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Old 02-06-2011, 08:23 PM
 
Location: WA
2,232 posts, read 3,501,801 times
Reputation: 2750

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I teach at a relatively prosperous and high-performing high school in suburban Texas. Up until now we have pretty much gotten anything we needed. Flat screen TVs in every classroom in the district from K-12, new science labs and decent equipment, lots of new computers and computer labs, and until now relatively low class sizes. For the past couple years my class sizes for general chem and general physics were around 20-22. This year due to growth they are in the 25-27 range.

Now due to previous tax games by our legislature we are facing monster deficits here in Texas and all predictions are that education will suffer greatly. Some of the predictions are frankly horrifying in terms of funding cuts for education. And since my wife has never really felt at home here (and we aren't from Texas anyway) we're increasingly thinking of packing up our 3 young daughters and setting out for greener pastures. Better scenery and climate, more accommodating political and religious culture, and good public schools. Not just for me to work in but for our kids to attend. They are currently in pre-K, 2nd, and 7th.

My wife is a doctor and could probably find work just about anywhere. But the more we look around the country the more things look as bad or worse as Texas. My own home state of Oregon is in worse shape than Texas. The high school I attended in the early 80s is a shell of its former self due to endless budget cuts. We looked at New Mexico and it's worse still. Utah? Budgets are being slashed and class sizes are skyrocketing. California? Yikes. We looked east to North Carolina and that sounds grim too.

So is there anyplace in this country where the public schools are truly in great shape? Obviously there are wealthy enclaves in every state where the schools are great. Here in Texas we have plenty of fabulous schools in the wealthiest suburban enclaves. But is there anyplace left where world class schools exist in more modest middle class communities?
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:53 PM
 
25,165 posts, read 47,306,817 times
Reputation: 6942
Why in the world did you look into California or Oregon? You said you wanted a more religious culture. I'm baffled by your strategy.

Your best bet is Arkansas or Tennessee. Both states are very religious and have great scenery. I know the city of Colorado Springs has gorgeous scenery and a very religious culture. If you want your kids to be raised in a religious culture you should get them into a Christian school.

Other states that come to mind are Kentucky and Oklahoma. Both states have mountainous and hilly areas.
Alabama has gorgeous white sand beaches.

Stick to all of the religious and conservative states.


Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post
I teach at a relatively prosperous and high-performing high school in suburban Texas. Up until now we have pretty much gotten anything we needed. Flat screen TVs in every classroom in the district from K-12, new science labs and decent equipment, lots of new computers and computer labs, and until now relatively low class sizes. For the past couple years my class sizes for general chem and general physics were around 20-22. This year due to growth they are in the 25-27 range.

Now due to previous tax games by our legislature we are facing monster deficits here in Texas and all predictions are that education will suffer greatly. Some of the predictions are frankly horrifying in terms of funding cuts for education. And since my wife has never really felt at home here (and we aren't from Texas anyway) we're increasingly thinking of packing up our 3 young daughters and setting out for greener pastures. Better scenery and climate, more accommodating political and religious culture, and good public schools. Not just for me to work in but for our kids to attend. They are currently in pre-K, 2nd, and 7th.

My wife is a doctor and could probably find work just about anywhere. But the more we look around the country the more things look as bad or worse as Texas. My own home state of Oregon is in worse shape than Texas. The high school I attended in the early 80s is a shell of its former self due to endless budget cuts. We looked at New Mexico and it's worse still. Utah? Budgets are being slashed and class sizes are skyrocketing. California? Yikes. We looked east to North Carolina and that sounds grim too.

So is there anyplace in this country where the public schools are truly in great shape? Obviously there are wealthy enclaves in every state where the schools are great. Here in Texas we have plenty of fabulous schools in the wealthiest suburban enclaves. But is there anyplace left where world class schools exist in more modest middle class communities?
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:04 PM
 
Location: WA
2,232 posts, read 3,501,801 times
Reputation: 2750
Quote:
Originally Posted by artsyguy View Post
Why in the world did you look into California or Oregon? You said you wanted a more religious culture. I'm baffled by your strategy.
Uh no, LESS religious than Texas. Or at least less in-your-face fundamentalist. By "more accommodating political and religious culture" I meant more accommodating of diverse viewpoints and less narrow. Somewhere where the schools aren't afraid to teach science and the state board of education isn't run by fundamentalist idiots who want to purge the curriculum of everything that conflicts with their own narrow world view.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:05 AM
 
