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Old 02-04-2018, 06:12 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,196 times
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My wife and I are both 30-year-old post-graduates. I've recently been offered a salaried position at Epic (my wife has been offered a job at the Mendota Mental Institute) and am marvelously pumped about it! We have two children: One is in 5-year-old Kindergarten, whereas the other is in 4-year-old Kindergarten. We are from Longmont, Colorado, which is really homogeneously white (so I can imagine Madison schools will be a culture shock for my children). My brother who lives in Madison told me that he refuses to send his kids to Madison Public Schools because they tend to have drug and violence problems and be under-performing. He also told me that the teachers and administrators refuse to discipline minority students in fear of a racial lawsuit. Now, my wife and I are super progressive, and thereby value diversity, but we want our kids to get the best education possible. Our new house will zone our children within the Leopold School boundaries. Does anyone have any information or first-hand experience about this school in particular or Madison Public Schools in general?
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
977 posts, read 816,855 times
Reputation: 1447
https://www.schooldigger.com/go/WI/s...44/school.aspx

Some information


Just check out the school. You say you are super progressive and value diversity. So the school’s racial makeup should not bother you.
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:32 PM
 
314 posts, read 244,624 times
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At 4 and 5, I'm not sure your kids are going to have much culture shock. At that age, mine were still very much inquisitive and into exploring. I'm not sure they'd established norms yet.


We were faced with a similar situation when we had kids. We were in a Madison elementary school that was ranked near the bottom of the pile, similar to Leopold, and then our kids would have funneled up through similarly poor Madison junior and high schools. We moved to an outlying district in the suburbs. That was 6 years ago, it was a good decision.


Your brother paints with a broad brush, but I don't think his drug, violence, and under-performing comments are horribly off base. Especially when you compare the Madison School district to the Middleton's and Verona's of the world.


If you haven't committed to a house purchase, I'd encourage you to look around and spend some time looking at school ratings (and crime maps) for Madison. That's what we did. We found the schools we wanted, then bought the house.
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Old 02-05-2018, 06:19 PM
 
Location: WI
3,805 posts, read 8,506,316 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWG1572 View Post
If you haven't committed to a house purchase, I'd encourage you to look around and spend some time looking at school ratings (and crime maps) for Madison. That's what we did. We found the schools we wanted, then bought the house.

Hi OP, the above is a good suggestion. I would personally even recommend renting the first year if a relocation is to an area with little knowledge or support. Gives some time to get situated and dig into an area/district you want to raise your family before actually buying. But understood if that isnt an option and/or a purchase is required or already covered.

I assume you must be looking into living in the Fitchburg area if the Leopold schools are what you fall under. Note for your wife her commute to the northeast side to her job; assuming day shift she would be hitting some traffic backups and transit delays if going thru downtown Madison but considering her direction may not be too bad.

Yes you have a brother here, and some of his points are legit. Madison has been changing, especially its recent history. The physical areas over by the Leopold school off Post road has its issues (that south side area does). Something to keep an eye on.

I wont speak for Madison schools directly anymore as its not fair to offer just an opinion; except for '09-14 when we lived in SC, we've been in and around the Madison area since the 80's. Purposely moved to a burb years ago when our child was born and remained there for her and our sake. Did not want her in the Madison schools for various reasons. Doesn't mean that would be the right decision for others, just what worked for us.

Regardless of where you may end up living, i highly suggest a visit to spend a few days driving around and seeing the sights. Madison is not that large of a metro area, easy to get around time-wise.

Good luck
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
1,257 posts, read 635,697 times
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We moved to a burb before our kids reached school age, partially because that was where we found a house that met our needs and partially because we were worried about some of the issues we heard about in the Madison public schools. Now that we have first-hand experience with the elementary, middle, and high schools here and have watched friends’ kids go through the Madison public schools I am no longer convinced that the schools in Madison are worse than the burbs, despite the rating differences. Kids from families that value education and support their kids seem to do well regardless.

As for diversity, Madison is not a very diverse place. It is becoming more diverse, but it is still very white. I think experiencing diversity in the Madison city schools would be a great thing for the kids. Here in our suburban school, the population is 92% white and heavily weighted towards upper middle class families. It lends itself to somewhat insular ideas that aren’t necessarily going to serve our kids well in the wide world out there.
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Old 02-20-2018, 06:29 AM
 
625 posts, read 1,522,090 times
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In Madison Franklin/Randal for K-5, Hamilton for Middle School and West High for High School is as good if not better than any suburb. All are excellent schools. My kids are in or have gone through each of these schools and have encountered nothing but awesome teachers. There is more to a school than avg. test scores. Check out National Merit etc. too.
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Old 02-20-2018, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Verona, WI
1,201 posts, read 1,909,619 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AminWi View Post
Kids from families that value education and support their kids seem to do well regardless.
I agree with this and have seen it firsthand in my children's Madison school. A lot of how well your children will do in public schools depends on parental involvement, both in the school and in their children's lives. Children can do great in schools with lower scores, and poorly in schools with higher scores. This is true in Madison as it is pretty much everywhere.
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Old 02-21-2018, 05:55 PM
 
34 posts, read 25,391 times
Reputation: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNTroy View Post
https://www.schooldigger.com/go/WI/s...44/school.aspx

Some information


Just check out the school. You say you are super progressive and value diversity. So the school’s racial makeup should not bother you.
That shouldn’t bother OP, but the violence in the surrounding neighborhoods should. It’s been 15 years since I lived there, so maybe things have changed. But that was a big drug dealing area when I lived there.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:44 AM
 
14 posts, read 8,957 times
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JBear182, I came across this post. Our family is moving to Madison. We are looking at Franklin/Randall, Hamilton, and West. Can I direct message you? I sent you a friend request.
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Old 06-28-2018, 03:19 PM
 
Location: WI/MN resident
157 posts, read 77,786 times
Reputation: 461
Nope. The only folks who think so are afraid of the daily interaction their kids will have with minorities. It is amazing how many Madison progressives I know who send their kids to lily white private schools, all while preaching about diversity. I think it's more classism than anything. Middle-class whites (including liberals) tend to want their children to get a superb education, but why flee MMSD instead of making it better? The same scenario happens in Milwaukee and many other inner-city schools.

The teachers in MMSD are just as qualified as the teachers in suburban school districts. In fact, many have master's degrees. It's the students who come from low socioeconomic backgrounds and have language barriers who lower the school district's performance rate.
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