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Old 08-22-2017, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
81,028 posts, read 90,133,641 times
Reputation: 27645

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Before this thread gets any longer, I multiquoted the responses I agree the most with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RosieSD View Post
We chose to send our two kids to a high school 40 miles each way from our house.

With traffic, it took me about an hour each way most days, but some days it could take well over an hour if traffic was really bad. Sometimes, I did two round trips in a day, when they had conflicting extracurriculars. And, of course, on weekends, they wanted to spend time with their school friends, who all lived quite a distance from our home, so that involved more driving.

My kids received a wonderful education.

But, to be honest, those years are a blur to me.

All I remember is being in the car going back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and back and forth....

My kids mostly slept or did their homework in the car, so I didn't exactly spend quality time with them during those many hours. When my oldest got her driver's license, she started driving them to school a couple of times a week, but I worried constantly about the long drive for an inexperienced driver.

I don't regret the choice, but I'm not sure I'd make the same choice again.

I could live with a school closer to home that wasn't "perfect."

And, frankly, so could my kids.
This thread, because of the bold. Parents spend enough time driving around as it is. I recall reading that Olympic Ice Skater Nancy Kerrigan complained, well not really complained but stated frustratedly that she spent all her time in the car taking her kids places. If your kid is going to be in middle school, OP, you're just getting started on all this social stuff after hours, sports, clubs, etc that also take up a lot of time. Take note of the blue. Time in the car is not usually "quality time".

As to this poster's closing sentence, yes they could! It's really the kid, not the school. Mind you, I wouldn't have wanted my kids (now grown) in schools with abysmal graduation rates, that didn't offer higher level courses because there weren't enough kids to take them and all that, but the garden-variety suburban schools are usually more than adequate, as you say yours is, OP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecilia_Rose View Post
Getting there and back is just one part of it. Will you be willing to drive your kids to all their after school activities and to visit any friends they make at school. What if one wants to play a sport.

No kids but speaking as a kid who was a victim of forced busing I vote for the closer school especially since OP says its a fine school.

I missed out on a lot because my Mom worked and couldn't take me to after school activities etc.
Also Ive noticed that Moms tend to meet each other thru their kids. If most of your kids friends are far away then both of you will miss out. If your kids go to the closer school they & you will become more a part of the neighborhood.
Quote:
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
I think it depends on what "better" and "fine" mean - and just how specifically you are using those terms in reference to your kids.

I live in an enrollment zone within my school district, which means that you don't automatically get assigned to the school nearest to your home. There are 5 middle schools in the zone, and we got to rank them in order of preference. Just about everyone gets into their first or second choice, with I think something around 85% getting their first choice.

The schools vary in educational approaches and styles, and people mostly try to make a thoughtful choice on the right fit for their child - in a number of families I know, that has meant that their kids go to different schools as the right fit for Child 1 wasn't the right fit for Child 2, etc. I think people would say there is a bit a of hierarchy with people ranking the schools, but that actually changes over time. And just about everyone I know is happy with their child's school - none of them are bad by any means, they just tend to cycle through opinions about which one is "the best" at any given time.

If the nearby school is a great fit for your kid, I'd go with it, even if the distant school is supposed to be objectively slightly better. But if you really feel like the distant school offers something your kid can't get anywhere else, then I'd figure out how to make it work - probably some combo of carpooling, hiring someone for some of the school runs, sucking it up and putting in a lot of time in the car. But there is a value to not spending all that time on a long commute every day, for you and for the kids, so the distant school needs to offer something special enough to make it worth it - and I'd say that is a pretty high bar.
This is my favorite post!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostnip View Post
Depends on what you mean by "better." For a slight bump in standardized test scores, heck no. For better programming that's relevant to my kid's interests or needs, absolutely.
Agreed. OP seems to be focused on test scores and the farther school being a feeder to "the best HS in the US".
A couple of issues here.
1. There really is no "best HS in the US". There is no education group that ranks these schools. The rankings you see from US News and others rank by their own metrics, which may not be the metrics you/your kid is interested in. I know some rank by AP courses taken, rather than AP tests passed, stuff like that. It may sound schmaltzy, OP, but the test scores tell you nothing about how your own kid will do. That comes from within, and with a little parental pressure sometimes (which sometimes doesn't work, either).
2. Would it not be possible for your kids to open enroll into this high school when the time comes? High schoolers are more mobile in the sense that they don't need so much adult supervision. You might have to drive freshman year, maybe sophomore; however by sophomore year your kids may know some kids who drive who yours could pay, this was very popular when mine were in HS. By junior year yours will probably be driving. Even if you're thinking you would never buy a car for your kid I'll say "Never say never". Speaking from experience. We didn't exactly buy one for either of them, but they had cars accessible to them.

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 08-22-2017 at 01:26 PM..
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Old 08-22-2017, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
81,028 posts, read 90,133,641 times
Reputation: 27645
Quote:
Originally Posted by kent_moore View Post
It may or may not make the kids smarter but definitely it will help them understand further their lesson and get a better test score.
Not necessarily, there's lots of conflicting research about that. You seem to be way too focused on test scores, if I may make an observation.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
769 posts, read 630,069 times
Reputation: 435
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
Not necessarily, there's lots of conflicting research about that. You seem to be way too focused on test scores, if I may make an observation.
Then we should change the education system and junk the standardized testing. The point is, there is a system in place and you can't blame if there are students/parents tries to beat the system. That's one way of demonstrating "smartness".

