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Old 03-28-2012, 09:04 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
292 posts, read 602,885 times
Reputation: 178

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Pros:
- great location
- nice homes
- nice downtown
- a lot of nice places to walk

cons:
- horrific schools
- very high property taxes
- not exactly "suburban" in some ways
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Montclair
88 posts, read 301,498 times
Reputation: 50
That's a fine place to rent. You are close to the library, downtown and transportation, yet it's very quiet, safe and attractive there.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:55 PM
 
390 posts, read 1,118,146 times
Reputation: 442
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smartone View Post
Pros:
- great location
- nice homes
- nice downtown
- a lot of nice places to walk

cons:
- horrific schools
- very high property taxes
- not exactly "suburban" in some ways


To call Montclair's schools "horrific" is one of the dumbest things anyone has ever said on this board. Congratulations!

Actually, no, you know what? Keep saying stuff that like, maybe people will start to believe it and I'll actually be able to afford a house in this town one day.
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Montclair, NJ
454 posts, read 940,777 times
Reputation: 137
The schools are very good and parents that have the means for private school and come from a rigorous academic background (plenty of unassuming double ivy league graduate degrees), choose the public schools. I am a grad of the schools and my 3 kids are in the schools; 7th, 6th 2nd and one in preschool. Our one complaint is that you have to advocate for your kids more than one would in a private. If your kid is nice and stays out of trouble and gets C's, that's fine with most of the teachers, regardless of their potential. They have a great special needs program (my wife is the special ed liason for their elementary school) and great programs for students that are academically inclined. I think there are only about 12 kids in my daughters middle school algebra class. The schools will never rank high on testing because the town has a diverse socioeconomic base. The high school is fairly large, but it's a big world out there.

This week is elementary school tours week Calendar.

For neighborhood feel and commute you will probably want to be near Watchung Station or somewhere in Upper Montclair. The inventory of homes is super low right now and bidding wars are more and more common. I've been begging people to list houses if they are considering selling. My wife grew up in Westchester and we lived in NY for about 13 years before moving out. We miss a lot about the city( we still use the kid's pediatrician on 78th st), but very happy here and that's after my wife swore she'd never move to Joisey.

If you are commuting to midtown west, the commute is a breeze- bus to port authority at 42nd or train to Penn st (I love Grand Central and pray they convert the old post office into a nice train station some day- Penn is just ugly). The train bisects the town, so you are likely close to one of the stations. The bus runs through town too and a better choice the farther north (closer to rt) you are. If there's an accident it 's a mess so being able to flip over the train is great provided you know ahead of time (you can sign up for alerts on Clever Commute)

Downside- taxes (cheaper than tuition), traffic, etc. The usual stuff you would need to move out of the NY metro area entirely to avoid.

If you want to see a few houses out of curiosity when you come out, just give a shout.

"The beauty is in the homes, but the magic is in the people."

Last edited by MontclairNative; 03-29-2012 at 08:15 AM..
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:47 AM
 
2 posts, read 8,961 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontclairNative View Post
The schools are very good and parents that have the means for private school and come from a rigorous academic background (plenty of unassuming double ivy league graduate degrees), choose the public schools. I am a grad of the schools and my 3 kids are in the schools; 7th, 6th 2nd and one in preschool. Our one complaint is that you have to advocate for your kids more than one would in a private. If your kid is nice and stays out of trouble and gets C's, that's fine with most of the teachers, regardless of their potential. They have a great special needs program (my wife is the special ed liason for their elementary school) and great programs for students that are academically inclined. I think there are only about 12 kids in my daughters middle school algebra class. The schools will never rank high on testing because the town has a diverse socioeconomic base. The high school is fairly large, but it's a big world out there.

This week is elementary school tours week [URL="http://www.montclair.k12.nj.us/usercalendar.aspx"]Calendar[/URL].

For neighborhood feel and commute you will probably want to be near Watchung Station or somewhere in Upper Montclair. The inventory of homes is super low right now and bidding wars are more and more common. I've been begging people to list houses if they are considering selling. My wife grew up in Westchester and we lived in NY for about 13 years before moving out. We miss a lot about the city( we still use the kid's pediatrician on 78th st), but very happy here and that's after my wife swore she'd never move to Joisey.

If you are commuting to midtown west, the commute is a breeze- bus to port authority at 42nd or train to Penn st (I love Grand Central and pray they convert the old post office into a nice train station some day- Penn is just ugly). The train bisects the town, so you are likely close to one of the stations. The bus runs through town too and a better choice the farther north (closer to rt) you are. If there's an accident it 's a mess so being able to flip over the train is great provided you know ahead of time (you can sign up for alerts on Clever Commute)

Downside- taxes (cheaper than tuition), traffic, etc. The usual stuff you would need to move out of the NY metro area entirely to avoid.

