U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-05-2011, 08:05 AM
 
701 posts, read 1,528,016 times
Reputation: 792

Advertisements

Just read an opinion piece about while school choice was supposed to bring accountability to a school system what it has done is destroyed community-based education for working-class families while funneling resources to schools in more exclusive areas.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/05/op...nes&emc=tha212

The writer explains when families abandoned their neighborhood schools for charter schools, magnet schools, etc. the neighborhood schools, depleted of the higher performing students, were closed due to low test scores. Now there are no middle schools in her area, only K-8 schools that don't offer classes like algebra or foreign languages, and in any case, have low test scores.

She writes that she can put her child's name in lotteries for limited spots in a charter school or an out-of-boundary middle school, competing against other families across the city.

Her conclusion is that while some will win in the school-choice policy that is gaining popularity across the nation, a great many will lose.

Hmmm?

My first thought is that keeping poor performing schools open just because they are easy to walk to serves no one -- not the students and not a nation that needs an educated population capable of meaningful engagement in an information based, global economy.

But what's to be done about all the students who are left behind in this game of educational musical chairs?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-05-2011, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Maryland
18,614 posts, read 16,393,322 times
Reputation: 6343
I think she's wrong. Middle schools especially need to have a self selection type process. The parents who value education put their kids in one school the others in another. The problem my family was having was that the middle school that served our stable middle class community pulled in ghetto kids. These kids made learning impossible driving downthe quality of the school to such a degree that middle class parents pulled their kids out. Now the school is the worst in the county.

Before anyone interjects white flight or racism as the cause most of the people in my personal story are Black.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-05-2011, 08:31 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 53,888,664 times
Reputation: 10527
MN has had statewide open enrollment for 15+ years. It hasn't helped the underperforming schools at all. It's done exactly what you have said, taken the good students out of the really bad schools and mad those bad schools worse. They tried to close down the worst school in Minneapolis and the UPROAR that caused...for all 250 students attending this schools, was unbelievable. Of course it turned into a race issue, which it was not about really. The school is still open but they could have bused these kids to other schools in the same district for WAY less money then it costs to run the school but no. Kids in the Minneapolis schools also have the option to open enroll in many of the suburban districts with FREE busing, and they STILL don't take advantage of the programs. There is really only so much you can do to help if someone doesn't care.

Here you see kids taking advantage of programs, not so much "better" academics mainly because most of the schools, at least in the metro area, are all very good. Some kids will open enroll for a music program at a school, for example. Their funding follows the student so it can be a money maker for schools. You see it quite often in more rural areas where some of the small schools just can't support programs like AP classes so kids will open enroll in a larger district to have access to those classes.

You do have to apply to move to a different district but unless you have a really bad track record, most kids make it in. Some schools are "full" and can't accept more kids though.

I think those that are motivated to take advantage of the program win but like everything else, there has to be the motivation to succeed and until you address the real issue behind why kids don't succeed in school (and it has nothing to do with the schools) no program, voucher system, etc. is going to help.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-05-2011, 08:40 AM
 
11,636 posts, read 20,399,317 times
Reputation: 12159
I don't see how anyone is worse off under school choice. The underperforming schools are still underperforming but at least the most motivated students in those schools have a chance at a better education. The kids from families where nobody cares are at the same schools they were in before. Those schools are no worse than they were before, they just don't have their best students any more.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-05-2011, 09:13 AM
 
Location: On the brink of WWIII
21,093 posts, read 23,841,687 times
Reputation: 7812
In most urban areas I believe this is very true.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-05-2011, 09:13 AM
 
51,726 posts, read 41,660,095 times
Reputation: 32294
Well, it depends how you look at the situation.

If you look at it from the POV of the kids left behind yes....they are in a crappy school full of kids that are not there to learn, whose parents are largely uninvolved and so forth.

If you look at it from the POV of the kids that went to a magnet school, they are going to be able to reach their potential without being drug down by the kids that made their previous school untenable.

I'd rather not damage the quality of life and options for one group striving to improve themselves by expending additional energy on a group that by and large isn't going to finish highschool anyway.

Why should the one group suffer because the city LACKS THE WILL to take a hard stance on behavior, education and discipline?

