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Old 01-29-2015, 10:46 AM
 
30 posts, read 38,475 times
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Hello Friends

We applied to Harmony School of Discovery and Harmony School of Excellence - Waiting for our luck and the lot system to work in our favor - However got some questions.

1. What is the difference between Harmony School of Discovery and Excellence. - Which one is better?
2. We are zoned to Copeland Elementary and having transportation is a big plus for the public school. Is it worth to go for Harmony schools if we are getting selected?

I checked Copeland Elementary and its rated 9 in great school - Which is not bad is what I think.

Thank you very much in advance.
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Old 01-29-2015, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Knob Hill
2,064 posts, read 3,259,117 times
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While I'm not familiar with Copeland its stats are on par with our local elementary which we're very happy with.

That said, if I were to pay for private school I'd be looking at something more along the lines of the Village School or Yorkshire Academy (our more local privates). Just from what I've read about them, Harmony schools and Montessori schools are just as hit and miss as public schools so the benefits just aren't that clear to me. Unless of course your local public school is really so bad you have no choice and the 'brand name' privates (as I'll call them) are full.
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Old 01-29-2015, 11:24 AM
 
30 posts, read 38,475 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToyYot View Post
While I'm not familiar with Copeland its stats are on par with our local elementary which we're very happy with.

That said, if I were to pay for private school I'd be looking at something more along the lines of the Village School or Yorkshire Academy (our more local privates). Just from what I've read about them, Harmony schools and Montessori schools are just as hit and miss as public schools so the benefits just aren't that clear to me. Unless of course your local public school is really so bad you have no choice and the 'brand name' privates (as I'll call them) are full.
We live in Copperfield - Which is Barker Cypress and West Road, I was not able to find any Village or Yorkshire near by. And our work is near to Beltway and Clay road.
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:17 PM
 
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It might pay to research Harmony.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/07/ed...anted=all&_r=0

Quote:
But an examination by The New York Times of the Harmony Schools in Texas casts light on a different area: the way they spend public money. And it raises questions about whether, ultimately, the schools are using taxpayer dollars to benefit the Gulen movement — by giving business to Gulen followers, or through financial arrangements with local foundations that promote Gulen teachings and Turkish culture.

Harmony Schools officials say they scrupulously avoid teaching about religion, and they deny any official connection to the Gulen movement. The say their goal in starting charter schools — publicly financed schools that operate independently from public school districts — has been to foster educational achievement, especially in science and math, where American students so often falter.
What Drives High Achievement At Harmony Charters? | The Texas Tribune

Quote:
While Harmony’s test scores are outstanding by any measure, a true comparison to the non-charter schools is tricky. The school districts in big cities where Harmony operates often serve an even greater percentage of economically distressed students. And Harmony schools naturally attract more-motivated parents seeking a more rigorous environment and willing to play a supporting role. Like many charters, Harmony purposely does not offer transportation, partly as a matter of cost concerns but mostly out of a desire to demand a family investment, Tarim says.

The other issue dogging the high results of charters like Harmony involves student attrition. State law prevents charters from using selective criteria for admissions, but many critics have argued that they find ways to push out lower-performing students after they've enrolled. Ed Fuller, associate director of research for the University Council for Educational Administration at the University of Texas, recently irked Harmony officials and other charter advocates when he told USA Today that the network’s attrition rate was “50 percent” and that those who left were the lower-performing students, leaving stronger students behind to push up overall test scores.
The bolded is true of MANY charter schools.
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Knob Hill
2,064 posts, read 3,259,117 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anilsubramanian View Post
2. We are zoned to Copeland Elementary and having transportation is a big plus for the public school. Is it worth to go for Harmony schools if we are getting selected?
To be more succinct - No.
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:42 PM
 
30 posts, read 38,475 times
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I am confused !!! Some of my friends heavily recommend Harmony and here I got totally different perspective... Nana053 - Thank you very much for the links, they were good.. by the way anybody got personal experience here sending their kids to Harmony?
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Old 01-30-2015, 05:36 AM
fnh
 
2,152 posts, read 2,786,495 times
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We live close to the Harmony School of Excellence. Our neighborhood kids are evenly split between HSE, well-regarded Gleason elementary, and the "brand name" privates as ToyYot refers to them.

I know families who are very happy at Harmony and others who were definitely not and pulled their child/children. Harmony schools have a much more serious focus on academics, particularly math and science, than the regular public schools. However, that focus comes at the expense of 'soft' subjects such as art, music and sports. So, it really depends on your particular child and what you want for them. Some families I know have one elementary age child at Harmony and another at a different school based on what suits their personality best.

Yes there is controversy over the Harmony connection to the Gulen movement, but I've never heard anyone complain of proselytizing in the school. This being Texas, one hint of that and the charter would be revoked in a heartbeat.

Last edited by fnh; 01-30-2015 at 06:33 AM..
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:17 AM
 
30 posts, read 38,475 times
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Thank you everyone for your comments. Will wait till March 15th - to see whether we got the lot or not, then will take decision. If we are not lucky enough then its a easy one. I really appreciate your comments.

Have a great day!
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