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Old 01-28-2013, 10:33 PM
 
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I noticed in another thread today that ave SAT score for two East Cobb schools was about 1150. Ave SAT score at Westminster and Pace was reportedly higher. If all accurate, there is one diff I guess.

I wonder if things like ave teacher credentials and ave class size would differ, one way or another as between East Cobb and the privates intown schools.

Probably another diff might be the connections/network post-high school but who knows. These connections or the name factor/cachet might have value as with anything else in life and the sometimes, it's who you know, right? But I am just guessing. I can't say for sure. Anybody know about this stuff?
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:10 PM
 
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Thanks for the comments. Where do most kids that attend East Cobb schools I mention go to college? Whats the parental involvement level in elementary schools such as East Side in East Cobb???? Are there any current teachers or former teachers in East Cobb that can give me the inside scope on teaching in East Cobb??? any parents that have their children at East Cobb elementary schools?

Has anyone had to make the choice between public and private schools??? What swayed your decision and are you happy about the outcomes?
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:45 PM
 
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OK, I have kids at two different East Cobb elementary schools (Timber Ridge and Mt. Bethel) and one at Dodgen Middle, zoned for Walton High. I personally grew up attending some of the best public schools in the country in the NE. We did use a private school prior to moving to ATL because we didn't think the public in our previous location was a good fit for our kids.

I have lots of friends from Atlanta, many of whom (including extended family) are products of the top private schools in ATL, and also lots of friends from other public high schools in the area.

*IF* we were extremely wealthy, (i.e. more money than my dh would ever make in his industry) or just maybe if we only had one child, I would consider living ITP so that dh would be closer to work and we would see more of him, and using one of the private schools. But, we would have to have significantly more money to consider spending $20,000 (realistically I am sure it comes out to 5K more by the time you add all of the other expectations in) per child over that number of years. And even then, I just don't know that I could justify spending that much when considering all of the lessons, travel, camps, experiences etc. we would be sacrificing. I get that these schools offer things that even the East Cobb schools don't, but I am not sold on the value. For us personally, if we could afford to live ITP, it would be more of a lifestyle choice because we would prefer living there, and because right now I would not feel comfortable using the public schools ITP beyond elementary.

Academically, I just don't believe that the education at those private schools is superior to Walton/Pope school clusters. Parents are extremely active and involved, the elementary schools have foundations that provide things like science labs and drama teachers, and the staff and administration at all of the schools seems pretty great (and I am picky). I don't believe my kid has to go to an Ivy league school to be successful in her life, but there are plenty of East Cobb graduates headed to top schools. Your child would certainly be challenged academically.

Perhaps the alumni connections are worthwhile--but of my friends in ATL the one who is the most successful in her career attended Marietta city schools. As a whole the public school grads that I know are achieving at levels comparable to the private school grads. And of course it is not representative of the entire private school population, but but I do think that the incident at the Piedmont Driving Club in the spring is representative of a certain subset of the population that I don't mind not exposing my children too. (yes, I am sure there are Walton grads capable of equally bad behavior--but not quite that level of entitlement IMO).

We are very happy with the schools in East Cobb. Good luck with your decision!
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 10 feet tall View Post
How do they academically compare? I think roughly equivalent, when comparing apples to apples. How do they socially compare? There is the difference, and that is why people pay $$$ for private school.
Curious what you mean by socially?
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by deacongirl View Post
Curious what you mean by socially?
If you compare college attendance (i.e. where the students go to college) among Atlanta private schools and good public schools (including but not limited to East Cobb) there is little difference. Go to the websites for private schools in Atlanta and check the "alumni" page where they list where their students have gone to college. You'll be shocked at how frequently you see public schools like Alabama, Auburn, UGA, Florida State, etc, with only a smattering of Duke and Vanderbilt and the like. Only rarely do you see Ivy League-type schools (outside of perhaps Westminster, but lets be honest, people who come to this internet forum to ask about Atlanta private schools because they are just moving here aren't getting their kid into Westminster). The idea that private schools are somehow "feeder schools" into elite colleges is largely hogwash. By contrast, I work with several people who grew up in East Cobb (Walton and Pope grads) who went to Stanford and Duke. I also work with several who paid big $$ to send their kids to intown ATL private schools and their kids are now at UGA and Auburn. People don't choose private schools to get their kids into an elite college, or if they do, it is a bad financial move.