My college roomate and others I knew went through the magnet school program in Chicago....otherwise they would have been stuck in the same crapschool with the gang-bangers and whatnot.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-05-2011, 09:41 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 53,888,664 times
Reputation: 10527
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
Well, it depends how you look at the situation.

If you look at it from the POV of the kids left behind yes....they are in a crappy school full of kids that are not there to learn, whose parents are largely uninvolved and so forth.

If you look at it from the POV of the kids that went to a magnet school, they are going to be able to reach their potential without being drug down by the kids that made their previous school untenable.

I'd rather not damage the quality of life and options for one group striving to improve themselves by expending additional energy on a group that by and large isn't going to finish highschool anyway.

Why should the one group suffer because the city LACKS THE WILL to take a hard stance on behavior, education and discipline?

My college roomate and others I knew went through the magnet school program in Chicago....otherwise they would have been stuck in the same crapschool with the gang-bangers and whatnot.
I agree with this, mostly. Schools can only do so much, a lot of this has to come from home too and that is where the fall off starts, but schools try to skirt around some of the worst discipline problems too. There was an article in the Minneapolis paper about how they have not expelled a student for about 10 years. Now, part of me says, ok, at least that troubled student is still "in" school and not on the streets causing havoc, but is that student really in school, probably not, so you have the worst of both worlds. Until you get all factions on board, schools, families and the STUDENT, it's never going to change. There will always be those that don't care and don't try no matter what you do for them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-05-2011, 10:38 AM
 
701 posts, read 1,528,016 times
Reputation: 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
I don't see how anyone is worse off under school choice. The underperforming schools are still underperforming but at least the most motivated students in those schools have a chance at a better education. The kids from families where nobody cares are at the same schools they were in before. Those schools are no worse than they were before, they just don't have their best students any more.
That's what I have always thought.

Our school district has been busing students about for years based on enrollment in the free and reduced lunch program. The idea is to spread out the kids from lower socio-economic families who traditionally perform lower on standardized tests. This way they get a shot at a better education. As a side benefit, by distributing them out among the district, their test scores are absorbed into the test scores of the higher performing students and thus no school appears to be failing.

Although, in fact many students are indeed failing.

I have often wondered why we don't have mandatory summer school for failing students. Those that need the additional instruction and school time, would be able to get it and it might be a quite a motivator for some students.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-05-2011, 11:23 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 53,888,664 times
Reputation: 10527
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatRoy1 View Post
That's what I have always thought.

Our school district has been busing students about for years based on enrollment in the free and reduced lunch program. The idea is to spread out the kids from lower socio-economic families who traditionally perform lower on standardized tests. This way they get a shot at a better education. As a side benefit, by distributing them out among the district, their test scores are absorbed into the test scores of the higher performing students and thus no school appears to be failing.

Although, in fact many students are indeed failing.

I have often wondered why we don't have mandatory summer school for failing students. Those that need the additional instruction and school time, would be able to get it and it might be a quite a motivator for some students.
As long as a school is making "progress" they aren't considered failing. Two examples:

School 1 had 98% of it's students pass the state test for NCLB reporting in 2009, in 2010 it had 97% pass

School 2 had 43% of it's students pass in 2009 and 44% in 2010

Guess which school is "failing" and it's not school Number 2....

The reporting and qualifying criteria is what is messed up in these cases. So, what is going to happen if this trend continues is that School 1 is going to get put on some lists and get extra money for tutors and whatnot for the Rhodes Scholars and kids scoring perfect on ACT/SAT's and attending Ivy League colleges where school 2 won't get anything because they are "making progress". Sure 44 is better then 43 but which school REALLY needs the money?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-05-2011, 01:17 PM
 
32,532 posts, read 30,573,823 times
Reputation: 32341
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatRoy1 View Post
I have often wondered why we don't have mandatory summer school for failing students. Those that need the additional instruction and school time, would be able to get it and it might be a quite a motivator for some students.
We had it when I was growing up. I never had to go myself but I had friends who did. Not having to go to summer school was a HUGE motivator to get better grades.

It got whacked because of budget cuts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:05 AM.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top