If you want to see a few houses out of curiosity when you come out, just give a shout.

"The beauty is in the homes, but the magic is in the people."
the elementary schools are good but the high school is average. You are biased.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:17 AM
 
390 posts, read 1,118,146 times
Reputation: 442
Quote:
Originally Posted by missinglink View Post
the elementary schools are good but the high school is average. You are biased.
86% of Montclair High School Graduates go onto college. That's well above average, especially for a town as economically diverse as Montclair (which, remember, is what draws many people to the town in the first place)! Some people don't want this, and want towns like Glen Ridge where everyone is wealthy, and every single family can afford to send their kids to college. That's fine also, but knocking Montclair schools, which I only see on this board, is just out of control and totally unrealistic.

And then you have amazing things like this going on at the middle schools:




Glenfield concert Austin Powers song - YouTube
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:08 PM
 
9 posts, read 47,911 times
Reputation: 25
Default Montclair Schools--data

labcjo, that is *awesome*!!

I'm on a bit of a rampage about the quality of Montclair's schools these days, mainly because I've heard one too many disparaging remarks about its supposed "mediocre" (or worse) performance vis a vis the state's "best" schools---most of which are almost exclusively white and wealthy.

So, I went looking (at the NJ DOE web site) for data.

And what I discovered is that there’s a very good “hard data” case to be made that the teachers and the curricula in the Montclair school system are every bit as good as the schools that are widely perceived to be at the very top of the crop in NJ.

The analysis that leads to this conclusion hinges on what may at first blush appear to be an “un-PC” way of making the case: namely, by comparing the NJASK4, NJASK8, and HSPA11 test results from both school districts for only one demographic group: white students.

Why do I single out white students? Because in making disparaging remarks about the supposed ‘mediocrity’ of the Montclair school system, critics frequently cite Glen Ridge’s school system (or Millburn's, or Tenafly's) as the point of comparison, without acknowledging that that school system is almost uniformly populated with high-socio-economic-status (i.e., white) families, whereas in Montclair there is a large population of (very) low-SES families. In north Jersey, the demographic category “white” is a virtual (but by no means absolute) proxy for “high-SES.” So the only way to properly do an apples-to-apples comparison between Glen Ridge (or Millburn, or Tenafly) and Montclair is to isolate the performance data for the white kids in both systems.

And when you do that comparison, you find, lo and behold, that Montclair’s educational outcomes are on par with—and in the case of Glen Ridge, are consistently better than—those from the much-lauded, NJ-Monthly “Best” schools.

Here are the data in Google-doc spreadsheets, comparing Montclair with Glen Ridge, Millburn, and Tenafly (Sorry for the inactive links--you'll have to cut and paste. Apparently, I have to be around here for awhile before I'm allowed to embed live links):

Glen Ridge
bit.ly/GW6bt3

Millburn:
bit.ly/GYsiUb

Tenafly:
bit.ly/H10gZ9

I should point out that I believe that there is so much more to a school system than results of standardized tests. (Obviously! Just look at that great video that labcjo posted above!) But the point here is that, for the people who are most prone to worrying and complaining about the quality of their kids’ schools (and who are also the ones most likely to make disparaging comments in public about the school system)—namely, high-SES parents and taxpayers—there is solid data to suggest that their kids are getting as solid an education as their demographic peers in Glen Ridge, Millburn, Tenafly, and other widely-praised school systems.

Maybe, just maybe, if these folks see these data sets, they'll give the Montclair school system the respect it deserves and rally around the teachers and students in a more positive and constructive way.
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:02 AM
 
1 posts, read 8,177 times
Reputation: 10
MonclairJoe - Just wanted to say I really really appreciate the analysis as well as putting yourself out there by using the best-available proxy for socio-economic class. If only the DOE would provide data on that very meaningful metric, we wouldn't have to resort racial/ethnic demographics.

Awesome post.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:25 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
2,646 posts, read 4,995,231 times
Reputation: 2263
Montclair is a great town. A little on the obnoxious, Park Slope Brooklyn transplant, douchy side of things though.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Montclair, NJ
454 posts, read 940,777 times
Reputation: 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by openheads View Post
Montclair is a great town. A little on the obnoxious, Park Slope Brooklyn transplant, douchy side of things though.
Haha. I'm just starting to notice that a bit. It's 75 degrees fella, you probably don't need the wool hat.
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