U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-17-2009, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Ft. Washington/Oxon Hill border, MD (Prince George's County)
320 posts, read 698,833 times
Reputation: 220

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
You are biased, because you are basing your sweeping generalizations on an extremely small sample of non-randomly selected students and their families -- the ones who come on the radar screen of the "mental health clinician."
Of course, it's much easier to deal with poor and ignorant mostly single parents of troubled students rather than the afffluent and educated mostly married parents of troubled students. The former are probably intimidated by someone who is a "mental health clinician" while the latter are not.

I am sure her observation is not always the case but certainly is in some cases. I had a legal colleague at my last job that lived in McLean and constantly complained to me at lunch about the sense of entitlement and materialistic influences of the kids her daughter was going to school with in the Langley area. She also didn't like the intense emphasis on trying to get in Yale/Harvard starting from elementary school. She also felt drug/pill use was more common than she liked in wealthier burb schools. She had a more well rounded view of what "success" can be than the tunnel vision view that many professional parents can have in this area. Perhaps it was because her husband was a music professor in lieu of a lawyer/exec and that they had lived as a family overseas in Europe for several years while she was GC at an international company that they had a rebellious view of the various lifepaths to success for their child. She encouraged her husband to take a job at Oberlin and they relocated. We've stayed in touch and she much prefers the less intense focus on tests/AP/Ivy league and Chanel bags/getting a BMW at 16 etc. that her daughter has now and feels she is now able to focus most on other aspects of her development as a preteen and a person in general and being around more grounded people. She says her daughter loves it also. I work with mainly male attorneys (only hetero female in my group) and 99% of them have stay at home wives. It is a great benefit to those schools to get the volunteer hours. Bravo to those neighborhoods where the majority of wives stay at home and can dote on kids every need...not a reality for the majority in the area or America period...especially in these times. Personally I feel people around here can be a little over neurotic, over sheltering and over protective with their kids. I understand wanting the best for your child and a desire to give them the best opportunities in life...it is just that sometimes people here can go a bit overboard. I think often the focus is on keeping them from anything deemed "average" or "below average" or any negative influences yet some do not realize that that bubble they find to avoid all of the above can also contain its own unique negative influences and restrict aspects of personality/social development. I had another colleague from Europe (spoke 5 language...brilliant attorney...from old money in Switzerland) that I worked with who actually left the states and returned to Europe with her child (to her now former husbands dismay who is still battling the int'l court system over custody) and often stated that she did not want her child raised here or to go to school here. For the record she also spoke French, Italian and German to her child at home on purpose because she wanted them to be multilingual which to some is more important to them regarding their childs development than AP classes. From the birth of her child she had moms in the neighborhood telling her everything she needed to start doing from birth to ensure that her child got into the best schools. She found it to all be comical and disturbing and parents here to be overbearing. This is also a woman who preferred to live and raise children in Capitol Hill which had more of a European feel to her and who abhored the suburbs here. You walk or bike to the grocery store...you don't drive to one in an SUV. You walk to the park in lieu of having a 1/2 acre yard with your home. She was baffled by all the conversations with parents asking her how she could possibly live in Capitol Hill. To the original poster that is not from the US originally, I understand how this is all odd to you. My int'l colleagues have made several interesting observations about the mentality here ...I truly value how they opened my eyes to different ways of living life and raising children.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-17-2009, 07:50 AM
 
10,598 posts, read 12,100,469 times
Reputation: 6463
Quote:
Originally Posted by oneasterisk View Post
I don't know if you can blame the school 100% on how the kids end up. A lot of it is on how seriously the kids take school. If they make that mental choice to succeed, they will. The person who posted about her daughter getting make-up in class, I'm certain no one held her down and applied the make-up forcefully. She made the mental choice to goof off too.
You're right. She quite enjoyed it. Which is why that sort of environment was not right for her. If the distraction is there, she will go to it like a moth to the flame. Fortunately she's not and never has been a troublemaker. Had the teacher even said "hey, stop with the makeup" she would have stopped. My point is, the teacher didn't care. And what one poster said about the worksheets--that was her experience too. Unbelievable. This was in Advance Biology or "pre AP Biology" that I had to beg to get her into.

