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Old 11-01-2011, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 22,531,332 times
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So why are there not good schools in Brookside? Or all the nice areas south of the Plaza? Here in Denver, we live in the Denver Public School District, a "big city" school district. DPS certainly has its challenged schools. But if you are in a great part of Denver, like Wash Park, Stapleton, and many other neighborhoods, you will find decent to great schools. Young families can live in urban Denver and send their kids to good public schools, so it's not something that keeps people out of the city.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:35 AM
 
29,988 posts, read 35,904,770 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
So why are there not good schools in Brookside? Or all the nice areas south of the Plaza? Here in Denver, we live in the Denver Public School District, a "big city" school district. DPS certainly has its challenged schools. But if you are in a great part of Denver, like Wash Park, Stapleton, and many other neighborhoods, you will find decent to great schools. Young families can live in urban Denver and send their kids to good public schools, so it's not something that keeps people out of the city.
Good private and parochial schools, yes; accredited public schools, no, not at this time. The Kansas City Missouri school district has severe problems that have failed to be solved in more than 35 years.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,572 posts, read 6,209,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
So why are there not good schools in Brookside? Or all the nice areas south of the Plaza? Here in Denver, we live in the Denver Public School District, a "big city" school district. DPS certainly has its challenged schools. But if you are in a great part of Denver, like Wash Park, Stapleton, and many other neighborhoods, you will find decent to great schools. Young families can live in urban Denver and send their kids to good public schools, so it's not something that keeps people out of the city.
I think Brookside and much of the urban core could have excellent public schools. The problem is you can't draw any sort of boundaries cutting out the riff raff because it would be considered racist, unfair, classist, etc., even though its not fair the better side of town suffers from being locked into a troubled school district associated with troubled communities.

Something drastic needs to be done with the Kansas City school district. When you have so many challenges and different parts of town involved, it might be best to break the district up into multiple districts so they can sort of "compete", learn from one another, and each go their own direction.

I gurantee you if you created a Brookside school district, say including the Plaza and all of Waldo until the Center school district line on the south, and between State Line and, say, Paseo, the property values between Troost and Paseo would skyrocket, and it would be awesome for the city as a whole.

All while, a new district could be created for the most troubled part of town, say, the vicinity that centers along Prospect in the 20s/30s/40s or whatever, and aggressively address the needs of that community.

Perhaps Northeast and the far east side could form a new district catering to English as a second language or whatever.

And I don't know what to do with the rest, but these are some vague ideas. Something should be done. Something drastic. Those in the good parts of town shouldn't have to suffer, those in the troubled parts should get the help they need. And the city as a whole shouldn't have to suffer.

Money would be better spent on multiple school districts providing a school board, superintendent, and different flavor of leadership for basically 1, maybe 2 high schools, each, rather than all the sports related crap and whatever fancy crap money has been spent on in the past.

That said, I'm sure Denver is a different animal. I can't imagine Denver having as many racial issues and the leftover troubles from white flight, the fall of industry, etc. quite like we do in KC and cities further east have.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,064 posts, read 27,246,238 times
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I don't see any reason they should split into an entirely different school district, but your point about "carefully selected" school boundaries is rather valid. There was a group actually trying to do just that (there was a threda about it at some point ...) but I'm not sure they ever got the school off the ground.

Frankly though, I think what KC education is missing is less about good neighborhood schools and more about a lack of high quality selective-enrollment magnet options. That could go a long way, and it wouldn't entirely keep out every kid outside of the upper middle class.
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:40 AM
 
30 posts, read 59,827 times
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Originally Posted by aragx6 View Post
I don't see any reason they should split into an entirely different school district, but your point about "carefully selected" school boundaries is rather valid. There was a group actually trying to do just that (there was a threda about it at some point ...) but I'm not sure they ever got the school off the ground.
Perhaps Hale Cook Elementary School | Movement to Open as a Neighborhood School within KCMSD is the one you were thinking of. It looks like they are not out of contention and working towards opening.
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,707 posts, read 18,536,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
So why are there not good schools in Brookside? Or all the nice areas south of the Plaza? Here in Denver, we live in the Denver Public School District, a "big city" school district. DPS certainly has its challenged schools. But if you are in a great part of Denver, like Wash Park, Stapleton, and many other neighborhoods, you will find decent to great schools. Young families can live in urban Denver and send their kids to good public schools, so it's not something that keeps people out of the city.
Denver has escaped most of the race issues that plague KC and most other large midwestern cities.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,064 posts, read 27,246,238 times
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Originally Posted by fredbobjoe View Post
Perhaps Hale Cook Elementary School | Movement to Open as a Neighborhood School within KCMSD is the one you were thinking of. It looks like they are not out of contention and working towards opening.
That's the one! I just knew they were hoping to be open for the fall, but that obviously didn't happen.

