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Old 08-29-2012, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,562 posts, read 7,668,850 times
Reputation: 4367

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Also, just a quick side note from this debate... I feel like we are ragging on the county's 'weakest schools,' so much. While I would never buy a house there, recommend, or send my niece to these schools, they have proven to help close the gap on people in lower socioeconomic groups and other types of minority groups that traditionally struggle in public education.

So while the schools perform worse than their counterparts in mostly single-family home communities, they are well funded, managed, and showing moderate signs of some success. This was one of the main points why Gwinnett won the Broad Prize.

Odd argument to make... but these schools succeed in some ways in the face of failure in other ways.

I just have to mention that, because most people decide a school isn't for them and their children and forget it can be successful in other ways.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:12 PM
 
29,352 posts, read 26,300,848 times
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Originally Posted by GRS86 View Post
All of this, plus you don't have nearly the North DeKalb/South DeKalb socioeconomic, cultural split in Gwinnett. You don't have half the county that's prosperous, the other half basically a nanny state.
Well, let's hope that things work out differently for Gwinnett.

My original point was that schools are very fragile, and that if you reach a point where significant numbers of parents lose confidence things can go downhill very rapidly.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:15 PM
 
29,352 posts, read 26,300,848 times
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Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
I just have to mention that, because most people decide a school isn't for them and their children and forget it can be successful in other ways.
No doubt about, cw. I have argued that same point in several other threads.

Just because a school has lower test scores doesn't mean it's not a good school. There's a lot more involved in education than standardized tests.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Metro Atlanta, GA
449 posts, read 818,836 times
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Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
Thanks, cw, I appreciate the data that you and aries and GRS86 are providing.

I still must ask, however, isn't this very similar to what happened in DeKalb?
In some appearances, yes, but I think that Gwinnett has more solid overall leadership (governmental corruption notwithstanding) in both government and with the school district than DeKalb does. Even though parts of Gwinnett are more desirable and prosperous than others, you don't have the Jekyll and Hyde personality that DeKalb has. One other thing is that Gwinnett has the advantage of observing what has happened in DeKalb, and can make the necessary adjustments to avoid being DeKalb II.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:35 PM
 
29,352 posts, read 26,300,848 times
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Originally Posted by GRS86 View Post
In some appearances, yes, but I think that Gwinnett has more solid overall leadership (governmental corruption notwithstanding) in both government and with the school district than DeKalb does. Even though parts of Gwinnett are more desirable and prosperous than others, you don't have the Jekyll and Hyde personality that DeKalb has. One other thing is that Gwinnett has the advantage of observing what has happened in DeKalb, and can make the necessary adjustments to avoid being DeKalb II.
Well, south DeKalb was no wasteland. It had many prosperous middle and upper middle class communities. It also had a long, solid history. So it was remarkable how quickly things fell apart, although we have seen that happen in many other places.

Many believed there was enough residual strength in other parts of DeKalb to keep the system strong. After all, in the 1960s DeKalb was a highly desirable, top flight school system that had received national recognition. Much of that continued throughout the 1970s.

Hopefully we have learned from the past and history will not repeat itself.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,562 posts, read 7,668,850 times
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Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
Well, south DeKalb was no wasteland. It had many prosperous middle and upper middle class communities. It also had a long, solid history. So it was remarkable how quickly things fell apart, although we have seen that happen in many other places.

Many believed there was enough residual strength in other parts of DeKalb to keep the system strong. After all, in the 1960s DeKalb was a highly desirable, top flight school system that had received national recognition. Much of that continued throughout the 1970s.

Hopefully we have learned from the past and history will not repeat itself.
You are right along these lines.

Most my arguments are made on a ... if you have a child now... How will their k-12 outlook be.

Those communities hey-day was 40-50 years ago. Over 30-40 years anything can happen. I still place stability in the predominately single-family homes, but our political make-up can turn upside down and re-district us and kill that away. This happened in parts of eastern and central Dekalb, IMO.

In many ways South Dekalb is growing now. I really see it as prime place for Atlanta's black middle class that is gaining ground, especially ones that like newer suburban amenities the Stone crest area can provide. They aren't poor and it isn't the ghetto.

I think the problem most of the southern part of our region has (and no county is completely immune to this) is limited job opportunities. Even the southern part of Gwinnett suffers this problem.

In south Dekalb you can get downtown, but in the eastern reaches it is a long drive and congestion is starting to spring up along I-20 outside of 285. Even though it isn't as bad as the northern freeways.

Nonetheless, they have a hard time attracting top, educated talent that wants access to many of the top jobs being attracted to the northern edge cities and suburban corridors along 75, 85, and 400.

I hate doing this, because it requires alot of effort digest alot of data, but I'm going to link to several maps by the ARC for people to digest/draw conclusions:

http://www.atlantaregional.com/File%...orkersLive.pdf

What I want to point out/draw attention to:
1) Where the jobs are/what areas importer workers
http://www.atlantaregional.com/File%...s_Sept2010.pdf
2) What are the values of jobs in an area (where are the higher paying jobs)
3) What are the commute times of different areas?
http://www.atlantaregional.com/File%...congestion.pdf
4) It is also worth noting... older more traditional industries are closer to downtown/midtown/buckhead and workers live closer to town, whereas newer-to-the-city information/tech industries are increasingly to the north. It affects where people live not by how much they make, but what industry they work in (and the reason there are arguments on why some people with some wealth live north of town).

Creative Industries: http://www.atlantaregional.com/File%..._2012_Arts.pdf

I process this information and see a link between jobs/pay, property values, desirability, and commute times.

However, raising a family and analyzing schools throws a curve ball in the decision process. People are looking for job-access + mostly single-family, strong neighborhoods with more stability. Meadowcreek and Berkmar have access, but they have lots of cheap housing via apartments and townhomes.

It is also worth noting, since intown apartments attract alot of yuppies, many people who can't afford higher rents are increasingly attracted to Gwinnett and Cobb increasingly making the apartment complexes more lower and lower-middle income families.

If the region continues to grow and yuppy demand can grow out into Gwinnett and into more off Cobb, like you see near Perimeter and Vinings, these areas can see a turn around.... but that will take some time. (decades)

Anyways... after all this information (and it is alot)... this to me shows the problem South Dekalb has.

Lower job access, higher commute times, and lower land-value. They export many workers, but also have high-commutes doing it... = lower desirability.

It is also worth noting, ever since Atlanta was founded and the original downtown was placed north and east of the rail tracks, Atlanta's suburbs and wealth mostly grew north. Many older communities built 50 years ago going north are now considered to be stable, nice parts of town (Buckhead).

There is also a cyclical affect. Employers locate to be near potential workers and workers located to be near employers. This is why one side of a city normally grows more than another. It is also why single-node cities (more downtown-centric) tends have more even development. Ours is multi-nodal, so it grows mostly in one direction.

I realize much of this is way off-topic, but it is all pertinent to why people locate where they do and it affects schools.
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Old 08-30-2012, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Jupiter, FL
1,659 posts, read 2,436,429 times
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Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
I feel like we are ragging on the county's 'weakest schools,' so much ... they have proven to help close the gap on people in lower socioeconomic groups and other types of minority groups that traditionally struggle in public education.

So while the schools perform worse than their counterparts in mostly single-family home communities, they are well funded, managed, and showing moderate signs of some success. This was one of the main points why Gwinnett won the Broad Prize.
This was true and still is true somewhat, but it will inevitably change. The new residents in Gwinnett are lobbying to replace the administration that produced the schools that they craved and that performed well for them. They will, in time, replace them with the administration that they are fleeing.
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