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newsweek top ten
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Harmony Science Academy - North Austin Pflugerville, Texas
Status: NOT a miracle school
Main Reasons: Didn't have a 12th grade class so should not qualify, does not have high poverty, only about 20 students per grade.
Harmony Science Academy North Austin in Pflugerville, Texas was number 6 on Newsweek's top-ten miracle schools
This school should not be confused with the similarly-named Harmony Science Academy Austin. They are two distinct schools.
The inclusion of Harmony Science Academy North Austin on Newsweek's list of miracle high schools is baffling, since this school
did not have an 11th or 12th grade in 2009-2010
. Note that the Newsweek website is very explicit about the fact that their ranking is based on 2009-2010 data. The data are self-reported by the schools.
Here is what
Newsweek says on its page explaining its methodology
for the 2011 list: "In order to be considered for our list, each school had to complete a survey requesting specific data from the
2009-2010 academic year
Despite these discrepancies, newspapers continue to reproduce the Newsweek data. For example, the
Austin American-Statesman reported on June 24, 2011
"The Harmony Science Academy in Pflugerville was among "Ten Miracle High Schools," included on the list that were singled out for additional recognition because they succeeded in educating and graduating a majority of low-income students who performed at high levels. In highlighting those schools, Newsweek hoped to point out what is working well in hopes that other schools would adopt similar strategies and practices.
The Harmony public charter school in Pflugerville has a small student body: just over 200 students with an average class size of 12 to 13 students per teacher, and 86 percent of the school's graduates enrolled in college. Sixty percent of students at Harmony qualify for free and reduced price lunch. Those figures are for the 2009-10 school year."
In fact the Texas AEIS report for 2009-2010 shows that this school had
14.7 students per teacher
, slightly higher than the state of Texas average, which is 14.5.
The AEIS report shows
percent economically disadvantaged students, much lower than the state of Texas average of
Also, class size at this school is shown on the 2009-2010 AEIS report as generally around
. (Note that class size is nearly always higher than number of students per teacher; they are two separate statistics.)
See the "Discussion" section for more details about the discrepancy between the data reported by Newsweek and that on the state of Texas AEIS report for this school.
Here is the link to access Texas AEIS reports on individual schools:
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