It is the social factor that they pay for. I don't mean their kids being better behaved or "higher class" or anything like that. But for families in the "creative class" (as demographers now call them), private schools are a status symbol. It is anything from wanting to make sure your kids rub shoulders with Atlanta's "old money" kids at Westminster, or having Pace and Marist bumperstickers on your BMWX5 (when you see them drive by you know they have an extra 25K per kid per year plus the BMW). Just an old fashioned status symbol. And there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone has their priorities and values different things.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:38 AM
 
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I'd like to add a few more reasons families send their children to private schools. Many families would like a religious component to their children's education. Others just aren't comfortable sending their children to schools run by the government. That's part of it for our family. In addition we love the small class sizes at our child's private school. There are just fewer kids so that each child can participate in more sports teams, drama productions, etc. Thirdly, my family has lived in town for 100 years. We love living in town and are proud to support the wonderful private schools here. I think it's more than just a bumper sticker--it's a tradition of being independent and supporting the free market. I think also in town there is a lot of self-selection. We have liberal private schools and conservative private schools, religious and sectarian. I think it's nice to be able to select the culture of the community your child grows up in.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:42 AM
 
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deacongirl, I repped you because your post about value for the $ is spot on! We are off the same opinion as we have ours in private and frankly, I just don't see it...at least $20K/child worth of difference. We are in town and are subject to APS and I will not send my kids there. We are giving very serious thoughts to moving to north fulton.

I'm more convinced than ever that the formula to a kid's success is parental involvement and their ability to focus and work through adversity or failure. I don't want my children to be coddled. This is not reality. For those interested, there is a great article in the Economist that speaks to the KIPP program and schools that grew out of the Bronx.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:48 AM
 
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I meant 'nonsectarian'--sorry! ANd I agree w/ you, wannabeinboston, it does come down to parental involvement and the child's character and persistence. . . Obviously well-adjusted adults come from both private and public schools. It ends up being a personal decision for each family.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10 feet tall View Post
If you compare college attendance (i.e. where the students go to college) among Atlanta private schools and good public schools (including but not limited to East Cobb) there is little difference. Go to the websites for private schools in Atlanta and check the "alumni" page where they list where their students have gone to college. You'll be shocked at how frequently you see public schools like Alabama, Auburn, UGA, Florida State, etc, with only a smattering of Duke and Vanderbilt and the like. Only rarely do you see Ivy League-type schools (outside of perhaps Westminster, but lets be honest, people who come to this internet forum to ask about Atlanta private schools because they are just moving here aren't getting their kid into Westminster). The idea that private schools are somehow "feeder schools" into elite colleges is largely hogwash. By contrast, I work with several people who grew up in East Cobb (Walton and Pope grads) who went to Stanford and Duke. I also work with several who paid big $$ to send their kids to intown ATL private schools and their kids are now at UGA and Auburn. People don't choose private schools to get their kids into an elite college, or if they do, it is a bad financial move.

It is the social factor that they pay for. I don't mean their kids being better behaved or "higher class" or anything like that. But for families in the "creative class" (as demographers now call them), private schools are a status symbol. It is anything from wanting to make sure your kids rub shoulders with Atlanta's "old money" kids at Westminster, or having Pace and Marist bumperstickers on your BMWX5 (when you see them drive by you know they have an extra 25K per kid per year plus the BMW). Just an old fashioned status symbol. And there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone has their priorities and values different things.
Yes, I see what you mean.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:59 AM
 
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To the OP:
Just wanted to add, that from what I have seen, my friends who are facing this decision will not be choosing the private route because they think the schools are academically superior, but because they want to stay ITP to be close to work, the neighborhoods they love, etc. The ones who will be moving this way are doing it because they can't afford (or would rather spend the $ on something else) multiple kids in private school aren't concerned about the quality of schools, but the commute. (which isn't great, but my dh works downtown and it isn't horrible either)

One other consideration--having our kids at the neighborhood school makes for a nice sense of community, and it also makes arranging playdates etc. much more convenient. As kids get older, I just cannot imagine navigating Atlanta traffic to enable them to see friends who are further spread out.

Re: Eastside, I have not seen the school, but my next door neighbor's daughter (a Walton grad) is a teacher there. She loves it. I did speak to the school psychologist there who was extremely helpful and professional. It is a new building and supposed to be fantastic.

I am partial to Timber Ridge because of the smaller size, but that said, I don't think from a kid's POV that the experience at TR is that different from one of the bigger schools like Mt. Bethel.
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