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FSA math and science 98%
River Trail math and science 96%
Mysticbubbles, "why" is a question that, when asked, becomes incredibly subjective and loaded with emotional attachment, don't you agree?
I always ask "what are the reasons" in lieu of "why?"
So, what are the reasons, Mysticbubbles?
I'll just state that you are not going to find out those reasons in a comprehensive fashion here on Trulia Voices...get all up in the grills of some of these educators and ask them yourself, face to face...
I could not find the disaggregated data for 8th graders, but I agree that River Trail has done a nice job with its students, at least as suggested by 2011 AYP data. It is also three times the size of FSA - one grade level at River Trail is the same size as the entire FSA student body. Larger schools can have their own issues when it comes to attaining AYP-related benchmarks; that does not seem true for River Trail.
Without visiting either school, I do not have an answer to your query. 2011 AYP data show that both schools have made AYP, with Meets + Exceeds for all subgroups at both schools at 90% and above, except for River Trail's Students with Disabilities subgroup, which was at 76.9%.