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Old 07-14-2011, 02:49 PM
 
Location: 92037
4,631 posts, read 8,581,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Because a graduation rate means that if you have 1000 kids start in 9th grade and 50 kids graduate, your school has serious issues with kids dropping out. If you have 1000 kids start and 1000 kids finish, you have a school that kids want to attend, families that care about keeping kids in school, etc. It's actually a pretty obvious statistic. Spend a day in an inner city school near you, then go to one of the top suburban schools near you and see what difference a school with a high graduation rate makes.
golfgal,

The statistic itself was obvious, you are right, but the conditions were not. It seemed fair that I didnt assume what she may have been implying, so I asked.

Its a bit off from the OP, but for all intents and purposes a valid point. To further reiterate my OP. The whole premise of my simple question was that in the hierarchy of school ratings, its much easier to look at the bottom of the ratings and say "I dont want that". I am talking about the ones in the middle more specifically. Not the greatest, not the best, but panned by city-data members across various states because it is NOT the best. I wanted to know how parents viewed "less than" vs "the best" and how that translates to a childs future success. The very bottom seems to speak for itself.
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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The single greatest correlation to what is perceived as a "best" school district is the socio-economic status of the parents. High-income parents deliberately segregate themselves from lower-income parents. It's all about power and economics, about class and prestige.

Can't have any of those poor losers making the neat lil' neighborhood all dirty and stuff.
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shmoov_groovzsd View Post
golfgal,

The statistic itself was obvious, you are right, but the conditions were not. It seemed fair that I didnt assume what she may have been implying, so I asked.

Its a bit off from the OP, but for all intents and purposes a valid point. To further reiterate my OP. The whole premise of my simple question was that in the hierarchy of school ratings, its much easier to look at the bottom of the ratings and say "I dont want that". I am talking about the ones in the middle more specifically. Not the greatest, not the best, but panned by city-data members across various states because it is NOT the best. I wanted to know how parents viewed "less than" vs "the best" and how that translates to a childs future success. The very bottom seems to speak for itself.
In many states there are a handful of districts that are "the best". Look at any individual board here and you will see the same 3/4 districts thrown out as placed to move to. By moving to one of these districts you will find solid communities, good housing resale, businesses within easy commuting distances and a whole host of other things that make up a good quality of life. By moving to an 'ok' school district your access to these things is less.

An example from our area-we are in what is considered one of the best districts in the state and also gets national recognition for being one of the best in the nation. The neighboring district, while still ok and still better than most districts around the nation, just isn't quite as good. It's a little further away from everything, doesn't have the amenities/support you find in our district, etc. So, why move to that district when you can live in this district?

One of the handful of districts that I usually steer people away from in our area is again, an ok school but not considered one of the best. If you live there, there are no major employers in town so you have to commute. There is one way in/out of town to get to the major arteries to get to employment centers. If there is an accident or bad weather, you can expect a MINIMUM of a 2 hour commute. Move just a town over and even your worst commute is only lengthened by 15 minutes or so because of the availability of alternate routes in and out of town.

Then, you look at college placements--colleges know which schools are good and which ones are not. Your chances of getting into your college of choice coming out of a recognized top school are much greater then your chances of getting into your college of choice from an Ok school. However, your chances of getting into your college of choice coming out of an inner city school-having performed well there (top grades, good test scores) are even better.

In most areas there is a HUGE difference between a top school and an ok school. Those differences often mean limited course offerings at the ok school, limited extra-curriculars, etc. Example from the schools above-our high school has 32 AP course offerings, the neighboring school has 9, our school has 15 CIS (College in the School classes), neighboring high school has none (these are college level classes kids can take to earn high school and college credit).

Now, our state is fairly unique as we have dozens of "top" school districts-our answers to questions about where people should move tend to include the handful of districts you don't want to attend and the rest are very, very good.

So why WOULDN'T you want to send your child to a top school vs an ok school?
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenSJC View Post
The single greatest correlation to what is perceived as a "best" school district is the socio-economic status of the parents. High-income parents deliberately segregate themselves from lower-income parents. It's all about power and economics, about class and prestige.

Can't have any of those poor losers making the neat lil' neighborhood all dirty and stuff.
See, I would tend to disagree with this. I think the best schools can be found in the middle to upper middle class areas where parents have a strong worth ethic and value education. Often schools found in overly wealthy areas tend to have a lot of social issues that ultimately affect the true quality of education in those schools.
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:50 PM
 
Location: 92037
4,631 posts, read 8,581,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
In many states there are a handful of districts that are "the best". Look at any individual board here and you will see the same 3/4 districts thrown out as placed to move to. By moving to one of these districts you will find solid communities, good housing resale, businesses within easy commuting distances and a whole host of other things that make up a good quality of life. By moving to an 'ok' school district your access to these things is less.

