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Old 08-29-2017, 09:42 AM
 
39 posts, read 72,216 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budgiegirl View Post
Wilco is still a public school system and adheres strongly to "teaching to the test".
I have mixed feelings about this approach. Colleges admit students according to how well they test (ACT scores, for example). While probably not ideal for creativity, perhaps these schools do help kids make it through 'the system' by playing according to the rules that the system has set. I want my kids to know how to test well, as long as this is how 'the system' works.


However, I'm also not one of those parents that is going to force my children into college. I often have days where I wish I had gone with my creative skills rather than my business acumen, and I will tell my children this. I personally believe that we are most successful when we chase our deepest desires (whoa, getting deep here). If we gave every student a windfall and said "go, do what you want, you'll be fine even if you fail", we would have many more successful kids and our society would be much more innovative. Or maybe it's the reverse; if we took everything away from them, perhaps these students would go with what they know or what they love, and out of survival, make society more innovative. Either way - a college degree is not a magic bullet!


It's fear that drives many parents to force their kids to go to college. They're searching for security. Think about what parents say: "What will you do if singing doesn't work out? What will you do if art doesn't work out? What will you do if your lawn business doesn't take off?" All fear-based questions as if there won't be more options available in the future.


Anyway, that's my rant. I believe that the socioeconomic status of surrounding areas are making the schools look good, not the reverse. And yes, my kids may be better off to be surrounded by children who have similar parents that value education, but they also risk becoming another kid that doesn't fit in because conformity is not what their success will be dependent upon.
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Old 08-30-2017, 08:38 AM
 
136 posts, read 197,118 times
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Yes the strongest predictor of a child's future earnings is their parents current earnings. That is life in America. My kids go to a private school in Nashville and the wealth is frankly astounding. Although I was against sending my kids to private school for that reason, I actually have found it to be a wonderful teaching point, because my kids see just how excessive it is. They understand much better now that kids are not all starting from the same starting point in life, and life is not a simple meritocracy.

So circling back to Williamson County schools - they have an ideal demographic for success, and that is especially true in the Brentwood/Ravenwood schools, so it is no surprise they are testing higher. Read the post above - they have somebody paid specifically to teach them how to score higher on the ACT! Some parents may think that is awesome. It makes me sick to my stomach. First because it is a depressing way to educate kids. Second, it is a depressing message that we are giving to our kids (in my opinion) that doing well on a test is more important than the process of becoming educated. And finally it provides such an unfair advantage compared to other kids, that I have often thought that kids should sign a disclaimer on their college applications that they were given advantages such as ACT prep, college essay assistance, etc, etc. It certainly is a privileged life - and one can view that as a pro or con.
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Old 08-30-2017, 01:47 PM
 
147 posts, read 320,365 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budgiegirl View Post
Yes the strongest predictor of a child's future earnings is their parents current earnings. That is life in America. My kids go to a private school in Nashville and the wealth is frankly astounding. Although I was against sending my kids to private school for that reason, I actually have found it to be a wonderful teaching point, because my kids see just how excessive it is. They understand much better now that kids are not all starting from the same starting point in life, and life is not a simple meritocracy.

So circling back to Williamson County schools - they have an ideal demographic for success, and that is especially true in the Brentwood/Ravenwood schools, so it is no surprise they are testing higher. Read the post above - they have somebody paid specifically to teach them how to score higher on the ACT! Some parents may think that is awesome. It makes me sick to my stomach. First because it is a depressing way to educate kids. Second, it is a depressing message that we are giving to our kids (in my opinion) that doing well on a test is more important than the process of becoming educated. And finally it provides such an unfair advantage compared to other kids, that I have often thought that kids should sign a disclaimer on their college applications that they were given advantages such as ACT prep, college essay assistance, etc, etc. It certainly is a privileged life - and one can view that as a pro or con.
Sick to your stomach? Lol come on now. The reality is there has to be a quantitative way to measure students, and right now that's the ACT and SAT. I think you're doing a lot of projecting about teaching to the test. It is possible to do well on standardized tests and also "become educated."

People should use every single resource available to them, including ACT prep courses. Not really sure how that can be spun as a negative, but here we are.
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Old 08-31-2017, 04:11 PM
 
913 posts, read 1,867,264 times
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It's impossible to entirely detangle all of the variables, but demographics are the primary driving force. Higher incomes self select for academically focused families who have high expectations. The high expectations create a feedback loop that drives the students and schools even more.

Even within Williamson County Schools, there is a hierarchy of test scores that has the appearance of being driven by demographics. For example, look at the 2016 ACT scores from the Williamson County high schools (source - https://patch.com/tennessee/brentwoo...rage-act-score)

Brentwood High - 26.3
Ravenwood High - 25.3
Franklin High - 24.9
Independence High - 23.1
Summit High - 22.5
Page High - 22.4
Renaissance High - 22.4
Centennial High - 21.9
Fairview High - 20.8

Looking at the spread of ACT scores within the county it also matches up with the relative affluence of the areas. Brentwood, Ravenwood, and Franklin are all ahead of the pack by a pretty good margin, and of course they pull from the wealthiest areas of Williamson County (BHS pulls from western Brentwood, RHS pulls from eastern Brentwood, and FHS pulls from northern Franklin and the northern most areas of unincorporated Williamson which are immediately behind Brentwood in terms of income (for a graphic representation of median income look here: https://project.wnyc.org/median-inco....9163/-86.8737).

