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Old 07-22-2011, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
22,533 posts, read 46,060,389 times
Reputation: 13302

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First I didn't have the school district thing correct. Well, I have the right definition but that's not what you meant. Then it is not that we are discussing small towns.

You can have a school on the "wrong side of the tracks" in a town of 20,000.

So here's what happens. Even before there was the internet you went with the best schools that you could afford. Usually that meant the more expensive neighborhoods. And then you hoped for the best. Its still the same, stats or not.

No matter what you do, the kid can still run away with the carnival. But you try to do your best.

And really, it has more to do with the different school systems and not where the schools are located within that system that insures a good curriculum. They are all teaching the same things. What worries parents is who the kid hangs with. Get caught up in the wrong crowd and it could be the end of everything. But no matter the school, there is always going to be a wrong crowd.
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:10 PM
 
Location: 92037
4,631 posts, read 8,579,778 times
Reputation: 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiknapster View Post
First I didn't have the school district thing correct. Well, I have the right definition but that's not what you meant. Then it is not that we are discussing small towns.

You can have a school on the "wrong side of the tracks" in a town of 20,000.

So here's what happens. Even before there was the internet you went with the best schools that you could afford. Usually that meant the more expensive neighborhoods. And then you hoped for the best. Its still the same, stats or not.

No matter what you do, the kid can still run away with the carnival. But you try to do your best.

And really, it has more to do with the different school systems and not where the schools are located within that system that insures a good curriculum. They are all teaching the same things. What worries parents is who the kid hangs with. Get caught up in the wrong crowd and it could be the end of everything. But no matter the school, there is always going to be a wrong crowd.
Love it. Thanks
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,697,018 times
Reputation: 14495
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiknapster View Post
First I didn't have the school district thing correct. Well, I have the right definition but that's not what you meant. Then it is not that we are discussing small towns.

You can have a school on the "wrong side of the tracks" in a town of 20,000.

So here's what happens. Even before there was the internet you went with the best schools that you could afford. Usually that meant the more expensive neighborhoods. And then you hoped for the best. Its still the same, stats or not.

No matter what you do, the kid can still run away with the carnival. But you try to do your best.

And really, it has more to do with the different school systems and not where the schools are located within that system that insures a good curriculum. They are all teaching the same things. What worries parents is who the kid hangs with. Get caught up in the wrong crowd and it could be the end of everything. But no matter the school, there is always going to be a wrong crowd.
BUT you can increase the odds by choosing the right school. There are schools where the norm is go directly to a 4 year college after graduation and schools where the norm is go join a gang by 9th grade. Which one would you want YOUR child in?
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,033 posts, read 8,245,548 times
Reputation: 4867
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiknapster View Post
I grew up in the 60s and 70s in the northeast and guess what? My parents built a house that was dependent on being near the best schools and this was a tiny town. There was only one junior and senior high school but there were four elementary schools and where you went determined your fate to some degree. The kids that went to the best schools hung out in the top echelon, dated the top guys.

It's always been that way.

Once again, you should be generationally moving your family up or at least holding steady.

Trust me. It will all become very clear once you have a child. The day he or she is born it will click. Suddenly the notion of moving mountains for the child, for making sure he or she moves in the best circles seems like a sane thought.
Again, "best" depends on your criteria. As someone who has run with "the best," I can tell you that most of them are slime balls that I wouldn't want my children anywhere near. "Best" these days usually means "a lot of $$." However, that rarely equates to character and ethics; in fact, it usually means the exact opposite, and that includes the "best" schools, public and private.

In short, rather than ask about "best" schools and/or districts, I think it is preferable that parents have a list of criteria that does not include standardized testing results and/or funding and that does include visiting the school and speaking with/researching the faculty and administration and getting feedback from the students (including one's own child.) You can really tell a lot about a school just by visiting and speaking with the people who are there.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
22,533 posts, read 46,060,389 times
Reputation: 13302
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
BUT you can increase the odds by choosing the right school. There are schools where the norm is go directly to a 4 year college after graduation and schools where the norm is go join a gang by 9th grade. Which one would you want YOUR child in?
heh. I guess you didn't read all of my posts in this thread so you missed the part where we left one state with practically the clothes on our backs so that our child would be in a better school district. We moved over 700 miles, leaving behind friends and family.

The point I'm making is no matter what, it is still a crap shoot. But if you are doing it right, you try your darndest to make sure the family moves up, that your kids have better than you.

I guess you missed this quote, too, which really says it all.

It will all become very clear once you have a child. The day he or she is born it will click. Suddenly the notion of moving mountains for the child, for making sure he or she moves in the best circles seems like a sane thought.

To say that I am obsessed with my child doing better than I, of being given every opportunity that I can, is an incredible understatement.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
22,533 posts, read 46,060,389 times
Reputation: 13302
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarlaJane View Post
In short, rather than ask about "best" schools and/or districts, I think it is preferable that parents have a list of criteria that does not include standardized testing results and/or funding and that does include visiting the school and speaking with/researching the faculty and administration and getting feedback from the students (including one's own child.) You can really tell a lot about a school just by visiting and speaking with the people who are there.
I agree and said that, too.

Get caught up in the wrong crowd and it could be the end of everything. But no matter the school, there is always going to be a wrong crowd.

I ran with the best, as I originally indicated. It's not a guarantee to success. In fact, sometimes the "best" schools have a large group of spoiled brats that have very little motivation and some of the parents are constantly using their clout to get them out of scrapes or worse.

I answer these "I'm looking for the 'best' schools" questions every day on here and have for five years. I've said the same things that you just did. There are so many factors that go into choosing a good school, but we try, oh how we try. Or at least we should.

And how involved we are with our children's education is key. That and paying attention to what they are doing, who are their friends, any changes in their behavior.

