SOMERS, N.Y. -- ProPublica , the online newsroom, recently conducted an independent study of federal nationwide education data. The ProPublica team analyzed certain aspects of curriculum and compared schools to each other, based upon location and size of enrollment.
Schools in the area included Somers, Yorktown, Fox Lane, John Jay, Carmel, and Mahopac, High Schools. The categories included the number of Advanced Placement (AP) courses offered, the percentage of students taking AP courses, the percentage taking advanced math and the percentage of inexperienced teachers on the faculty. An inexperienced teacher was defined as one with less than two years experience.
Somers High School , with an enrollment of 1010, offered 17 AP courses, 18 percent of the students took at least one AP course and 18 percent took advanced math. Three percent of the teachers were considered inexperienced. Nine percent of the Carmel faculty were inexperienced teachers. Yorktown and John Jay had none.
At the highest end of the scale, Mahopac High School offered 22 AP courses. John Jay and Fox Lane were close seconds with 20 and 19, respectively. Yorktown offered 17 and Carmel 14.
Of John Jay, Fox Lane, and Yorktowns students, 31, 27, and 22 percent have taken an AP course, respectively. Mahopac falls just beneath Somers at 17 percent.
At Fox Lane High School, 38 percent of the student body takes advanced math. At Carmel High, which rated lowest in every other category, the number was an impressive 31 percent. However Mahopac High reported 0 percent, so advanced math percentages may be misleading if some schools grouped math in with AP courses.
ProPublica has been conducting investigative journalism on subjects wide and varied for the last three years. Among its staff are former editors and reporters from The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times . In 2010, it was awarded The Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting and in 2011 it received the Pulitzer for National Reporting.
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