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Old 07-26-2015, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Colorado
705 posts, read 443,760 times
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Someone just messaged me that Denver schools and education is so much better than the Colorado Springs school districts. Yet, in many reports I've been reading, Colorado Springs schools rank very high in the state. Can any one comment on this?
We specifically are looking at CoS over Denver because of husband's nature of work and the fact that CoS is more or less similar size to Albuquerque, where as Denver is much bigger.
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Old 07-26-2015, 09:06 AM
 
808 posts, read 1,176,420 times
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Whoever messaged you is just throwing out opinions without any basis in fact, as so many people are prone to do. Colorado Springs school districts 12 (Southwest part of town), 20 (North-Central), and 38 (far North) consistently rank in the Top 8 ranked districts in Colorado, based on district-wide test scores. That's 3 of the Top 8 school districts in the state, and my recollection is that zero of the other top-performing districts are in metro Denver, unless you want to lump Boulder districts in with Denver. Based again on my recollections, the other top-performing districts tend to be D'Evylin (or something like that) near Boulder, and then a hodgepodge of small rural districts where the sample size is very small.

So, based on actual state rankings of actual student performance, it turns out to be the exact opposite of what your someone who messaged you said. Isn't that so typical?
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Old 07-26-2015, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
3,815 posts, read 1,470,533 times
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The best schools are private.
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:05 PM
 
5,007 posts, read 6,688,060 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BornintheSprings View Post
The best schools are private.
That may be an opinion, but as for empirical evidence using our local schools, that would actually be pretty hard to find. If quality of education is the primary deciding factor, there isn't much to justify the cost of private school in our local area. I've tutored students for years from both our local public and private schools and can tell you from experience that the work they are doing in the classroom is essentially the same at any given grade level, and the colleges they end up in and the jobs they end up in are essentially the same as well.
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
3,815 posts, read 1,470,533 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otowi View Post
That may be an opinion, but as for empirical evidence using our local schools, that would actually be pretty hard to find. If quality of education is the primary deciding factor, there isn't much to justify the cost of private school in our local area. I've tutored students for years from both our local public and private schools and can tell you from experience that the work they are doing in the classroom is essentially the same at any given grade level, and the colleges they end up in and the jobs they end up in are essentially the same as well.
Really even if the work is the same at least the riff raff are kept to a minimum in private schools guaranteeing a better experience for the student.
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:30 PM
 
808 posts, read 1,176,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otowi View Post
That may be an opinion, but as for empirical evidence using our local schools, that would actually be pretty hard to find. If quality of education is the primary deciding factor, there isn't much to justify the cost of private school in our local area.
Again, people just throwing out opinions with little or no basis in fact. Over here in District 12 we have an "elite" private K-12 school that costs $25K/yr or some other enormous tuition and every year they publish a photo with its graduating seniors proudly wearing sweatshirts from the colleges to which they're matriculating and my response every year is a somewhat stunned: "250K or more in pre-college tuition and those are the best colleges these kids can get into? Really?" The kids graduating the D12 public high-school are getting accepted to and going to better colleges and universities than the one's I'm seeing on the sweatshirts. I just don't really see the point of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars of tuition for K-12 education unless one has rich grandparents or trust funds that will pay for such things, when the local public schools are as good or possibly better.
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:54 PM
 
5,007 posts, read 6,688,060 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BornintheSprings View Post
Really even if the work is the same at least the riff raff are kept to a minimum in private schools guaranteeing a better experience for the student.
Well, that is an illusion - drug problems, etc., are the same in private and public schools. I'd rather my child go to school with a whole spectrum of real people and learn how to deal rather than spend my child's college tuition before he/she even gets to college on an education that can be had for free right next door. To each his own.
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Old 07-26-2015, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
3,815 posts, read 1,470,533 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otowi View Post
Well, that is an illusion - drug problems, etc., are the same in private and public schools. I'd rather my child go to school with a whole spectrum of real people and learn how to deal rather than spend my child's college tuition before he/she even gets to college on an education that can be had for free right next door. To each his own.
I also don't buy the premise that the public schools in the Springs are on the same par as the private ones. Sure District 12, Palmer, and Air Academy are good but the rest are pretty subpar.
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Old 07-26-2015, 01:49 PM
 