Our daughter is going into middle school and I intend to closely monitor the situation, adjusting for any issues. These are the critical years and what I do or don't do will determine her future.

And then, once again, she could run away with the circus. I have five kids -- from 11 to 30 -- and this is not my first rodeo.

Anyway, I think we are all agreeing with each other but not necessarily reading the entirety of each post and/or talking past each other.

The young man that doesn't have children yet will someday understand.
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 6,159,738 times
Reputation: 3481
Quote:
Originally Posted by shmoov_groovzsd View Post

So while I may not "have" children, I was a child once as were you AND I have nephews and nieces that are about to go into school.
This is offered on this forum a lot and I have to say I don't think it's at all germane. My cat has a person, and knows other cats who have people, but that doesn't mean he comprehends the intricacies of buying cat litter or why we choose to take him to the vet.

Likewise, having taken dance once and hanging out in a studio doesn't make me Martha Graham.

I'm not saying that invalidates your opinion or your right to post in this little corner of C-D. But some things really are experiential, and human motivation tends to be one of them. People do an amazing amount of what looks like silly crap from the outside. There are reasons I make the parenting decisions I do, but I'll be darned if I can explain why, other than "it made sense at the time".

Quote:
Trust me. It will all become very clear once you have a child. The day he or she is born it will click. Suddenly the notion of moving mountains for the child, for making sure he or she moves in the best circles seems like a sane thought.
I'm a slower study than hiknapster; it probably took me about a week to figure out there was no mistake made, that the lady these babies must really belong to wasn't going to come back and get them. But yeah, basically, I can go with this.

Last edited by Aconite; 07-23-2011 at 09:12 AM..
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 6,159,738 times
Reputation: 3481
Quote:
Originally Posted by shmoov_groovzsd View Post
hiknapster,



How does a parent do it these days? The methodology/process to formulate an opinion is what I am curious about in a world where data is abundant and opinions vast.

This applies only to regions that are dynamic, not necessarily a small town. Where the variations are sometimes in the metrics can be fractionally different from one district to another (this is why I mention this happening in the San Diego forums).

Socio-economically speaking: A place where 500k homes are considered the top of the market with a good school district and right across the street the lowest homes start at 600k but have a better school district dependent on metrics and again, only marginally better based on that data.
And just to confuse things, "richer" does not always equate to better, and what's "best" for one child may not be "best" for another child, even another child in the same family.
If one were to base assumptions purely on real estate costs, one may well be in danger of confusing square footage or ownership of a pool for educational excellence.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shmoov_groovzsd View Post
Yes.

Better this question to a parent. When it comes to formulating what is good enough for your child. What method is used besides raw data?
I mean where does it draw the line?
Better question altogether!

Speaking purely for myself, you'd have to start with knowing your child and his own potential, strengths, weaknesses, needs, and abilities.
You look at what's on offer as an option, both geographically and financially, and what your educational options are within those parameters. Then you try to make a match.
And then, when that's all done, you have to do that with each of your other kids, and God help you if they're very different!
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:09 AM
 
Location: 92037
4,631 posts, read 8,579,778 times
Reputation: 1931
Aconite, hiknapster, StarlaJane, IvoryTickler

Thanks for the SUPERB replies (sorry cant rep you guys anymore ). I felt at one point the messenger (me) was being chastised for not being a parent, thus invalidating the question which was based on an observation made on c-d forums. Although I only imagine the process I would go through, I thought the forum would be a great place to hear some collaboration on how parents approach the matter rather than just assuming this is how it works. I dont think there is anything wrong with that, even if the reply to the question would appear "simple" or matter of fact.

While I do lack parental "street cred"at the moment it shouldnt discount what I would imagine, is a fair question and crossroad every parent comes to which is education and how a parent goes about handling it.
Ultimately, the original question has morphed into probably a more cogent question, which is : When it comes to formulating what is good enough for your child. What method is used besides raw data?
I mean where does it draw the line?

My understanding was that only raw data and "I want to be around people like me" were the underlying factors for that determination or process.

Thanks all for the great dialogue
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,033 posts, read 8,245,548 times
Reputation: 4867
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiknapster View Post
I agree and said that, too.

Get caught up in the wrong crowd and it could be the end of everything. But no matter the school, there is always going to be a wrong crowd.

I ran with the best, as I originally indicated. It's not a guarantee to success. In fact, sometimes the "best" schools have a large group of spoiled brats that have very little motivation and some of the parents are constantly using their clout to get them out of scrapes or worse.

I answer these "I'm looking for the 'best' schools" questions every day on here and have for five years. I've said the same things that you just did. There are so many factors that go into choosing a good school, but we try, oh how we try. Or at least we should.

And how involved we are with our children's education is key. That and paying attention to what they are doing, who are their friends, any changes in their behavior.

Our daughter is going into middle school and I intend to closely monitor the situation, adjusting for any issues. These are the critical years and what I do or don't do will determine her future.

And then, once again, she could run away with the circus. I have five kids -- from 11 to 30 -- and this is not my first rodeo.

Anyway, I think we are all agreeing with each other but not necessarily reading the entirety of each post and/or talking past each other.

The young man that doesn't have children yet will someday understand.
Perhaps we are agreeing but just saying it differently. I get that parents want the best for their children, and that this might come off as an obsession to someone who doesn't have children. But the OP raised a good point about the fact that so much energy is expended labeling and searching for the "best" when the "best" is a meaningless/misleading label. It comes across as more narcissistic than necessary.

I think that I would similarly criticize or wonder about someone who was also always expending a lot of energy looking for the "best" car, the "best" house, etc. It's one thing to consider your children's needs but it's another thing to be competitive about it and, consequently, constantly obsessing about the "best," especially when the "best" is just a label.
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