12,454 posts, read 27,069,551 times
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I think that we have great schools in Eastern PA, strong teachers unions and very good pay. But because of that the jobs are very, very competitive. We have literally hundreds of colleges that churn out thousands of graduates a year that are certified to teach in PA and many of them want to stay in-state. So, while our schools are good, the chance of someone coming in from outside of the state and getting a job is not good. A beginning teachers salary may average $43,000.

It's not at all unusual for teachers to get a job as an aide or a long term sub after graduating college (all of the aides in our district are teacher certified), do that for a few years and then get a position in the same district. Once they get their spot, they will stay in it until they retire.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:28 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,363,417 times
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The country as a whole is hurting and that filters down pretty quickly to schools. Academically our schools are fantastic and while we don't have flat screens in every room, most do have tv's. We do have pretty high quality educational materials, however. We have brand new science labs, 5 computer labs with over 200 computer (replaced last year), outstanding programs for kids, full compliment of AP, post-secondary class options, etc.. Now, like TooBusy said, good luck getting a job here. Most openings have 500-1000 applicants. Also, our state doesn't recognize licenses from other states so there is a good chance you would have to do more school work to upgrade your license, etc.

I don't know of any part of the country that financially is in good shape with the possible exception of Sioux Falls, SD. At last report their unemployment rate was about 3%.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:41 AM
 
Location: WA
2,232 posts, read 3,501,801 times
Reputation: 2750
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
The country as a whole is hurting and that filters down pretty quickly to schools. Academically our schools are fantastic and while we don't have flat screens in every room, most do have tv's. We do have pretty high quality educational materials, however. We have brand new science labs, 5 computer labs with over 200 computer (replaced last year), outstanding programs for kids, full compliment of AP, post-secondary class options, etc.. Now, like TooBusy said, good luck getting a job here. Most openings have 500-1000 applicants. Also, our state doesn't recognize licenses from other states so there is a good chance you would have to do more school work to upgrade your license, etc.

I don't know of any part of the country that financially is in good shape with the possible exception of Sioux Falls, SD. At last report their unemployment rate was about 3%.
Are you in eastern PA as well?
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:41 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,426 posts, read 35,707,564 times
Reputation: 38829
Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
I think that we have great schools in Eastern PA, strong teachers unions and very good pay. But because of that the jobs are very, very competitive. We have literally hundreds of colleges that churn out thousands of graduates a year that are certified to teach in PA and many of them want to stay in-state. So, while our schools are good, the chance of someone coming in from outside of the state and getting a job is not good. A beginning teachers salary may average $43,000.
The same is true here in western PA.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
799 posts, read 1,591,401 times
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Northern Va has good schools, lots of diversity, open minds because of the mix of cultures etc... not that they don't have some problems but Fairfax County/Arlington and some of Loudon County have great schools. I don't care for the traffic but otherwise it may be worth looking into. Housing has come down because of the bubble/foreclosures which makes it more affordable now.

Any metro area is going to have problems. Maybe Mass/Conn area? Pittsburgh suburbs have some great schools as well in Mt Lebanon, Upper St Clair, and my mind is drawing a blank plus an excellent area for medicine! It may not be as diverse but I was never bombarded by anyone's religious beliefs like I am in the South.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Michissippi
3,116 posts, read 6,969,401 times
Reputation: 2050
I often wonder, is it the computers, flat screen TVs, fancy gyms, and other things that make a school good or is it something else? At one time, decades ago, students were able to successfully learn reading, writing, and arithmetic without today's modern conveniences. Yet we keep pouring gigantic amounts of money into higher education and we have more resources available today than ever before and many students don't learn to read, write, or add very well.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:50 AM
 
48,519 posts, read 81,013,914 times
Reputation: 17978
Yep;with te ever expanding growth i education budget they are naturally going to suffer more cuts. But I really don't thnithat money has equaled better education.Up til down mnay positios have been shielded by stimulus spending that was on credit.
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