So, I can understand (back to the OP's initial question) why some parents worry and seek out what they deem the "best" school. They want the best possible environment based on what their child needs.

I new that my daughter needed to be in a very structured, disciplined, zero tolerance classroom. I had to pay for that but it works for her.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-17-2009, 09:16 AM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,622,267 times
Reputation: 2722
Quote:
Originally Posted by tankdude View Post
If you look at the "worse school" in FFX Cty, it's either Falls Church or Annandale. Both schools have test scores at or above the state average.
Is this based on SOL data?

Just asking, because the three schools with the lowest average SAT scores last year appear to be Hayfield, Edison and Mount Vernon. All of these schools were below the national average, whereas the SAT scores at Annandale and Falls Church were above the national average. The FairfaxCAPS group reported that the three schools with the lowest SOL scores were West Potomac, Falls Church, and Mount Vernon.

Falls Church is still experiencing a large net out-flow students to other high schools through pupil placements, but things may improve if test scores continue to rise (2008 SAT scores improved over 2007) and the School Board goes ahead with a redistricting that would send some students at over-crowded Annandale to Falls Church.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-17-2009, 11:14 AM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,045,591 times
Reputation: 995
Many of our foreign neighbors in McLean were thrilled with the public schools -- back home, they had to fork over large sums of money for private school. As do the Euro-snob parents who choose to live on Capitol Hill. Ask how many of their children attend public schools, particularly once they hit high school age. They may drive dusty Volvos instead of shiny SUVS, but they will still be lined up outside Sidwell or St. Alban's come pickup time.
There is nothing particularly virtuous about living in the city versus the suburbs, and I have little patience for those with so little tolerance for other people's living preferences. Yes, many parents in the affluent areas of the DC suburbs (and, shockingly, in the liberal enclaves of DC itself) are overly anxious about their children's academic success. That is, in large part, because most of these parents didn't actually have a privileged childhood with old money from Switzerland, but rather achieved their success by doing really well in school, getting into a good college law/medical/graduate school, and working hard in their profession. They can't pass on a legacy of inherited wealth to help their children achieve a similar standard of living, so they do the best they can to ensure that their children have the best possible educational experiences. Many of them go overboard, but many others do not.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-17-2009, 11:21 AM
 
3,504 posts, read 7,925,168 times
Reputation: 3466
Wow - after reading this thread now I am even more worried that my child gets on the right "track"

Well - I have already been a "pushy" Mom and I guess I will have to step it up even more.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-17-2009, 11:30 AM
 
Location: VA
241 posts, read 905,471 times
Reputation: 108
Wow, I'm getting a wealth of information from all the comments. I've got more question, sorry I'm kinda ignorant on the subject and really appreciate all this information.

1. Is there no discipline in NoVA's public schools? Teachers do nothing when kids disrupt the class? We used to get kicked out of class when we did that (not literally of course) or get punished (stand-in-the-corner with your face to the wall which was of course so embarrassing ). In movies, I've seen kids getting detention or sent to the principal's office when they misbehave or disrupt class, is that not real?

2. I googled AP courses and found out what that means. What happens if my child has not enrolled in any AP courses... does that means she's not going to get into a decent college? I though admission into a college depends on your GPA and SAT scores. Does it actually depend on number of AP courses taken ?

