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Old 07-03-2012, 06:48 AM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
14,923 posts, read 14,436,512 times
Reputation: 8636

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
Listen to your wife. Avoid the local school if it's substandard.
Glad someone agrees with me. Well a ton of people agree with me or they wouldn't flee the city when they have kids. Many suburban schools are busting at the seams. Seems PPS is contracting and closing schools left and right.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Mexican War Streets
1,584 posts, read 1,563,582 times
Reputation: 1389
Quote:
Originally Posted by h_curtis View Post
Glad someone agrees with me. Well a ton of people agree with me or they wouldn't flee the city when they have kids. Many suburban schools are busting at the seams. Seems PPS is contracting and closing schools left and right.
Half the people in the world have below average intelligence too! I'm all for having people make their own choices on this but the "everybody else is doing it" argument isn't particularly persuasive to me. All it proves to me is that many people are sheep, not particularly a novel concept.

For me, the deciding factor with regard to the OP's question is the pronouncement that they love everything about their current lifestyle and are seeking to preserve it.

A few questions for the group:

What's the value, to a child, of a happy, contented parent who is thrilled about the neighborhood that they live in?

What's the value, to a child, of the cumulative extra time spent with the parent due to a shorter commute? The OP already indicated this is really important to them and have made sacrifices to increase the time spent with kids.

What's the value, to a child, of the lack of time spent in an automobile and the accompanying dangers?

What's the value, to a child of a walkable, urban neighborhood with all of the opportunities and choices it affords?

I've said it before so I won't belabor it but the beauty and relative advantage in my mind of the PPS is the sheer number of choices available to a family and a child with regard to their educational opportunities. If you tell me that a typical, advantaged, non-diverse suburban school district scores higher on standardized tests I will be unsurprised and unimpressed, they should.

My bottom line has always been that it's mostly about the individual kid and the family. With small variations, I think you'll largely get the same results by individual students whether they go to PPS or Mt. Lebanon.

Besides, schools are like Congressmen, they all stink but I like mine.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
9,935 posts, read 8,408,692 times
Reputation: 7589
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
Especially for intelligent children, the first year of school is critical though because it often sets the tone for the child's attitude towards education throughout life.
Could you point me to some data to prove this point? Not anecdote, actual data. Everything I have read which has looked at children which share no genes with parents (e.g., adopted kids) shows that education has a minimal impact on overall life outcomes. I've also seen numerous studies which have found that correcting for things that indicate parent intelligence (number of books in the house, for example), there is no benefit as an adult for going to an elite magnet versus neighborhood school, or going to a private school versus a public school.

I can point to a few books if you're curious on the nature/nurture debate. I don't want to go into detail because the OP said to tone it down.

The Nurture Assumption.
The Blank Slate.
Selfish Reasons To Have More Kids.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:09 AM
 
Location: O'Hara Twp.
3,974 posts, read 5,114,309 times
Reputation: 1364
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
To amend on my former comments, from a personal angle.

My daughter is almost three, and I live in Lawrenceville. Sadly, Arsenal is one of the worst-rated K-5 schools in the city. It's also overwhelmingly black, which I have always found odd, considering up until recently it drew only from Central and Upper Lawrenceville, neighborhoods which had no black population to speak of 5-10 years ago. Although next year it will be Central Lawrenceville and Garfield, with Upper Lawrenceville going to Sunnyside.

Regardless, we've adopted a "wait and see" policy. We applied for Pittsburgh Montessori, the only school you can get into at age 3 in Pittsburgh. My wife is more committed to the Montessori method of education, I just want to save on day care costs for two years. Regardless, last we checked, we're 6 on the waiting list there, and we don't expect to hear if she actually got in until the start of the school year, given people who have moved out of the district likely wouldn't inform PPS of it.

Assuming she doesn't get in, in 1.5 years or so we'll apply to Liberty, Linden, and Dilworth. And assuming she doesn't get in then - I dunno. My wife is panicked about it, but I am not. She's gone to a 90% black day care for the last few years, and it hasn't hurt her at all. There really aren't safety issues at the K-5 level. So if it were up to me I'd just keep on applying for her to get into magnets each year, and hope by the time middle school arrives, she's in a magnet program somewhere.

