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Old 06-26-2012, 10:51 AM
 
28,173 posts, read 24,722,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4KBH View Post
I've read thread after thread where urbanites bashed folks for leaving.
I honestly haven't seen threads like that. There seems to be some tension between a handful of young posters who are gung ho about city living, as well as handful of others who seem to think the city is a dangerous place full of awful people and bad schools.

But I haven't seen thread after thread (or any threads) bashing people for going suburban because of schools. Personally I've always felt it was an individual choice. You can make either one work, although you will likely make some adjustments either way.

I do think there's a lot of misinformation and misapprehension about how "good" schools are. For one thing, not all suburbs and suburban schools are equal. Typically those regarded as being in "good" school districts are pricier, just as they are intown.

But let’s look at the specifics. Take Toomer, the “up and coming” school we’ve been talking about in the other thread. Compare it to a couple of typical suburban schools, say, Centerville in Gwinnett and Nickajack in Cobb. To me it looks like Toomer is definitely holding its own, if not excelling.

You can find scores of similar examples. If you want to see another terrific “up and coming” intown school in an affordable neighborhood check out Bolton Academy.

 
Old 06-26-2012, 10:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4KBH View Post
We want people to flock back to the core (excluding those who WISH to leave in suburbs), improve the schools! Any other argument that omits this "800lbs elephant in the room" is simply wasted space.
The thing is, that's a chicken and the egg situation. If you want to improve intown schools, move to the city. That's exactly how great intown schools such as Mary Lin, Morningside, Smith, SPARK, etc., were created. People decided to live in those areas and put their kids in public schools. And the results have been dramatic and rapid.

That's precisely the way good schools are created in the suburbs, too.
 
Old 06-26-2012, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Here
413 posts, read 729,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
The thing is, that's a chicken and the egg situation. If you want to improve intown schools, move to the city. That's exactly how great intown schools such as Mary Lin, Morningside, Smith, SPARK, etc., were created. People decided to live in those areas and put their kids in public schools. And the results have been dramatic and rapid.

That's precisely the way good schools are created in the suburbs, too.
So let's continue that train of thought....is it changes in the school's teaching methods and curriculum that makes that school better, or simply the demographics have changed so that test scores from those that schools are now better. I would argue nothing has changed about the school's approach other than more involved parents and a demographic base that would have tested well not matter which district/school they were in.
 
Old 06-26-2012, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Well for me, it's a bit different than most everyone else. My partner and I would like to have kids in the future (next five years or so). We still own a beautiful home in the Brookwood cluster in Gwinnett. I love the area, my neighborhood, and the schools are excellent. However, I'm not sure how my kids would be accepted coming from a home with 2 dads. I know a few gay couples with their kids in the North Atlanta cluster (Smith and Brandon Elem) and they have been received very very well. My inclination is to stay in Buckhead where we moved to provide the best enviroment for our children. In all honesty, the suburban life didn't bother me in the least though.
 
Old 06-26-2012, 11:33 AM
 
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People keep bringing up the " well if you grew up in the burbs it isn't a big deal" argument and it is just the opposite for many Gen Y people. Growing up in the burbs makes some fine with living there while it makes some of us like me hate the idea of putting our kids through that as well as living that lifestyle.

I liked the fact that I lived in a safe area and has woods to play in, but hated the fact that it was nearly impossible or a day trip to go anywhere or do anything. It was a trek just to get to a gas station to get candy, much less anywhere else without getting a ride. Getting my first car was like opening a new world. Having a neighborhood or schools friends was possible, but meeting up before we learned to drive or got cars was just a hassle if we didn't live in the same subdivision.

I wonder sometimes" wow, I spent too much time inside alone watching cartoons".



















Seems like a missed out on some cool adventures living in low density burbs.
 
