on themselves. Of course, I prefer that d be performing in the middle of the pack or better. But honestly, if she's truly trying her best, what more can I ask? Doing one's best is the best one can do. Once she's graduated, in the long term, the top notch education she received and the fact that she persevered and made it through such a demanding program will give her more to hang her hat on than which math class she took or which competition she won. </p>

<p>What's that old saying...something about what do you call a person who was last in his class in Med School? Doctor. </p>

<p>I think it's also been a valuable experience for her to realize that yes, even when you try your best, there might be someone who does better than you. And that's okay. And from what I understand, being a kid like D. Field can have its disadvantages too.</p>

<p>So what does it boil down to? If you have a prodigy child, take some time to find a school that can meet his/her special needs. If you have a bright child, most of the top schools are able to meet their needs just fine. Be careful when judging a school by it's academic teams. Those teams may not be representative of the education provided there as much as it is of the genius kids that happen to be enrolled that year. Schools can't turn non-geniuses into geniuses. If you want to see a school's overall strength in an academic area, find out what percentage of the students pass the AP exams and what the average scores are. Don't pressure your kids to be the best. Encourage them to do their best. And love them no matter what.</p>

<p>This is cool. David watch out. I just met a 4th grade kid doing Algebra II. He seems all happy and I don't feel he has any pressure from his parents.</p>