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Word Count: 886
In the middle of a crowded commercial area and a low-income housing subdivision sits Rincon High School The students at Rincon test at slightly below average on the Iowa Basic Skills Test a generalized knowledge exam given nationwide to all students every year St Gregory College Preparatory School is located in a suburban area near expensive homes and pricey coffee shops Student achievement at St Gregorys is exceptional in contrast to the mediocre performance of students elsewhere in the city Public schools simply cannot compete with the amenities and environment available to students at private schools There is a significant contrast between the opportunities offered at St Gregorys and Rincon not only in the type of classes but in the physical environment itself There is a world of difference between the two schools If you spent time on each campus you would reach the conclusion that they have to be in different cities Surprisingly they are located within five miles of each other Latin classes are mandatory for all entering freshmen at St Gregorys while Rincon students take entry-level Spanish as an elective Trigonometry is a standard math class at St Gregorys but Rincon only offers that level of math as an advanced placement course The physical environment at Rincon includes uniformed security officers trying to maintain order in overcrowded rundown buildings Students must pass through metal detectors to enter the campus Teachers spend more time on discipline than instruction The student attitude at St Gregorys was more mature and responsible No metal detectors have been installed and there is no need for security guards There are no gangs and no graffiti on campus The only security issues involved nonstudents vandalizing the campus buildings St Gregorys holds one-fifth the number of students as Rincon but the size of the buildings is comparable The student-teacher ratio at St Gregorys is 17-to-1 while Rincons ratio is 40-to-1 Students at Rincon get lost in
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