An example from our area-we are in what is considered one of the best districts in the state and also gets national recognition for being one of the best in the nation. The neighboring district, while still ok and still better than most districts around the nation, just isn't quite as good. It's a little further away from everything, doesn't have the amenities/support you find in our district, etc. So, why move to that district when you can live in this district?

One of the handful of districts that I usually steer people away from in our area is again, an ok school but not considered one of the best. If you live there, there are no major employers in town so you have to commute. There is one way in/out of town to get to the major arteries to get to employment centers. If there is an accident or bad weather, you can expect a MINIMUM of a 2 hour commute. Move just a town over and even your worst commute is only lengthened by 15 minutes or so because of the availability of alternate routes in and out of town.

Then, you look at college placements--colleges know which schools are good and which ones are not. Your chances of getting into your college of choice coming out of a recognized top school are much greater then your chances of getting into your college of choice from an Ok school. However, your chances of getting into your college of choice coming out of an inner city school-having performed well there (top grades, good test scores) are even better.

In most areas there is a HUGE difference between a top school and an ok school. Those differences often mean limited course offerings at the ok school, limited extra-curriculars, etc. Example from the schools above-our high school has 32 AP course offerings, the neighboring school has 9, our school has 15 CIS (College in the School classes), neighboring high school has none (these are college level classes kids can take to earn high school and college credit).

Now, our state is fairly unique as we have dozens of "top" school districts-our answers to questions about where people should move tend to include the handful of districts you don't want to attend and the rest are very, very good.

So why WOULDN'T you want to send your child to a top school vs an ok school?
Golfgal,

You are right and this was mentioned several posts back. To make things clear, you are defining "best school district" in any given area as the one that has the most of everything and its at the highest level around. Parents tend have a certain personality, economic and social profile in these areas. Neighborhoods seem to only reflect all of the above values.

If given the choice, of course a parent would send their kid to be best they possibly could. But you are making the argument that "best" means higher availability of high level courses and more amenities. Thats fine by definition but doesnt necessarily dictate the success of a child which was my OP.
Just because Costco sells a massive box of Cheerios labeled "family size", doesnt mean everyone in the family is going to eat them or like them but its there in case anyone wants them. But you buy them anyway because there was a study that said Cheerios boosts IQ 10 points for kids, when in fact you know your kid(s) hate Cheerios.


The school district in this sense just provides a platform for the kid to pursue higher academic achievement. Success is measured by how the kid eventually pursues their own life.
Whether that means the kid loves building and gets into the construction trade, but is the most sought after expert at what he/she does for the trade or an entrepreneur that is the next tech guru that never graduated university like Steve Jobs or Bills Gates. There are steps along the way to lead up to that success and school is only one of those very important steps. I think we can agree on that. But its not the end all be all.

I dont know what state you are in as you never made that clear, but here in San Diego, the spread is wide in terms what you were referring to in socio-economic environs and how it relates to "best school district" ratings. There is almost nor correlation between the two.

Prices of homes here vary across the board. I dont think its necessarily an apples to apples comparison.
For example, there are only 2 districts considered the "best" in the county. Prices of homes can range from 500k-over 1million in these two areas and range from coastal to inland suburbs.
However there are lots of other areas that have home values just as much that do not perform nearly as well as the best district schools.
When you look at these scores based on your example and compare it with the neighborhoods and cities that are half cost in real estate, the difference is minimal at best. They tend to be fairly comparable and NO we dont have "inner city schools" which you manage to keep using as a black and white reference point to justify your position.

Last edited by shmoov_groovzsd; 07-14-2011 at 05:02 PM..
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:56 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,363,417 times
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Again, the better schools will have more access to programs/classes, etc. period, which also includes classes like auto shop, drafting, CAD classes, home ed (or Family and Consumer Sciences), etc. They will also have strong music and theater programs--basically having offerings for most or all of the students-keeping kids IN school by offering a choice.

Also, just because a house is worth a 1,000,000 in San Diego doesn't mean it is in the "best" area. Housing prices there are way out of the norm. You also have to look at the country as a whole and not just ONE town. My point still stands, schools in low income areas are not as good as you will find in middle and upper middle class areas. Drive a bit north to LA and visit THEIR inner city schools and a good suburban school and you will see what I mean.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:43 PM
 
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Smoove -- you are correct, it is hard to understand the game, until you have played the game.


But, I will try to give a little bit of a run on it, and try to fill in where your understanding may be lacking.

First thing you have to be aware of is that some of US public education sucks. Sucks really bad and hard. If you do not get that part, much of the rest may not make sense.

But let's go biggest picture and work our way down? As you may know, among the various "industrial" nations, the US in Not the Leader in education. Usually comes in near the bottom. And then among the various states, some are clearly worse than others. Is that fair enough? Some chronic pits of ignorance include the Old South areas, but also some regions of other states.

So, adding all up, we have a low performing nation, with some low performing states. Now if you are in one of those low performing states, do you understand why you would not want a low performing district within that state? A triple-level loser, as it were.

