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Old 03-14-2013, 01:57 PM
 
2,886 posts, read 3,957,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
the fundamental question that occurs to me is, 'does the rating reflect the quality of instruction or the demographics of the student body?' because if it is the former, we want that school. if it is the latter, the ratings are completely irrelevant.
In the case of neighborhood districts or schools (as opposed to magnet schools) the demographics can oftentimes affect the quality of the instruction. And they're hardly completely irrelevant, either. Plenty of parents want their kids to attend a school where the kids' peers share an equal level of commitment to learning and excellence. It's not prejudice per se, it's pragmatism. Kids are influenced by other kids no matter what kind of home they come from.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:02 AM
 
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We're in a school district that is consistently rated Excellent, but I don't know...it sometimes seems like the district is almost frozen in time. They make far too big of a deal out of football & my daughter's elementary school is dominated by a small army of stay-at-home moms who appear to be stuck in either the 1950s or junior high school.

We certainly could have done alot worse (in fact, we moved several years ago partly b/c that school district was in decline), but I think the district we're in is also capable of being better.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:22 AM
 
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>the fundamental question that occurs to me is, 'does the rating reflect the quality of instruction or the demographics of the student body?' because if it is the former, we want that school. if it is the latter, the ratings are completely irrelevant.

People are the product of the culture of their family life to a much greater extent than their schools. People want to blame the mediocrity of their kids on schools when really it's them.
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Westwood
213 posts, read 539,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
>the fundamental question that occurs to me is, 'does the rating reflect the quality of instruction or the demographics of the student body?' because if it is the former, we want that school. if it is the latter, the ratings are completely irrelevant.

People are the product of the culture of their family life to a much greater extent than their schools. People want to blame the mediocrity of their kids on schools when really it's them.
Totally agree!

The Ohio School Ratings are useless in my opinion. Aren't over half the school districts in Ohio rated "excellent"? It's one of those ratings where it is basically "give everyone (in this case school districts) a trophy.

My kids go to private school for high school but they did attend public schools for grade school. For us the most important thing in a school district was finding one with high parental involvement and low drop out rates. IMO, those both go hand in hand with the students family life and the type of kids and peers (parents) you will have involved in those districts.
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah Perry View Post
In the case of neighborhood districts or schools (as opposed to magnet schools) the demographics can oftentimes affect the quality of the instruction. And they're hardly completely irrelevant, either. Plenty of parents want their kids to attend a school where the kids' peers share an equal level of commitment to learning and excellence. It's not prejudice per se, it's pragmatism. Kids are influenced by other kids no matter what kind of home they come from.
I really think this post hits the nail on the head. I know of excellent neighborhood schools in CPS, and excellent magnet schools in CPS. The involvement of the parents in the children's life and commitment to their kid's education makes all the difference.

Conversely, CPS has many lousy schools as well. Some, not all, but some of the blame can be placed at the feet of uncaring parents. If you take a child with a really lousy home life with behavioural issues, and put them in a public school, a lot of attention from the staff will be required to contain/help that child. When you have multiple kids per class room in the same boat, kids that don't have the same issues can get left behind. It's a tough problem.

To say what makes a school district better than another is difficult to quantify, unless you measure the district by size. The larger districts, such as CPS, are bound to have problems small districts do not. But yet, the large district may have schools that are far superior than a better rated small district. Of course the better rated small districts are a great sales tool for real estate agents, and desirable for parents not wanting to deal with large districts.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,381,264 times
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The size of a school district does have some bearing on performance, but I do not believe is a major factor. Far more important is the parental attitude and guidance provided to the students.

Mason City Schools is a large district, with a total enrollment exceeding 10,500 or about 25% of Cincinnati Public Schools enrollment. Mason HS was recently identified as the largest HS in the state. But I do not feel this alone is a problem. In fact a large district can provide a diversity of programs a smaller district just cannot afford.

I also feel whether half of the school districts in the state are rated as excellent is not a cause for concern. In fact the aim should be for all schools in the state to be rated excellent.

I can appreciate how difficult it must be for teachers trapped in low achieving schools with an inattentive or disruptive student body to keep up their enthusiasm for quality instruction. Like any other employee they desire to see some measurable achievement for their effort.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
4,007 posts, read 4,834,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
Far more important is the parental attitude and guidance provided to the students.
I certainly covered that, but left room for smaller districts not having the same social issues a larger one may have. Of course smaller districts can represent a very depressed community as well. Obviously, size only goes so far, but I think it can be a contributing factor for larger cities like Cincinnati.

Quote:
Far more important is the parental attitude and guidance provided to the students.
This hands down. I think that's why some schools/systems are excellent and some schools/systems aren't.
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