"An amazing school. I was initially a bit suspicious about the concept of progressive education -- having enrolled and excelled at a highly competitive "academic pressure-cooker" of a high school myself (and enjoying that experience) -- and found the Parker community a bit too warm-and-fuzzy for my taste. But I can see how it has transformed my child from a shy and reserved person to a vibrant, animated, creative thinker. She loves school and her friends, and she has made very deep connections with her teachers. College placement appears to be excellent (and, trust me, I'm picky about this). The students themselves are very polite, respectful, confident and seem to possess an unusually high emotional intelligence which carries through into their learning. All in all, a great school -- and I'm not easily impressed. Pros: Strong emphasis on writing and public speaking (most schools wrongly assume public speaking should be "extra curricular" -- Parker is the only school in the city to get this right) Cons: pressure to donate, the occasional trust fund parent trying to the soften the curriculum (attempts are unsuccessful, thanks to the rise in # of "tiger parents" in lower school)"
"It's interesting reading the past two reviews. I graduated from Parker several years back. I was an ok student -- mostly Bs in a mixture of regular and advanced classes. I did not get into any IVY's, but I did get waitlisted at Northwestern. Hope that helps. And, yes, those boarding schools that were mentioned are more selective, but that may be because they attract a national/international audience."
"To the reviewer below me: any relatively capable kid at Parker who is even remotely focused on their academics *IS* heading to an Ivy League level college *IF* that is the path they want to take. I personally- did want to go Ivy League. Despite the fact that I was focused on sports more than academics (I had only a 3.3 GPA), I got into an Ivy (my SAT's were only 1440). Anyone who at least does their HW and can get B's in advanced classes (which is easy), will get into Ivy League if they want. If the student in question is not smart enough to get a decent score on their SATs then they SHOULD NOT go Ivy League because they will not enjoy themselves. Parker affords ambitious students to maintain a balance in their lives and STILL get into top Universities."
"Our daughter is enrolled in the Lower School. Unlike most kids who got in based on alumni and sibling connections, she got in based on merit. The school grounds are nice and the teaching quality is very good. However, there ought to be more diversity. And, the quality of the students, while strong, could reach the exceptional level of Exeter/Andover/Groton-types if FWP could make more room for merit-based enrollment. The vast majority of these kids (unlike the student body of those East Coast private schools) are not heading to Ivy League-calliber colleges."
"a great k-12 school. although it lacks diversity, it has a very progressive atmosphere. Teachers and students have great relationships throughout your Francis Parker experience. I have teachers I remember from lower school that I still know and say hi to. Parker also does a great job with combining the high school, middle school, and lower school. Parker also has a lovely assembly every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday where all students are brought together to see a speaker or student put on what we call a Morning Ex. Overall Parker has a very unique teaching style that can create, not only intelligent students, but great people."