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Old 12-17-2007, 07:44 AM
 
566 posts, read 1,598,342 times
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Many people think that by finding a nice neighborhood where people say good things about their local school that they have fulfilled their obligation to give their kids a good education. Nothing could be further from the truth. If they checked out the test scores on the state website they would learn that even in the best of California neighborhoods only 50% of the kids are reaching proficiency in math, science, and history. Why this sad state of affairs? Why do people refuse to look at test scores and put their kids in these schools?
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
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Test scores are not very meaningful, and are more likely to reflect parent performance than teacher performance. California scores are even more skewed by the level of ESL students. Educators are not miracle workers - they cannot take kids who do not even speak English fluently and bring then up to proficiency in an English-speaking school system at the drop of a hat.

The truth is in good neighborhoods if you are an active parent and teach your children to value education, they can receive a good education. The opportunities are there in the school system, it's a matter of whether the students and parents are committed to taking advantage of those opportunities.

I also think the high cost of living affects these scores, because like I said, the scores reflect parent involvement and dedication to education. With a high cost of living, you have more parents occupied with work. I'm not talking about educated mothers working out of the home as professionals being a problem, I'm talking about two-income families that have to burn the candle at both ends just to make ends meet, and at the end of the day don't have the time or energy to be involved in school programs, help with homework, etc.

California is a top state in terms of education spending. But the school system is taxed by illegal immigrants and over-regulation. One of the benefits of schools being state-run instead of federally-run is that schools can more adequately address local needs, but California is such a HUGE and populous state, the effect is more of what a system would look like if federally run. Still at the end of the day, they do a decent job, and your kids can get a good education in many California schools if you are involved and take advantage of the services your school and district offer.
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:07 AM
 
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I disagree. The problem cannot be blamed on esl students as the educators like to tell us. Take Mission Viejo High School in the middle of South Orange County a place usually highly regarded for its schools. Only 14% of MV's students are hispanic. Yet 60% of the students at MV high school will fail to reach proficiency in algebra and geometry while 50% of the students are not proficient in science and 37% are below proficency in history.

I'll throw out a challenge. You find a school in California where a majority of the students reach proficency in their subjects. You'll have great difficulty finding one even if you look in the best, most expensive places to live. The few schools I found where kids do well are those with large asian student populations. Asians value education and really apply themselves. They manage to do well even in a bad school system.

Take the challenge. Find a school in California where kids actually learn.
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Denver
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You know you are right, but I would say the entire United States is pretty bad, try looking at Florida or Texas schools, Americans just don't value education that much, compared to Asians.

Mission Viejo is highly regarded for its safety and family culture, not so much the schools.
Irvine is highly regarded for its schools, check out Northwood, Woodbridge and Irvine High School.

I would say Orange and Marin Counties as well as the Los Altos area have the best schools in Ca (areas with high asian population).

http://www.schoolmatters.com/schools.aspx/q/page=sc/scid=79653,79674,79648/pid=sr/up_txt=irvine/up_ust=CA/up_p=1/up_fp=1 (broken link)


California holds 5 out of the top 25 best schools:
http://www.schoolmatters.com/americasbest/gold (broken link)

Last edited by Mach50; 12-17-2007 at 09:24 AM..
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,348 posts, read 74,116,849 times
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My comments in blue

Quote:
Originally Posted by cobmw View Post
Many people think that by finding a nice neighborhood where people say good things about their local school that they have fulfilled their obligation to give their kids a good education.

There is probably some truth to this. How much is "many"?

If they checked out the test scores on the state website they would learn that even in the best of California neighborhoods only 50% of the kids are reaching proficiency in math, science, and history.

This does not sound correct. We researched before we bought in Thousand Oaks. We verified the quality of Conejo Valley USD. (Did the same prior to our move to Colorado). In the case of California scores, the data (from cde.ca.gov) are presented unnormalized (raw) and normalized (which accounts for differences in demographics such as parents' education levels, %ESL kids, median income, etc.) Both the raw and normalized data for our kids' schools were 9/10 or 10/10, with 10 being highest.

Why this sad state of affairs?

What is the sad part? The alleged lack of research on the parents part or the poor test scores?

Why do people refuse to look at test scores and put their kids in these schools?

People do look at these scores. High scores are a big part of the value added to expensive neighborhoods. (The reverse could be argued that expensive neighborhoods and it's educated inhabitants have smart kids and also those educated inhabitants demand good schools.) Right now I live eight miles from the US Air Force Academy. Many of my neighbors are Academy grads. You better believe they demand high performing schools especially in math and science.
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:29 AM
 
566 posts, read 1,598,342 times
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Mach50

The three high schools you mentioned are all in the Irvine School District which is 37% asian. As I said, the few schools where students do learn have high populations of asians which bring up the test score averages. Take a look at Oxford Academy in Anaheim a school almost entirely asian. But for the family with non-asian kids their experience in the California school system will be quite disappointing.
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:44 AM
 
566 posts, read 1,598,342 times
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Charles

The scoring system that you mention is just a rating system that the educators have come up with to rate one school against another. Does not say anything about how much the kids actually learn.

You can get the actual test results by going to each school's website or by going to the CA dept of education site. You think Thousand Oaks schools are better than most? Not true. Over 60% of the kids at Thousand Oaks High School fail to reach proficiency in algebra, geometry, and science while 33% fail to become proficient in English. And this is not a school with a large number of esl learners so we can't blame it on that.
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Denver
8,946 posts, read 14,027,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobmw View Post
Mach50

The three high schools you mentioned are all in the Irvine School District which is 37% asian. As I said, the few schools where students do learn have high populations of asians which bring up the test score averages. Take a look at Oxford Academy in Anaheim a school almost entirely asian. But for the family with non-asian kids their experience in the California school system will be quite disappointing.

I think it can be said that Asians (Chinese, Japanese and Koreans) value education much more than Americans do.

I know many White, Hispanic and Black families that have taken their kids out of Irvine Schools because they are simply too tough and spend too much time studying.

However, if you compare Cali to others states, especially of the same size, you will find that California performs very well.
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:18 AM
 
Location: earth
463 posts, read 365,527 times
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I don't know whats more insane: the fact that california k-12 schools are so bad, or the fact that UC's are so good.
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
1,567 posts, read 3,677,653 times
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Quote:
Yet 60% of the students at MV high school will fail to reach proficiency in algebra and geometry
Uhm, last I checked, geometry wasn't even requirements for high school graduation. For college admission, yes.

Again, you still have 40% of students reaching proficiency. That isn't some tiny minority of only erudite kids. That tells me that the resources are there for the kids to be educated if they are enabled by their parents.

I'm tired of teachers and admins getting blamed for everything. Parents can be absent, fail to discipline, fail to educate, and the teachers are expected to magically compensate for that. There is a problem with little to no supervision in the home, deadbeat dads, an unwillingness to discipline, parents being adversarial with school staff instead of taking a united stand with the educators in their child's life, and so on.

I had one teacher at the high school I attended in Orange County who used to work for LAUSD. He was a health teacher and he told us that when he taught health at his LAUSD school, he had to spend time teaching the teenagers BASIC hygiene like washing hands and dental care, because they weren't taught at home. When a teacher has to compensate for that kind of educational neglect that is occurring in homes, it's not fair to expect the the kid to also come out of school able to calculate the volume of a dodecahedron.
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