3. So if my child does really well in the pre-requisite courses, they are not automatically entitled to get enrolled into AP courses of their choice? Whats the criteria for enrolling students in those courses?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-17-2009, 12:00 PM
 
2,462 posts, read 8,045,591 times
Reputation: 995
Most of the college-bound students in Fairfax County schools take several AP classes. It is not unusual for students aiming for the most selective schools (and for the best state universities) to take 5 or more of these classes, starting in 10th grade. Unless they are attending an IB school, which has a different curriculum and does not offer AP courses, students who choose not to take AP courses put themselves at a distinct disadvantage when applying to the more selective colleges. Most colleges in this country are not particularly selective, and accept most of their applicants. Others, particularly large state universities with huge numbers of applicants, base admission primarily on GPA and SAT scores. However, at the top schools, most applicants have high scores, and admission is also based upon evidence of leadership in extracurriculars, essays, and recommendations.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-17-2009, 12:05 PM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,622,267 times
Reputation: 2722
Quote:
Originally Posted by claremarie View Post
Many of our foreign neighbors in McLean were thrilled with the public schools -- back home, they had to fork over large sums of money for private school. As do the Euro-snob parents who choose to live on Capitol Hill. Ask how many of their children attend public schools, particularly once they hit high school age. They may drive dusty Volvos instead of shiny SUVS, but they will still be lined up outside Sidwell or St. Alban's come pickup time.
Ouch. But so true. With a decal in the back window.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-17-2009, 12:10 PM
 
7,966 posts, read 18,051,686 times
Reputation: 2588
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samara11 View Post
Wow, I'm getting a wealth of information from all the comments. I've got more question, sorry I'm kinda ignorant on the subject and really appreciate all this information.

1. Is there no discipline in NoVA's public schools? Teachers do nothing when kids disrupt the class? We used to get kicked out of class when we did that (not literally of course) or get punished (stand-in-the-corner with your face to the wall which was of course so embarrassing ). In movies, I've seen kids getting detention or sent to the principal's office when they misbehave or disrupt class, is that not real?

2. I googled AP courses and found out what that means. What happens if my child has not enrolled in any AP courses... does that means she's not going to get into a decent college? I though admission into a college depends on your GPA and SAT scores. Does it actually depend on number of AP courses taken ?

3. So if my child does really well in the pre-requisite courses, they are not automatically entitled to get enrolled into AP courses of their choice? Whats the criteria for enrolling students in those courses?

1. Detention and trips to the principal's office are still alive and well in NOVA and across the country.. I think there was a "reality" TV show on recently that focused on a high school principal and the students he disciplined.

2. AP courses were originally designed to help students take college credit in order to save money and time. Eventually those courses become "required" by many of the top colleges and universities in the country and no college credit is usually given. Using Virginia as an example, there are possibly, say, tens of thousands of students vying for a few thousand slots at the University of Virginia. In the meantime, one can get a solid education at George Mason. There are several schools "in between". Many students even start out at two-year community colleges and transfer to bigger schools. Going to Harvard or Yale may guarantee an excellent source of alumni contacts but it isn't necessary to be a success in one's chosen profession.

3. I can't speak on this directly as I don't have any children in school. When I was in school waaaay back in the 80's , a strong performance in an "above-average" or "honors" class along with a teacher recommendation would pretty much guarantee the opportunity to take an AP class. Of course, what may have worked in my Philadelphia-area school in the 80's may or may not be similar 20-plus years later in Fairfax County.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-17-2009, 12:29 PM
 
Location: James Island, SC
1,628 posts, read 3,157,286 times
Reputation: 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by TechlawyerinPG View Post
... She also didn't like the intense emphasis on trying to get in Yale/Harvard starting from elementary school. She also felt drug/pill use was more common than she liked in wealthier burb schools. She had a more well rounded view of what "success" can be than the tunnel vision view that many professional parents can have in this area.
Cut for length, but excellent post containing different perspectives.

I wanted to respond specifically to the point above - there was a feature article in either Time or Consumer Reports in the last couple years about just this topic. Comparing the "Ivies" to other state and private schools.

The conclusion was that it is FAR better for individual students to attend a school that "fits" as opposed to the school that is "the best" or the most esteemed. Because it may not be the best for YOUR child.

I would think the same holds true for high schools.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top