The FUHSD schools do a GREAT job of preparing kids for the UC and CSU systems which are as good as any in the US with 90%+ going to college. The vast majority of kids however end up going to UCs. Getting a good enough GPA is VERY PAINFULLY HARD at Monta Vista, yet even if you do get a 4+ GPA, the school will not release student rank and tends to give negatively biased recommendations to chinese and Indian kids especially girls. On the other hand 3.6 GPA smiling boys are hugged on stage by the FUHSD head of the board. You can guess how the recommendations went!
So if your kid is top class smart but not good as smoozing the principal and counsellors, send to a #2 school like Cupertino high or Los Gatos. But you would be even better off with private schools. However you have to be careful as Harker in particular seems to hurt the chances of Indian and Chinese girls seem to me to be hurt as much as in Monta Vista. They ALSO end up going to UCs as the top IVY recommendations seem to be handed out to 'favorites'. This is not really biased but a calculated method (perhaps conspiracy - wink-wink :) between IVY & Private schools.
Basically if you don't know enough to play the game, get a private counsellor as early as 8th grade. It is very worth it, as both private and public counsellors either don't know anything or won't do anything for your smart kids. Liberal public schools seem to be bent to the lowest common denominator, etc. Don't expect the over-crowded public schools to serve your child in this regard.
If you are looking for a FRIENDLY school to send your kids to Ivy colleges, however Monta Vista hurts the best kids as the counsellors and principal are too busy or give recommendations based on their limited personal contacts. Even small catholic schools give far better recommendations and understand the IVY system better.
Bottom line, you may consider put the house money in a private high school and/or private college counsellors.... more