Of course, the big question is, "will my child excel more at a Williamson County school than he/she would at a a school in Metro?" I suspect that the answer is "yes" because of higher expectations and positive peer pressure. I have no data to back that up, however.
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
30 posts, read 197,563 times
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Lightbulb Mom in Williamson County

Good morning, I haven’t been on city-data for quite some time - we moved to the Franklin area of Williamson County in December of 2009 from the NW suburbs of Chicago, IL. Initially my entire family was stoked - this is a NICE area. However, this was, in the long run, not a good fit for my family. My boys are big boys - both in stature and in personality - my 13 year old who is in 7th grade is 6’2” and 300 lbs. The football coaches love him, but the kids picked on him incessantly. The bullying in the Franklin area schools is off the hook. I lifted my son up every single morning and every single evening, church helped as well, but it was horrible. We rented for 6 years in Franklin because we lost our home in early 2009 and were working through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, our options were limited. We moved to Nashville because my husband was offered a job, he is a computer programmer. Chicago still hasn’t fully recovered, as we did try to find employment to move back a few years ago.

We moved to Fairview in late 2016. Fairview has a bad reputation, many “friends” were shocked when I said we were moving here (I use quotations because not a one of them has visited our new home) - I investigated the heck out of Williamson County - everyone outside of Fairview calls it the “armpit of Williamson County.” At the end of the day a friend who has since moved back to Chicago, and who had lived in Fairview, advised that our sons would love it. She said it was less judgemental, less affluent, and that the people were kind. All of this turned out to be true - what we did not know is that the Fairview schools are EXCELLENT! Our sons, particularly my 13 year old who from the age of 5 to 11 was incessantly bullied in Franklin found peers who loved and embraced him - he truly has never been happier! Our eldest, who is now 17, has fought through ADHD, with developmental delays in reading and writing comprehension, math, etc. He is now on a 504 having had an IEP since the age of 3. Because Fairview is one of the smallest schools in Williamson County, he has thrived. He has more friends here than he had in Chicago and Franklin combined. The teachers push him, and aid him in his journey and struggles in math and reading. To see both of our sons transition into confident and smart young men does my heart such good. Due to their experiences in Franklin they were already kind, empathetic, sweet boys - a definite plus to having lived through a difficult time.

I know my post probably sounds rude and biased - I do feel allergic, for lack of a better analogy, to the Franklin area and all that it stands for. It holds its charms, it is very, very large, has grown exponentionally since we moved here, the traffic is off the hook as the city of Franklin and its surrounding sister cities have not kept up with the growth by way of updating the roads, many are still single lane while there should be 4 lane highways instead. A railway system would have been wise 10 years ago - we had Metra in Chicago and I sure do wish they had something similar here. They do have a train system in the North Eastern burbs of Nashville - I am not positive of its locale - The Mt. Juliet/Hermitage/Lebanon area?

I hope you find what you are looking for. The Williamson County area, indeed all of Nashville, is exploding, and it is difficult to figure out where to live - there are simply too many choices. All I can say is I surely wish we had moved to Fairview immediately, however I do not believe I would have appreciated it as much as I do, nor my children and husband, if we had not experienced what we did. The grass looks greener at times in Franklin, but with that beauty comes a lot of manure.

PS, the ACT score is 22.1. Quick update that might help anyone who is looking at Fairview.

Last edited by Sweetbrightness; 02-18-2018 at 10:33 AM.. Reason: ACT score....
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Old 02-18-2018, 01:20 PM
 
913 posts, read 1,867,264 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetbrightness View Post
PS, the ACT score is 22.1. Quick update that might help anyone who is looking at Fairview.
That’s correct. That updated number is he 2017 scores. I had listed the 2016 scores earlier. Here is a list of the entire district:

Brentwood High School: 27.8
Ravenwood High School: 26.6
Franklin High School: 25.8
Page High School: 25.3
Independence High School: 24.4
Summit High School: 24.2
Centennial High School: 23.1
Fairview High School: 22.1
Renaissance High School: 21.8

Average distric-wide: 25.2
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Old 02-18-2018, 02:55 PM
 
5,064 posts, read 5,458,590 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hey_Hey View Post
That’s correct. That updated number is he 2017 scores. I had listed the 2016 scores earlier. Here is a list of the entire district:

Brentwood High School: 27.8
Ravenwood High School: 26.6
Franklin High School: 25.8
Page High School: 25.3
Independence High School: 24.4
Summit High School: 24.2
Centennial High School: 23.1
Fairview High School: 22.1
Renaissance High School: 21.8

Average distric-wide: 25.2
Building on this: the district has consistently raised its ACT average. Since 2010, the district average has gone from 22.7 to 25.2, with increases each year. In 2010, Wilco has the exact same type of parents as it does now. The increases show the hard work the school system has been doing under Dr. Looney. So, yes, WCS benefits from having lots of children with well educated, high income parents, but WCS deserves credit for the gains shown every year.

Brentwood High is postng scores that are as good as top private and magnet schools in the area. And BHS doesn't get to filter out low scoring students like those schools can.

Last edited by brentwoodgirl; 02-18-2018 at 03:04 PM..
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Old 02-18-2018, 04:53 PM
 
50 posts, read 51,298 times
Reputation: 113
I am glad you found a good fit for your kids. It doesn't matter the town or the area. What matters is surrounding yourself with good people.

We moved here from the Chicago suburbs in 2015 and our kids were already grown so I do not have first hand knowledge of the schools here. Our son had problems with bullying in middle school in IL and the reaction was "boys will be boys" from the school administration. This was at a time when they were "advertising" how bullying would not be tolerated in the schools.

I wish there was an easy answer to school bullying. I fear there will be more tragedies in the future if something isn't done. In my opinion it all comes down to parents reinforcing that bullying behavior will not be tolerated. Schools can do very little if the behavior is not addressed properly by the parents.
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