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Old 05-22-2008, 11:49 AM
 
151 posts, read 364,766 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plessthanpointohfive View Post
I dont' agree with that, speaking as someone who went to private school but sends her kid to public. I think a good public school, where property values are higher, are as good as private schools. In the end the quality of your kid's education is a result of parental impact. It's just that often there are more involved parents at private schools. I mean, who's going to drop a wad on a private school and NOT get involved?

But, if you're an involved parent and you send your kid to a good public school then (1) your kid isn't in a private school surrounded by nothing but affluent kids and therefore is naive when he/she graduates, (2) your home is a big financial investment and a better neighborhood is always a better investment.

That's how we were thinking....do we keep our cheap house in the burbs and send our kid to Paideia or do we buy a house with a great location, including good schools, and reap the investment in 20 years?

And since we're both smart and educated and involved we decided to put our money towards the financial investment....the location.
Some interesting arguments..but I would have to think a private school is a better "investment." Who knows what a particular location will be worth in 20 years?
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Old 05-22-2008, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
9,913 posts, read 14,687,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by postprime View Post
As someone without kids, I'd like to know how parents interpet test scores when looking to buy homes. Are bad scores a deal breaker? Is the opposite true? Wouldn't the Chamblee High district be near the top for desirability in metro Atlanta, based on scores? And for people without kids, are test scores even a factor when looking at neighborhoods?
We were interested in the house and the yard, as well as the location, but the schools in the area really didn't matter to us at all. By the time we have kids, if we ever have kids, chances are the current situation will be different.

There are many things to consider when evaluating a school. Test scores are one, but special programs, sports, or the direct firsthand experience of others with kids in that school are also things to keep in mind.
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:00 PM
 
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Well, you would have to choose carefully. For instance, I really don't think Candler Park, where I live, will decline ever again. In most large cities once gentrification happens it never reverses.

But, after graduating from private school and having a son finishing his second year in public I don't think it's worth the money to send him to private school. He has friends in privates schools and they are not more advanced than he is. It's all about parental involvement.

The way I look at it, what's better for my kid? For me to dump a ton of money into a PRIMARY education that's not any better than what my property taxes on? Or save that money for college and investment in my property so taht when I get old my house can be sold so my son can use that money to pay for my care?

But you're right...I can't say other places won't hold their value but unless Atlanta, as an entire city, goes bust my property will never go down in value.
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:02 PM
 
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Bob, don't be obtuse. I was talking about the fact that my husband and I are smart and educated and involved parents and therefore private school is of no benefit to us. Don't start an argument out of nothing.
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:12 PM
 
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^ I agree with you. Even if you send your kids to private schools, you still need to get involved in kids' education to achieve the maximun results. Schools don't teach everything, in private or public. It's up to parents to educate their kids to become Einstein, not schools.
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by postprime View Post
I guess it is easy to say this since I don't have kids myself, but I have always thought that, if I did, I would buy less house and spend the savings on private school, if there were any way possible. I have always been amazed at the number of parents who buy half-million dollar houses and up and send there kids to public school. That isn't to say there are not terrific public schools, but if the top priority is your children's education, wouldn't private schools be the safest bet?
In my opinion, good study habits and a willingness to learn are the keys to getting the most out of school, and I believe that a generally capable and well-motivated student would do quite well in almost any school (public or private).

Extremely good or bad schools might have some impact due to discipline or social issues or the presence/absence of unique opportunities, but I think that the real-world impact of a particular school on a particular student is often overstated. Besides, once the kids get to college, nobody will care which high school they went to.

As others have said, parental impact (and sometimes peer impact) can be more important. Disinterested/distracted kids tend to make poor students.
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Old 05-22-2008, 01:10 PM
 
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As a high school teacher from NYC relocating to ATL beginning with the 2008-09 school year, I can tell you that you are all correct.

