Talk:Howard County Public School System

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Fair use rationale for Image:Hcpss.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot 02:33, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Information table[edit]

I have added back the information table. I have removed the contact details, which were directory stuff, but the rest consists of useful, encyclopaedic facts and is quite normal fare for school district pages. It should also be noted that we merge nn schools to the district and thus including basic details on those schools is a reasonable merge compromise. TerriersFan (talk) 23:45, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

TerriersFan, according to WP:EL, "External links should not normally be used in the body of an article; this applies to list articles as well." I'll remove the links. PhilKnight (talk) 00:22, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

AP Scores[edit]

I read the initial introduction paragraph to the article and found the note about AP scores to be a bit misleading. Currently, it states, "It gets high percentages at all levels of the Maryland School Assessments,[1] and is second only to Montgomery County in percentage of seniors scoring well on Advanced Placement exams.[2] Forbes magazine rated Howard County as one of the ten most cost-efficient school systems in the USA.[3]"

The major issue is the Baltimore Sun article states, "in Howard, nearly one in three passed", then states "in Montgomery, 46 percent of last year's graduates had gotten a score of 3 or better on at least one AP exam - a countywide average that beat all but a few of the schools in the Baltimore region". The problem with this comparison is that it's a misnomer, one can't compare a supposed proportion to a percentage. The proportion used in the article is not defined and not referenced in the article.

If one is looking for a statistic to define Howard County schools, then they should go to http://www.real-estate-columbia.com/schools.shtml and http://www.homes-mont-county-md.com/SAT.shtml. The former lists the SAT scores of all Howard County schools, while the latter lists the scores for all Montgomery County schools. Doing a quick average of the values, we find that Mo. Co. scores an average SAT score for all its high schools of 1075, 24,727/23; while Ho. Co. scores an average SAT score for all of its high schools of 1087, 11966/11.

Mrminux (talk) 14:20, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/03/AR2008090301602.html goes on to show that Howard County beat, on average, Montgomery County by 25 points, in terms of SAT scores, ranking it the highest in the state of Maryland.

Mrminux (talk) 14:29, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

I went ahead and removed the blurb about the AP scores. See my earlier points for discussion.

Mrminux (talk) 17:09, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

The headquarters of the school district are in Columbia, Maryland, NOT Ellicott City![edit]

I am very disappointed that I have to do this. A drive-by edit in May has left an inaccuracy on the page. So let me explain:

  • The headquarters of the school district are in Columbia, Maryland, NOT Ellicott City!

The article must state that the headquarters is physically in Columbia CDP with an Ellicott City mailing address.

Here is how and why:

  • The headquarters address is "10910 Clarksville Pike (Route 108) Ellicott City, MD 21042" - This means the headquarters has an "Ellicott City, MD" mailing address but it does not mean it is in the U.S.-government defined Ellicott City, Maryland census-designated place, which is the Wikipedia definition of "Ellicott City, Maryland". The important part of the mailing address is the 10910 Clarksville Pike (Route 108) 21042 because that allows you to check the physical location of the headquarters.
  • Check this U.S. Census Bureau map of Columbia, Maryland (Archive) -- This is proof
  • If a newspaper says "Ellicott City-based" remember the newspaper is doing things the simple way and going off the mailing address. While Wikipedia relies on secondary sources, a simplified newspaper location does not trump the actual data from the U.S. Census Bureau!

There is precedence for this. See: Talk:ENSCO,_Inc.#Regarding the address and location of this company, and I have also confirmed on the Original research noticeboard that it's okay to use US Census Bureau maps to show the real location. Wikipedia:No_original_research/Noticeboard/Archive_14#Using_maps_to_determine_locations

If an editor changes "Columbia, MD" to "Ellicott City, MD" - Please: revert and notify the editor immediately of her/his mistake! It is important to educate the public about this matter. If an administrator from HCPSS says until she/he is blue in the face that the HQ is not in Columbia, this administrator is not correct. Show her/him the maps.

Thank you, WhisperToMe (talk) 22:10, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

I have just learned about the 2012 noticeboard discussion Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_138#Use_of_Census-Designated_Places_as_geographical_authorities. User:Mangoe said:

"truly definitive boundaries for any community are impossible—except in the case of Columbia, because its boundaries are generally bounded by what land the Columbia Association controls through covenants. The Columbia CDP is much larger than that area, and incorporates large areas which anyone who actually lives there never considered part of Columbia (e.g. they simply ignore the town of Clarksville, Maryland and assign all of that area to Columbia). This has led to a lot of implication, particularly in the article on the town itself, that various things are in the town of Columbia proper when they actually are not." and "I would like to see this use of the CDP maps deprecated."

One other editor, User:TimidGuy, agreed.

The main problem: Wikipedia uses the CDPs as the very definition of various unincorporated communities. The census data is based on the CDPs. The maps posted in these articles are based on the CDPs, etc. This has been true since User:Rambot mass-created the articles back in 2003 or so. If the CDP maps are not reliable, all of the other data from the U.S. Census is unreliable too. This cannot be the case.

As I have stated in Talk:ENSCO,_Inc.#Regarding the address and location of this company: If there is a difference between the CDP understanding and the local understanding, this needs to be made clear and documented with reliable sources. The ultimate consensus emerged that if multiple sources differ regarding the location of something, it needs to be hashed out and clarified with the various definitions considered.

In this case, the school district HQ may not be within the Columbia Association's definition of Columbia, but it is within the U.S. federal government's definition of the Columbia, Maryland census designated place. The CDP map is certainly a reliable source to say exactly that this HQ is within the Columbia, Maryland census designated place. WhisperToMe (talk) 20:37, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

The issue remains that the Wikipedia appeal to the CDP boundaries as an authority is not what most people accept; hardly anyone knows that the CDP boundaries don't have much to do with people's intuited geography, or even that the census makes such designations. In this case we have at least three authorities: the CA covenants (I believe no), the USPS (no), and the CDP (yes). If you actually drive down 108, the obvious answer is "on the outskirts of Columbia" since you see the offices on one side of the road and signs for Columbia entrances on the other. If you have to say that it's "in" someplace, Columbia is a better answer than Ellicott City, but it's still a misleading answer. Mangoe (talk) 21:37, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
One of the issues too is verifiability. Do publications write down how locals define where a place is or what its boundaries are? In Third Ward, Houston#Boundaries I cited a book that discusses the boundaries of Houston neighborhood and how fluid they are.
As for the USPS city name, I wonder if, for that particular ZIP code, it is acceptable to write "Columbia, MD" instead of "Ellicott City, MD". Some "city names" of certain ZIP codes are interchangeable. In Talk:Centennial_Airport#The_way_to_settle_the_map_location_dispute:_US_census_bureau_maps one Wikipedian talked about how any address in 80112 can be written as “Englewood, CO 80112”, “Centennial, CO 80012” or “Greenwood Village, CO 80112".
WhisperToMe (talk) 20:58, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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