I am not opposed these these small neighborhoods schools, but I also don't believe them to be the full answer. I live in Volker and there were about a million little ones running around with their families on Halloween -- nice families of a variety of socioeconmic statuses (which is one of my favorite things about the neighborhood), but no matter how small or carefully selected the boundaries, they're still going to have to deal with plenty of kids who come from homes where education simply isn't a priority, and all the scores will be dragged down because of that.

Selective enrollment and lottery-based magnet schools can at least have some chance of overcoming that.
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Florida and New England
1,101 posts, read 1,308,375 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
So why are there not good schools in Brookside? Or all the nice areas south of the Plaza? Here in Denver, we live in the Denver Public School District, a "big city" school district. DPS certainly has its challenged schools. But if you are in a great part of Denver, like Wash Park, Stapleton, and many other neighborhoods, you will find decent to great schools. Young families can live in urban Denver and send their kids to good public schools, so it's not something that keeps people out of the city.
Brookside did have good schools. Border Star was one of the best grammar schools in the region. Southwest and Paseo High Schools were nationally known. Calvin Trillin has written (in the New Yorker and elsewhere) about his youth in KC and about the remarkable education he received at Southwest.

Growing up in the 1970s, students started to come to my district (SM-East) from the schools just on the other side of State Line. This was during the period when Missouri residents could pay tuition to attend Kansas schools.

The history of Paseo High School, in particular, is heart-rending. You will occasionally see an old bumper sticker dating from the legendary fight to save it.

Kansas City was known for its public schools and their collapse and the decades-long legal sideshow are IMO emblematic of the national urban condition from 1965-1995. Only Detroit saw a more stunning fall.
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Old 11-13-2011, 12:59 AM
 
30 posts, read 33,068 times
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All of the PP are correct about Brookside. We used to live there and I loved so much about it. More walkable than ANYTHING else in KC, the shops are amazing, houses are beautiful, lawns are lovely but not overly manicured, Trolley track trail is great.

But one thing I don't think they've mentioned is the crime, as you are a few blocks (or less) from much less desirable neighborhoods. Police helicopters and sirens will keep you up at night all too often. If you leave your car unlocked overnight, everything will be gone by morning, and you will NOT have a 2-car garage. If you are lucky enough to have a garage at all, you will likely need it for storage, as you will have no storage space in your house. the city's snow plows won't bother with residential streets. The houses are 80-90 years old, so there will be constant repairs. Public schools are, indeed, out of the question. The private schools are mostly VERY VERY conservative catholic schools, so your children will be stifled. Parents at those schools are astonishingly pretentious. Borderstar Montessori and Lafayette are possibly worth considering though. Oh, and if you live or work in KCMO, you will pay a 1% earnings tax.

Believe it or not, i really do love Brookside, but it tends to be romanticized quite a bit too. There are some serious drawbacks, especially when you have kids, which is why we left. Prairie Village is also lovely, and since it's on the KS side, it doesn't have many of the issues I've mentioned with crime, schools, snow removal. And the houses are not quite as old, so less issues there. Depending on where you will be working in the city, Lawrence might be worth considering. It's a great town, and quite walkable in many areas. It would be at least a 30 minute commute though. Good luck!
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,572 posts, read 6,209,319 times
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Originally Posted by kcmama View Post
All of the PP are correct about Brookside. We used to live there and I loved so much about it. More walkable than ANYTHING else in KC, the shops are amazing, houses are beautiful, lawns are lovely but not overly manicured, Trolley track trail is great.

But one thing I don't think they've mentioned is the crime, as you are a few blocks (or less) from much less desirable neighborhoods. Police helicopters and sirens will keep you up at night all too often. If you leave your car unlocked overnight, everything will be gone by morning, and you will NOT have a 2-car garage. If you are lucky enough to have a garage at all, you will likely need it for storage, as you will have no storage space in your house. the city's snow plows won't bother with residential streets. The houses are 80-90 years old, so there will be constant repairs. Public schools are, indeed, out of the question. The private schools are mostly VERY VERY conservative catholic schools, so your children will be stifled. Parents at those schools are astonishingly pretentious. Borderstar Montessori and Lafayette are possibly worth considering though. Oh, and if you live or work in KCMO, you will pay a 1% earnings tax.

Believe it or not, i really do love Brookside, but it tends to be romanticized quite a bit too. There are some serious drawbacks, especially when you have kids, which is why we left. Prairie Village is also lovely, and since it's on the KS side, it doesn't have many of the issues I've mentioned with crime, schools, snow removal. And the houses are not quite as old, so less issues there. Depending on where you will be working in the city, Lawrence might be worth considering. It's a great town, and quite walkable in many areas. It would be at least a 30 minute commute though. Good luck!
Brookside is a pretty awesome neighborhood. I'm not sure where you'll find something better. Maybe STL, but certainly no closer. IMO.
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