Old 06-26-2012, 12:07 PM
 
102 posts, read 186,774 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeinBoston View Post
So let's continue that train of thought....is it changes in the school's teaching methods and curriculum that makes that school better, or simply the demographics have changed so that test scores from those that schools are now better. I would argue nothing has changed about the school's approach other than more involved parents and a demographic base that would have tested well not matter which district/school they were in.
Finally someone mentioned the real reason certain schools are considered great. It is the demographics. Nothing magical happens with the teacher, facilities or materials. A new set of higher income and more involved parents move into the area. Any school can turn around if you replace the students. People always say (myself included) that they want their child to go to 'X' great school to get a good education, but aren't you really wanting your child to go to a school with a certain demographic of students and parents who are going to excel in any environment you put them? I would think that the teachers are all teaching the same curriculum or does this vary by school? Maybe it does, but I would not think it should.
 
Old 06-26-2012, 12:10 PM
 
Location: ATL by way of Los Angeles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onthemove2014 View Post
People keep bringing up the " well if you grew up in the burbs it isn't a big deal" argument and it is just the opposite for many Gen Y people. Growing up in the burbs makes some fine with living there while it makes some of us like me hate the idea of putting our kids through that as well as living that lifestyle.

I liked the fact that I lived in a safe area and has woods to play in, but hated the fact that it was nearly impossible or a day trip to go anywhere or do anything. It was a trek just to get to a gas station to get candy, much less anywhere else without getting a ride. Getting my first car was like opening a new world. Having a neighborhood or schools friends was possible, but meeting up before we learned to drive or got cars was just a hassle if we didn't live in the same subdivision.

I wonder sometimes" wow, I spent too much time inside alone watching cartoons".
Seems like a missed out on some cool adventures living in low density burbs.
All 'burbs aren't the same, especially depending on the area in question. For example, where I'm from (Los Angeles County) most folks in the suburbs have plenty of things within walking distance, have access to public transportation, and, unfortunately, deal with some of the same criminal issues as the folks in the city. I did my last two years of high school in West Covina. Within about a 5-10 minute walk, there were two supermarkets, several fast food spots (McDonalds, Burger King, Jack in the Box, Subway, Carl's Jr.), some other mom-and-pop types of spots (Mexican food, etc.), TJ Maxx, a bank, a liquor store, and a few other spots (cleaners, etc.). If you didn't have a car, you could hop on the Foothill Transit (bus) and get to either West Covina Plaza (now Westfield Shoppingtown) in one direction or Puente Hills Mall in the other direction. Naturally, there were several stores and offerings in those areas as well.

Suburbs of cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, or a few other cities aren't like suburbs of Atlanta where your house is not within walking distance of anything and there is no bus or train available. I've spent part of my life living both in Los Angeles and in the 'burbs of L.A.. In comparison, I don't think the kids in the 'burbs missed out on anything. On the same note, the kids in the 'burbs here in Georgia aren't missing out on much, especially if they haven't lived anywhere else. A teenager that was born in Lawrenceville and raised in Buford or born in Marietta and raised in Acworth more than likely couldn't care less about what "adventures" they could have ITP.
 
Old 06-26-2012, 12:19 PM
 
28,173 posts, read 24,722,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeinBoston View Post
I would argue nothing has changed about the school's approach other than more involved parents and a demographic base that would have tested well not matter which district/school they were in.
That's bound to be a key element.

Which is part of why it's a chicken and the egg issue. If we want schools to improve, move to the district, enroll our children and roll up our sleeves. It works, as countless examples have shown.

However, I don't see how one can complain from afar that the schools are not adequate unless they're willing to do that.

In some cities there may be a funding issue, but fortunately that's not a problem here. City of Atlanta schools are by far the best funded of any school system in metro Atlanta.

 
Old 06-26-2012, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Here
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
That's bound to be a key element.

