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Old 06-10-2008, 10:30 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,006 posts, read 102,606,536 times
Reputation: 33064

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A friend gave me this advice when we moved to the Abany, NY area, where she had previously lived:

"There are good school districts and bad school districts there, but you're not going to buy a house in a bad district."

This has stuck with me over the years. The other thing is that the school is only as good as the student. In other words, a good school doesn't tell one anything about how a particular student will fare. I am not talking about intelligence, more about motivation.

School test scores are highly correlated with parental socio-economic status, so what good scores tell you is where the affluent people live. They don't necessarily tell you where the best teachers are, or the most challenging courses are offered (though moreso the latter). A lot of educators and parents will tell you that these high-achieving schools often leave the less "preppy" kids out in left field. Look at Columbine. It is an extreme example, but yet, that stuff happens on a smaller scale in many of these "good" schools.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:52 AM
 
5,859 posts, read 14,051,512 times
Reputation: 3485
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
A friend gave me this advice when we moved to the Abany, NY area, where she had previously lived:

"There are good school districts and bad school districts there, but you're not going to buy a house in a bad district."

This has stuck with me over the years. The other thing is that the school is only as good as the student. In other words, a good school doesn't tell one anything about how a particular student will fare. I am not talking about intelligence, more about motivation.

School test scores are highly correlated with parental socio-economic status, so what good scores tell you is where the affluent people live. They don't necessarily tell you where the best teachers are, or the most challenging courses are offered (though moreso the latter). A lot of educators and parents will tell you that these high-achieving schools often leave the less "preppy" kids out in left field. Look at Columbine. It is an extreme example, but yet, that stuff happens on a smaller scale in many of these "good" schools.

Excellent post, Katiana! I am continually baffled how people tend to equate good schools with good average test scores. Your kid is your kid. If he is a poor student, sending him to a school with high test scores isn't going to help.

My kids both went to the public schools in St. Paul, MN. Suburbanites in our area like to point out how the schools of St. Paul and Minneapolis are "bad", and the fact that the districts' test scores are lower than those of the suburban districts "proves" this. (Just go over to the Mpls/St Paul forum, you'll see what I mean). Realtors are another culprit: they try to sell homes based on average school test scores, and people fall for it!

Here's the deal: urban school districts educate a much more diverse group of students than do suburban districts, in terms of economic status, English proficiency, parental values, etc. But your kid is ONE kid. A good school for your kid is one that offers opportunities for your kid to learn.

Both of my kids made the Deans list in college. My daughter graduated high school *** laude, took IB courses (not offered at most suburban districts), and won scholarship money from the "highly selective" liberal arts school she attends.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:58 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,006 posts, read 102,606,536 times
Reputation: 33064
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Around View Post
Excellent post, Katiana!

Both of my kids made the Deans list in college. My daughter graduated high school *** laude, took IB courses (not offered at most suburban districts), and won scholarship money from the "highly selective" liberal arts school she attends.
Thanks, Ben! The IB situation may be true in Minnesota, but here in CO many suburban districts offer it as well. Congrats to your daughter. My kids went to suburban schools that were ranked in the "excellent" category, but the high school was brand new when my oldest was a freshman there and did not offer a large array of honors and AP courses. She still graduated summa c*u*m laude from a nationally ranked liberal arts college and is in grad school. So I guess our respective experiences show it is the student and his/her motivation that has a lot to do with what they get out of education.
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Old 06-10-2008, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,642 posts, read 33,439,851 times
Reputation: 32362
I would have you look at Virginia. VA schools score very well on every major list. Paticularily York County, Virginia Beach, Falls Church, Chesterfield County are along the best in the state.
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