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Old 02-07-2007, 01:35 PM
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,571 posts, read 33,297,972 times
Reputation: 32128


Why are upper-class families so scared to send their kids to alexandria city public schools? when i moved to alexandria after 10th grade everyone begged us to stay away from ACPS. also, a lot of upper-class send their kids to private schools in alexandria and there are a lot of private schools to choose from inside the actual city limits alone. If go inside TC Williams, you would never know the school is inside a city that is mostly white. So why is all the reluctance?
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Old 02-07-2007, 03:04 PM
2,462 posts, read 8,043,542 times
Reputation: 995
I don't live in Alexandria, but here are some answers to your questions:

Upper middle-class parents in the D.C. area (there aren't many TRULY upper class families in Alexandria) got there largely on their brains. They went to pretty good secondary schools, and even better colleges. They want their children to have an upper middle-class life. They can't give their kids a large monetary inheritance, but they can make sure that their children get a good education. They don't think that their children will get a good education in a school filled with lots of lower-income kids, which is the situation in many Alexandria public schools.
Lower-income kids, especially those being raised by single, never-married moms, bring lots of problems to school with them that most upper-middle class families just don't want to have to deal with. They don't want their kids becoming friends with someone whose mom dropped out of high school, has children by multiple fathers, and allows her kids to watch R-rated movies at age 7. They don't want their kids to be bored in a class filled with children who read well below grade level. They don't want their kids to be deprived of interesting field trips because some of their classmates can't afford the cost. Etc.
They DO want their children to be challenged, surrounded by classmates who come from intact, financially stable families who share their commitment to high educational quality, and taught by teachers who aren't distracted by kids with serious behavioral problems, language barriers, or dysfunctional home lives. If they aren't willing to move to Great Falls, Bethesda, North Arlington, the City of Falls Church, McLean, or Potomac, and they can afford the tuition, then many of them are going to take the private school route.
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:26 PM
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 13,344,802 times
Reputation: 1792
I think many upper class parents simply want the best education possible for their children and when looking at rankings, if they see T.C. Williams ranked lower than a local private school, since they have the finances to do so, they're most likely to send their children to the private school that they feel will put them on a better track. There are other issues as well that compound with the rankings and such, attributes that some parents find "unattractive" for city schools, many of which claremarie mentioned, that push them further towards sending their kids to private schools.
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Old 06-03-2007, 09:19 PM
Location: Northern Virginia, Alexandria
16 posts, read 75,404 times
Reputation: 17
Default Step back and look at what is being written

I live in the city of Alexandria. Yes, it is a predominately white area with a high ethnically diverse school system. By far Alexandria has at least 3 private high schools that are full of students from the city. The truely rich and yes Alexandria has many of these or they are people who are living way beyond their means tend to send their kids to these private schools. Unfortunately much of the antics that these private school students do (and these are many of the same things that the public school kids are doing too) are not posted in the public news. My children go to public school here. My husband and I are well educated individuals who want what is best for our children. The teachers in the school system are wonderful, they are gifted and bright and many of them hold masters degrees and higher. My sons school has two National Board Certified teachers and the school is not one of the top schools in ACPS. Diversity and tolerance are some of the greatest gifts we are able to give our sons. I know that each will receive a quality education and will be in an even better postion to be accepted to an ivy league school or receive a scholarship upon graduation time any university. Each university will only offer acceptance letters to so many students from each school. In point, a family friend whose daughter went to Thomas Jefferson in Fairfax and did the extracurricular sport and played in the band and got a 1560 on her SAT did not get accepted to Duke University or Harvard or Yale. In general if your children go to a school with only their own "kind" (this relates to money, status etc..) and every one in the school gets a 1500 or higher on the SATs it can actually make it harder for them to get into their choice university. Remember in every senior class there is the first person in the class and the last person. At TJ the last person probably got a 1500 on the SAT and had a GPA of 4.0+ weighted and they were still the last in their class. I applaud all the kids that go through the rigors of TJ, but if parents think that just sending them to private school in Alexandria will afford them better opportunities or keep them "safe" from children beneth their class, wake up people. Kids who have more money and are more induldged tend to have more experiences in many of the things their parents think their protecting them from! Parents must raise their children and give them morals and values and help keep them on the path to a better life, it shouldn't matter if they go to school with kids whose mom is a single mom or they have brothers and sisters and each one has a different dad, or if no one in their family speaks English. Don't blame the child for the parents choices, none of the reasons above make that child less intelligent or less moral. I guess I was lucky growing up that I was taught patience, empathy, tolerance and love and went to one of the lowest performing schools in my very large MD county. I went on to get a post graduate education and married what might have been considered out of my league, but I do know it was because my parents were responsible enough to raise me and not just indulge me to make me leave them alone as I see way to often in this area.
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Old 06-04-2007, 05:28 PM
56 posts, read 191,336 times
Reputation: 21
Wow, I am amazed at the thinking of some people. I graduated from TC Williams years ago. I came from a single parent home but I was encouraged to apply myself as were most my friends...many of whom came from single parent households. I obtained degrees in engineering and law. By best friend, has a degree in physics and another friend who lived with her dad is a law school professor. BTW, we are all "minorities."

My experience at TC Williams allowed me to interact with people from all walks of life from all over the world. Sure there were underachievers there but last time I checked you could find them anywhere. We chose to take advantage of what the school had to offer and as I understand it, some of those same opportunities exist today. I still believe it is up to the student to choose to take advantage of them.

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Old 06-04-2007, 07:07 PM
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,571 posts, read 33,297,972 times
Reputation: 32128
I strongly believe that ACPS's best days are ahead of them. Perry was an ok superintendent but we can do better if we look in the right places. The reconstruction of TC will be a bright spot. So ACPS has a very high ceiling.
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