In some cities there may be a funding issue, but fortunately that's not a problem here. City of Atlanta schools are by far the best funded of any school system in metro Atlanta.
Arjay, I'm not disagreeing with anything you're bringing up. To look at pure funding/pupil alone however is a mistake. One could argue APS vs. other suburban districts is higher due to collective bargaining agreements, higher need for social programs/school lunches, etc. In a way, this is like paying higher taxes to live in Atlanta proper. Atlanta has a bigger need to fund social program, public safety, infrastructure given it's an inner core city vs. burbs or exurbs.
 
Old 06-26-2012, 01:09 PM
 
14,490 posts, read 7,134,345 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
In my opinion it's also important to define what one means by good schools. That's also a multi dimensional judgment.
I agree with the above. It depends on what you see as a good school. I will be honest about my opinion on what constitutes a "good school" in Atlanta ITP, APS especially. Basically it is a public school where white children attend. I don't mean that to be racially focused or anything, but for APS it is true.

Some also think that high test scores equal "good school."

In regards to the OPs question, I like living in a city. Even though I am from a much smaller city than Atlanta (population wise) I am just used to dense, urban living. I did live in the burbs for a while but the constant car use is just too much for me. I honestly think that Atlanta itself is more of a suburban city, even at it's core, than the smaller city where I am from as I could walk pretty much anywhere I wanted to and not have to drive. Those pics of the kids playing BTW brings back great memories for me and riding my bike all over and having all my friends to play in the snow and with water guns, etc. I feel in a lot of ways, living a more "suburban" (even though I live in the city) lifestyle is cheating my kids out of a childhood.

But on schools - I do feel a lot of people would move to Atlanta proper if the schools were good across the city. Not even excellent level, just decent, good schools. Once the hipsters start families, they want a decent education for their kids, especially for older Gen Ys and younger Gen Xs like myself. I was lucky in that I got my kid into a really good charter school the year it opened and my younger child is guaranteed a spot there due to having a sibling attend, but if we would not have gotten into this school, we more than likely would have moved away from GA period because I just think the standards here are lower than where I am from, even so-thought "good" schools to me are below the things I learned in an "inner city" urban school district when I was a kid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fritz99 View Post
Finally someone mentioned the real reason certain schools are considered great. It is the demographics. Nothing magical happens with the teacher, facilities or materials. A new set of higher income and more involved parents move into the area. Any school can turn around if you replace the students. People always say (myself included) that they want their child to go to 'X' great school to get a good education, but aren't you really wanting your child to go to a school with a certain demographic of students and parents who are going to excel in any environment you put them? I would think that the teachers are all teaching the same curriculum or does this vary by school? Maybe it does, but I would not think it should.
This goes back to what I mentioned in the beginning. Pretty much all the schools in APS have the same materials and teach the same lessons, as they must follow the Georgia Professional Standards. Pretty much the kids are taught the same things. I know some of the "good" schools have IB programs (won't go into my views on IB but will say that I don't think too highly of it and don't see the appeal and prestige that many people seem to see in it, I'd rather my kid take AP classes versus IB). Some schools that have IB aren't considered "good" or "up and coming" - Beecher Hills elementary comes to mind.

IMO kids can get a good education at pretty much any school. I have never been into a school in Atlanta that is so horrible that a kid wouldn't be able to learn. The only differences I would take into effect are behavior of the children in class and quality of teachers. Contrary to what many seem to believe, not only poor black kids have behavior problems in schools and not every teacher in the burbs are great just because of the location. There are a lot of good teachers who work at schools without a good reputation and a lot of good kids go to those schools as well.

Personally on the whole "good school" thing here in Atlanta, I feel it is more race based versus test score based. I do feel there are administration issues in APS though, but that has more to do with the administration at the BOE versus the schools. And honestly I don't understand how Parkside, which is the school zoned to Grant Park, I believe is considered an inadequate school. I visited there once and thought it was a decent school. FWIW, I don't think any school is all that great though in APS or metro Atlanta burbs and that most are pretty much equally yoked, so it comes down to what you think makes a good school. For most people here IMO it has to do with what I started with - race and test scores. Both of which have no bearing really on how good a school actually is.
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