Test Scores: Yes they do matter to an extent but are not the only measure of how good a school is. Many of these tests are all multiple choice... basically Trivial Pursuit and don't always measure how intelligent a person is. I've had students who are extremely intelligent but score poorly on tests because they are just not good test takers. Others have done poorly because they, their parents, or both are apathetic. Sometimes the teacher did not do their job in teaching them the skills and/or material needed. While some of the better performing schools generally do have higher passing percentages, tests are not the end all be all of whether a school is good or not. You need to look at all factors including graduation rate, post-secondary plans, attendance rates, dropout rates, etc. You can go to the GA Dept. of Education School Report Cards at GaDOE Data Reporting (http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/findaschool.aspx?RegionID=46472&RPT=0&RL=SYS&RID=1 11&PID=62&Tab=69 - broken link)

Parental Involvement: I cannot emphasize enough how important this is. I currently teach in an inner city school with limited parental involvement. Most students with a solid support structue at home do well with a few exceptions despite being in a school where a majority come from single parent, extremely dysfunctional families.

Peer Influence: Of course this has an impact on students but if you you raise them right, most of the time they'll pick the right crowd to hang out with. But if they are in a school where the majority do well, then they'll have a better chance percentage wise of being influenced by better performing peers.

Teachers and Administrators: You need to make sure the teachers and adminstrators care about your child. I would encourage you to go and visit the elementary, middle, and high schools in the area speak to students, parents, teachers, administrators, etc. While a child needs a strong and supportive family relationship, it is important for your child to be educated by individuals who are willing to go the extra mile for their students. They need to be willing to pick up the slack for parents who can't be bothered or to teach the things some parents can't. They need to be a teacher, parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt, big brother / sister, etc. You need to make sure this is the type of environment your child is in for the seven + hours they are in school.
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Old 05-22-2008, 02:49 PM
 
Location: East Cobb
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More thoughts about postprime's assumption that private schools are always better.

Private schools don't hire from some special pool of extra-qualified teachers. Furthermore, they typically pay teachers less than public schools. Of course, a good teacher might prefer the private school working conditions. Nonetheless... I used to be acquainted with a teacher who worked at an undistinguished suburban Atlanta high school. She reached 65, retired, then became a little bored with retirement and first substituted, then accepted a permanent position at one of metro Atlanta's most prestigious private schools. This teacher was a pleasant person but didn't strike me as especially talented, dynamic, or good with teens. Is she turning in a higher-level teaching performance now that she's teaching at a prestigious private school? It seems more likely that the well-heeled parents who send their kids to her new school are now paying top dollar for their kids to get pretty much the same teaching that suburban taxpayers were getting from this teacher for the previous 40 years. Of course, the private school kids probably have fewer classmates who are ill-equipped or ill-supported at home.

I am not intending to sound completely negative about private schools. Choice is good, and sometimes private school is the best choice. I know a family whose elder child, an A student, did very well at one of those huge suburban public high schools, and went on to a successful college career. The family thought the high school was great. Then their second child went there. The second child was attractive, outgoing and athletic but had some mild learning disabilities. She was completely lost in the shuffle at the huge high school, began floundering ... her parents tried to work with the school, eventually realized it wasn't going to work. The parents and grandparents pulled together to scare up enough money to send her to private school, where with smaller classes and more individual attention, she finished high school very successfully.

There's no one right answer here.
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Old 05-22-2008, 02:56 PM
 
151 posts, read 364,766 times
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After reading some of the posts and thinking about my own experience, I realized that I probably bring a degree of bias to the discussion. My public school experience was mostly rotten. When I was in the fourth grade, my parents decided to move to a bigger house with a bigger yard in a less expensive area. They had financial reasons for this move as well, but, at any rate, we went from a very good school district to one that was fair to good. By the time I reached high school, the area had declined significantly, and soon so did my academic record. I got in with a bad crowd, etc. Of course, there were many issues involved besides the school, and I certainly brought some of my own bad moves to the dance.
Still, I often wonder if my experience would have been different if we had stayed in the "good" school district. My Mother always said it was the biggest family mistake they ever made. I wish I'd had the maturity at the time to compensate for it.
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:57 PM
 
8,717 posts, read 12,365,057 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by postprime View Post
Some interesting arguments..but I would have to think a private school is a better "investment." Who knows what a particular location will be worth in 20 years?

There is a myth and misconception that private schools are automatically/inherently better than public schools.


Totally not true.
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