If that did not make sense, say so, and we can work those details. If that did make sense, we can go a lot deeper into this, if you would like.
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:28 AM
 
28,906 posts, read 45,202,743 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarlaJane View Post
The irony is that I know these things, and make such statements, because of my education. Read some Balzac, some Flaubert and/or some other great French writers and you might understand what I'm talking about.
Actually, I prefer the Russians such as Dostoevsky and Gogol. And supercilious name dropping doesn't make you correct. All it means is that you've had your thinking colored by them. Buyou are totally and completely wrong if you think parents only choose a school system because of the considerations of status. I mean, why don't you try a real argument?
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:40 AM
 
2,113 posts, read 2,241,612 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Actually, I prefer the Russians such as Dostoevsky and Gogol. And supercilious name dropping doesn't make you correct. All it means is that you've had your thinking colored by them. Buyou are totally and completely wrong if you think parents only choose a school system because of the considerations of status. I mean, why don't you try a real argument?
Very true She labels those parents as "snobs" who wouldn't dare associate with the "lower class". IMO, they are just parents who care about their children's education.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:20 AM
 
Location: 92037
4,631 posts, read 8,581,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Again, the better schools will have more access to programs/classes, etc. period, which also includes classes like auto shop, drafting, CAD classes, home ed (or Family and Consumer Sciences), etc. They will also have strong music and theater programs--basically having offerings for most or all of the students-keeping kids IN school by offering a choice.

Also, just because a house is worth a 1,000,000 in San Diego doesn't mean it is in the "best" area. Housing prices there are way out of the norm. You also have to look at the country as a whole and not just ONE town. My point still stands, schools in low income areas are not as good as you will find in middle and upper middle class areas. Drive a bit north to LA and visit THEIR inner city schools and a good suburban school and you will see what I mean.
Golfgal,

After reading back through the various posts from other posters, I am getting a good beat on things.

When I made the reference in the prior post to real estate and San Diego tied with school performance, it was only in rebuttal to your situation where your argument was tied to that very subject and how your state has some of the best nationally.
Locally where I am, that is not the case as you stated. There are many million dollar homes here in San Diego, some in the top two school districts and the rest not.
In the million dollar homes areas here in SD, do the parents care less about their child's success any less than a parent in a comparable million dollar house in the better school district? How much more of a difference in test scores and amenities are there in areas where homes are 300-400k?
That is far more of an accurate apples to apples comparison which I was trying to make, but that is a very local situation which does not necessarily apply across the US where there is a much heavier surburb influence in relation to job centers (like a city or business park).
This is the same in NJ as well on the city-data forums. There is a town called Westfield. By city-data standards has 'the best' schools for proximity to New York City, housing stock and schools. But many folks simply cannot afford it or there is not enough housing stock for sale. Its not that they dont want it.

So what happens when you cant have it? How many levels down are we talking until the next best that fits the same quality of life criteria? Are the differences really that drastic between the top and next best that the parent feels like a failure for not providing "the best". Do parents bite off more than they can chew financially because of statistics where only a few points may make a difference in a schools testing and standards performance next to the next best?

I dont think this is a matter of right vs wrong as every child is different and will react differently to various environments whether its at home or in the classroom. I also dont think its about inner city vs suburbs. The location is almost irrelevant because we are talking about choices. Folks at the bottom more than likely dont have those choices so its far easier to point out that they have the lowest performing schools.
Again, we are talking about obsession in best and if you cant get the best because someone is torn between the bigger nicer house but slightly lower scores vs the smaller house with proven "best" across the board.

If a child is really that talented in some specific, wouldnt a financially capable parent be sending that child to a school out the area that really specializes in that discipline? There are charter schools, magnet schools and private schools that provide can provide superior resources than an 'all you can eat' school in town. That certainly makes more sense to me than having a school that has endless specialized classes with instruction at a level below what a specialized school would provide. Like ballet or the arts.

How does that translate into a childs success when some parents may, in some cases, take very minute details between school districts and basing decisions solely off a greatschools website and number crunching.

There are lots of VERY valid arguments that seem to be side stepping the real question but at the same time are very pertinent to that question. I am not sure if posters are trying to be politically correct in side stepping either. Some have been far more straight forward than others.

obsessive parents+best school district= success in life (trade, entrepreneurial, corporate ladder climber, cure for cancer, etc)
For all the folks that I have met in my life that have gone on to be decisions makers, experts in their field and professional athletes. I would venture to guess that not even a handful have ever said "boy am I glad my parents sent me that school instead of the one across the street. Who knows how I would have turned out if I went there".
Most of them say, my parents were always there for me when I needed them and pushed me when I needed it. The schools and education were important but the individuals motivation in life is what pushed them. Albeit at a later point in life. Not exclusively when they were K-12 or in college.

thanks for everyones input

Last edited by shmoov_groovzsd; 07-15-2011 at 08:28 AM..
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