Now if you change the education system, I'm pretty sure these students/parents (same people I mentioned above) will change their way of beating the new system.

Remember: Smart people can always adapt to changes! They are trained for that.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
769 posts, read 630,069 times
Reputation: 435
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
Agreed. OP seems to be focused on test scores and the farther school being a feeder to "the best HS in the US".
A couple of issues here.
1. There really is no "best HS in the US". There is no education group that ranks these schools. The rankings you see from US News and others rank by their own metrics, which may not be the metrics you/your kid is interested in. I know some rank by AP courses taken, rather than AP tests passed, stuff like that. It may sound schmaltzy, OP, but the test scores tell you nothing about how your own kid will do. That comes from within, and with a little parental pressure sometimes (which sometimes doesn't work, either).
2. Would it not be possible for your kids to open enroll into this high school when the time comes? High schoolers are more mobile in the sense that they don't need so much adult supervision. You might have to drive freshman year, maybe sophomore; however by sophomore year your kids may know some kids who drive who yours could pay, this was very popular when mine were in HS. By junior year yours will probably be driving. Even if you're thinking you would never buy a car for your kid I'll say "Never say never". Speaking from experience. We didn't exactly buy one for either of them, but they had cars accessible to them.
I think parents have their own preference, they have their own ranking. If you think test scores is my preference then I have my personal reason for having that preference. Non of my 2 school kids are athletic but both of them are academically inclined.

But yeah, this has nothing to do with test scores, but your and your kids preference.

Anyway, the thread is about how far are you willing to drive for your kid's school? You can use your own metric to decide what is the better school for you/your kids.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
81,028 posts, read 90,133,641 times
Reputation: 27645
Quote:
Originally Posted by kent_moore View Post
Then we should change the education system and junk the standardized testing. The point is, there is a system in place and you can't blame if there are students/parents tries to beat the system. That's one way of demonstrating "smartness".

Now if you change the education system, I'm pretty sure these students/parents (same people I mentioned above) will change their way of beating the new system.

Remember: Smart people can always adapt to changes! They are trained for that.
Schools have always used standardized testing, even way back in the day when I was a student. It has gotten out of hand, so it seems. Obviously some parents have gone way overboard in their interpretation of what these tests mean to their individual child. The school's scores mean absolutely nothing!

I doubt there is any relation between amount of homework and a kid's standardized test scores. If you (or anyone else) has some evidence of this, please post.
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Old 08-22-2017, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Middle America
32,559 posts, read 33,651,059 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steiconi View Post
Um, does that mean your spouse was kicked out of a bunch of them?
No, it means he attended one for elementary/middle, and another for HS.
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Old 08-22-2017, 07:58 PM
 
3,257 posts, read 2,499,081 times
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I would choose the academically oriented school up to 45 minutes-1 hr away.

If cell phones are stashed away in backpacks, you can have very good conversations on the commute.

Or if so inclined, you could learn a language together or listen to great audio books.
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Old 08-22-2017, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
81,028 posts, read 90,133,641 times
Reputation: 27645
Quote:
Originally Posted by historyfan View Post
I would choose the academically oriented school up to 45 minutes-1 hr away.

If cell phones are stashed away in backpacks, you can have very good conversations on the commute.

Or if so inclined, you could learn a language together or listen to great audio books.
See RosieSD's post.

Have you parented middle school children? They're not the most communicative, and mom/dad has to pay attention to his/her driving too!

It also depends on where the OP lives. In the Denver area, we recommend even for adults, to live close to work b/c of the snow. That goes double for schools, which are usually in more residential areas that get less plowing.
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:23 PM
 
7,620 posts, read 4,208,971 times
Reputation: 7934
Quote:
Originally Posted by kent_moore View Post
Sure. Here are some comparisons.

Example:
There is a fine school that is a couple of mile drive from my house. It is one of the most coveted schools by the parents in the entire city and year after year, the school has long waitlist. Here are its test scores (based on greatschools.org):

Science - 90%
Geometry - 77%
Algebra II - 77%
Algebra I - 75%
Math - 77%
English - 75%

The school I am considering next year will be another 20 minute drive from where we live. The school is on a different league since it competes with the best HS in the entire US. This is what I found on their score (based on greatschools.org).

Science - 99%
Geometry - 92%
Algebra II ->98%
Algebra I - 90%
Math - 93%
English - 92%
What are the reviews like on Great Schools for these two schools? What did you and your kids think when you visited each of the schools? What was the overall environment like?

Basing it on test scores alone and the reputation of your neighborhood school, I would stick with the neighborhood school.

Last edited by MissTerri; 08-22-2017 at 09:32 PM..
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:03 PM
 
Location: interior Alaska
2,836 posts, read 2,239,189 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kent_moore View Post
Sure. Here are some comparisons.

Example:
There is a fine school that is a couple of mile drive from my house. It is one of the most coveted schools by the parents in the entire city and year after year, the school has long waitlist. Here are its test scores (based on greatschools.org):

Science - 90%
Geometry - 77%
Algebra II - 77%
Algebra I - 75%
Math - 77%
English - 75%

The school I am considering next year will be another 20 minute drive from where we live. The school is on a different league since it competes with the best HS in the entire US. This is what I found on their score (based on greatschools.org).

Science - 99%
Geometry - 92%
Algebra II ->98%
Algebra I - 90%
Math - 93%
English - 92%
90% what? 77% what? Out of context it doesn't mean much.
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