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I'm not sure what you're basing that on - if you're going off test scores, lots of schools around here have same or better scores than Palmer and Air Academy, etc. Not that they're bad schools - they're fine - but you seem to be going off some kind of vague reputation thing rather than some kind of actual data. And private schools don't take the tests, so they can't be compared easily on that basis. Back in the 1950's-1960's, the "Academy" was the elite place in town for new money, and D12 was the elite place in town for old money. Those old reputations die hard. Palmer became considered all great because of its IB program but that is no longer the only game in town and when you look at its 'regular' population many surrounding schools are beating Palmer hands down.

I can tell you, for example, that Coronado currently has a better math and science program than perhaps any other school in the city, including the private schools - and its students graduate with more college credits than any other school in the city, too - even beating out those early college schools that can serve only a small population. They don't have the city's best test scores, because they serve a whole spectrum of kids and not just an elite population. Test scores don't tell the whole story - they really tell you more about SES than quality of education going on in a building. There are many other examples like that.

The moral of the story is that vague reputation and real data tell two different stories, and that you can believe all you want that our public schools aren't as good as our private schools, but the data still won't agree. There are a few good private schools here, yes, but there are some pretty darned lousy ones, too. And that goes triple for charters - many of them are absolutely horrible. And none of the privates are empirically significantly better than an average public school here in our city - a few of the charters are, but they accomplish that by limiting the population they serve, not by actually providing a different, somehow better education.

The thing about a public school is it serves all - so yeah, there are some people in any large high school who after four years don't have a great education due to lack of desire/interest (a common problem in private schools, too, fyi) or a huge stack of cards against them at 'home' - but there are some who after four years have phenomenal educations - i.e. the great educations are there for the taking in the vast majority of our local public schools for those who are so inclined. And they get it for essentially free rather than paying tens or even hundreds of thousands.

One of my friends is a leading statistics textbook author who worked at Fountain Valley School for awhile - he lamented how the FVS students and the education going on there was no better than any local high school or community college. He tried some other private schools before concluding the money parents pay for private education is only for them to feel elitist - the education is not better, the behavior problems are still there just more covered up, and the private schools are actually less well-equipped to handle students with disabilities or needs or even 'normal' kids - they only excel at serving a very narrow gifted population and no better than honors/AP/IB and other similar programs in public schools at that. Some people will be happy to shell out a lot of money to feel like they're protecting their kids from having to sit in the same class as the kids of the guy who fixes their car or the guy who gives them their speeding tickets or the lady who does their hair, and they will tell themselves stories about why it isn't really a racist or elitist delusion they're selling themselves, that their kid really is 'safer' with a white rich heroine dealer in class next to him/her rather than a low-pantsed brown-skinned pot dealer, or that their kid is in a more moral environment because all the girls get abortions rather than some of them showing their pregnancies and keeping their kids, or that the education is better because the school has to sell you a pretty picture to justify its tuition rate rather than actually provide highly-qualified, certified teachers and special services for students of all needs and abilities. But when it comes down to actual educational rigor and quality - the facts just do not support that the money is worth it, at least not here in Colorado Springs.

As I said before, to each his own, if it makes you happy to send your kid to private school, go right ahead. I'll still happily and respectfully tutor him/her when he/she isn't keeping up - the exact same level and way I tutor the kids going to the public school next door. But I find it misinformed or dishonest to claim on a public forum for people seeking information about the schools here to claim "the best schools are private" when the data just doesn't back that up.

Last edited by otowi; 07-26-2015 at 01:57 PM..
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
3,815 posts, read 1,470,533 times
Reputation: 2908
I don't really have any skin the game so to speak otowi. I have no kids and have no plans to have any. I grew up going to a private school in the Springs and I received a first rate education. My friends who went to public schools tended to not get as much individual help for there assignments and I feel like public schools are more about cranking out diplomas and less about helping the individual student. I do appreciate your well thought out response and yes I am basing my opinion on my experience and not on the data so to speak.
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