It’s no secret that Davis places a high value education – the community has demonstrated such in the form of many voter-approved parcel taxes, among other impressive support efforts.
Education matters a ton in Davis, and that is part of what makes the town amazing.
But there’s a flip side to that coin and it’s something local teachers and parents have occasionally brought up in conversations with me this past year reporting for Davis Patch. Many are concerned with the level of pressure we place on students to succeed -- with the barometer for success being gauged by GPA and acceptance to a quality school.
Davis High offered 22 Advance Placement, Honors courses last year according to the 2011-12 School Profile.
Many students begin taking these demanding courses early and often, because acceptance to a top-tier university (including the one in town) often requires a GPA much higher than a 4.0. These courses have heavy workloads, which become even heavier when students get involved with afterschool sports and clubs (both of which also look good on college applications).
This isn’t a Davis-specific issue, but with a high school so jam-packed with college-bound kids and college-educated parents, the pressure surely is intensified.
More than 90 percent of students in the senior class of 2012 were planning to attend some form of college in the fall immediately after graduation – 91.7%, to be exact.
The national average is about 68 percent.
UC Davis is by far the top employer in town, meaning many local parents are highly educated. Back in 2006, Davis was ranked the second-most educated city in the country by CNN, with 34.6 percent of residents having graduate degrees.
To a large degree, that helps explain why education is so important in Davis, and why so many students continue on to college.
Note: The author has no specific intentions with this story. Its sole purpose is to start a conversation about a commonly discussed issue as we begin a new year. Please share your thoughts below, or post a blog if you'd like to dive a bit deeper. (Just couple of clicks and your blog will be published).