Madison schools produce more National Merit semifinalists than any other district in state

Wisconsin State Journal:

Madison public schools produced more National Merit Scholarship semifinalists than any other school district in the state again this year.
Thirty-nine students from Madison East, West, La Follette and Memorial high schools, along with 10 other Madison seniors who receive home schooling or attend Edgewood High or Abundant Life Christian School, are among 16,000 students nationwide to receive the honor. The semifinalists, who represent fewer than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, will continue to compete for some 8,400 National Merit scholarships worth more than $36 million to be announced next spring.

View individual state cut scores, by year here. In 2010, Minnesota’s cut score was 215, Illinois’ 214, Iowa 209 and Michigan 209. Wisconsin’s was 207.
Congratulations all around!

3 thoughts on “Madison schools produce more National Merit semifinalists than any other district in state”

  1. The title of this is wrong. It should be “Madison Schools Hold Back The Most National Merit Semifinalists…”.
    Madison Metropolitan School District must stop claiming that they “produce” these students. These kids have achieved what they have IN SPITE of being held back from their next-level-of-challenge for so many years. That is if they grew up in the MMSD system. Some of these National Merit kids spent most of their years in other countries, school districts, or were private or home schooled, and were only in MMSD schools for a relatively short time.
    I would like to know: What happened to the many students who showed a great deal of intelligence, aptitude, and potential in earlier grades who DIDN’T make it? There are kids, especially minority kids from low socioeconomic backgrounds, who were not supplemented like those with means and resources, and ended up as drop outs – putting their intelligence to use in less socially acceptable ways. I think the number of National Merit winners here is LOW given what it could have been.
    If rigorous challenge and standards are not provided at school, the poor kids will be further disadvantaged. Talk about closing the achievement gap!!! I just don’t get why MMSD tries to lower the ceiling instead of raising the floor. Unless the MMSD administration truly believes that minorities and poor folk are stupid and uneducable. And that is what I have gathered is MMSD’s way of thinking.
    Hey MMSD: Stop bragging that you PRODUCED these winners!

  2. The fact that MMSD has the second largest enrollment in Wisconsin has been overlooked in this article and in this discussion.(referring to other blogs, as well) Using this to dissuade open enrollment is irresponsible. Considering Milwaukee has the highest enrollment, Madison had better have the greatest number of semifinalists!

  3. It would be interesting to see the actual data behind each semi-finalist, rather than relying on emotional opinions regarding the origins of their educations and the MMSD.

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