Friday, February 29, 2008

University High Needs to Hold Lottery

A couple of weeks ago I read an article in the Fresno Bee about University High being named the 36th best public high school in the nation. Within the article the head of the school, Dr. James Bushman, was puzzled by the lack of interest. Now I have to say that I am a huge fan of University High (since I am a dyed in the wool homeschooler this is a huge statement) so my interest was piqued. I decided to keep an eye out for any developments. Well, that seems to have been rectified. This week they had to hold a lottery and place 30 students on a waiting list.

This left me with some questions so I emailed Dr. Bushman for some more information. Currently the school has space for 400 students and there are no plans to change that regardless of demand. Fresno State has set aside enough space for this many students and the program is set up to work best at this size.

I was also curious about the entrance process. Since the demand had grown I was curious as to why a lottery was employed and not merit system. Dr. Bushman said that as a charter school they aren't allowed to pick and choose. Instead they must conduct a lottery of all applicants that meet the entrance requirements. In order to put more stringent entrance requirements in place the school would have to change their charter (something not in the works).

If find all of this quite interesting and I am sure that I am not the only one (I hear things). This school continues to develop into a wonderful program. I think what is great is that the requirements leave plenty of room for lots of students to apply. They aren't just looking for the Virtuosos but those who will work hard and challenge themselves. I am going to watch this school to see what mark its students make on the world!

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