On the other hand, my wife seems to favor a last-ditch move to Greenfield.
I recently heard that there is sort of a mass wrestling match that takes place everyday outside of Liberty when the school day lets out which is sort of disturbing to some parents.
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
9,935 posts, read 8,408,692 times
Reputation: 7589
Although he puts it in a different way than I would, this post today by Razib Khan is appropriate.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:00 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 79,902,443 times
Reputation: 29897
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Could you point me to some data to prove this point? Not anecdote, actual data. Everything I have read which has looked at children which share no genes with parents (e.g., adopted kids) shows that education has a minimal impact on overall life outcomes. I've also seen numerous studies which have found that correcting for things that indicate parent intelligence (number of books in the house, for example), there is no benefit as an adult for going to an elite magnet versus neighborhood school, or going to a private school versus a public school.

I can point to a few books if you're curious on the nature/nurture debate. I don't want to go into detail because the OP said to tone it down.

The Nurture Assumption.
The Blank Slate.
Selfish Reasons To Have More Kids.
You're only focusing on intelligence and grades as a measure. Consider emotional and mental health aspects. There are many intelligent, high performing people who are totally screwed up emotionally. Filling a house with all the books in the world won't fix that.

The Impact Of Negative Classroom Environments On A Child's Mental Health | Clinically Psyched

That's just one link. You can find the rest yourself. I'm just saying that it would be wise to also focus your research to the other aspects of success aside from performance and grades. Great grades can only take someone so far in life. You can only do so much at home to compensate emotionally for the negative stuff that happens in bad school environments.

Hey, what do I know. I've only raised two children. Been there, done that. We all start off thinking we know it all. Most parents eventually eat their words years later---if only privately in their own minds---one way or another about something major.

I never said a child needs to go to an elite school. I'm merely warning that a child shouldn't go to a dangerous or negative school environment, especially as their first experience at a very young age.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:30 PM
 
8 posts, read 7,281 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobick View Post
Half the people in the world have below average intelligence too! I'm all for having people make their own choices on this but the "everybody else is doing it" argument isn't particularly persuasive to me. All it proves to me is that many people are sheep, not particularly a novel concept.

For me, the deciding factor with regard to the OP's question is the pronouncement that they love everything about their current lifestyle and are seeking to preserve it.

A few questions for the group:

What's the value, to a child, of a happy, contented parent who is thrilled about the neighborhood that they live in?

What's the value, to a child, of the cumulative extra time spent with the parent due to a shorter commute? The OP already indicated this is really important to them and have made sacrifices to increase the time spent with kids.

What's the value, to a child, of the lack of time spent in an automobile and the accompanying dangers?

What's the value, to a child of a walkable, urban neighborhood with all of the opportunities and choices it affords?

I've said it before so I won't belabor it but the beauty and relative advantage in my mind of the PPS is the sheer number of choices available to a family and a child with regard to their educational opportunities. If you tell me that a typical, advantaged, non-diverse suburban school district scores higher on standardized tests I will be unsurprised and unimpressed, they should.

My bottom line has always been that it's mostly about the individual kid and the family. With small variations, I think you'll largely get the same results by individual students whether they go to PPS or Mt. Lebanon.

Besides, schools are like Congressmen, they all stink but I like mine.
Thank you. I think a lot about how to value how much my children benefit from having more time with me, from me having more time to advocate for them or do enrichment activities with them and from me just being plain happy with my lifestyle. I'd love to see discussion on that.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:34 PM
 
8 posts, read 7,281 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
You're only focusing on intelligence and grades as a measure. Consider emotional and mental health aspects. There are many intelligent, high performing people who are totally screwed up emotionally. Filling a house with all the books in the world won't fix that.

The Impact Of Negative Classroom Environments On A Child's Mental Health | Clinically Psyched

That's just one link. You can find the rest yourself. I'm just saying that it would be wise to also focus your research to the other aspects of success aside from performance and grades. Great grades can only take someone so far in life. You can only do so much at home to compensate emotionally for the negative stuff that happens in bad school environments.

Hey, what do I know. I've only raised two children. Been there, done that. We all start off thinking we know it all. Most parents eventually eat their words years later---if only privately in their own minds---one way or another about something major.

I never said a child needs to go to an elite school. I'm merely warning that a child shouldn't go to a dangerous or negative school environment, especially as their first experience at a very young age.
And here is the other side. Is there anyone who can speak to the conditions on the ground at Martin Luther King (aside from the news article re: loosing 2 kids- oh wow) and ATA?
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:09 AM
 
781 posts, read 1,309,732 times
Reputation: 291
If losing 2 (kindergarten) kids just gets a sarcastic-"oh wow" from you when police nor parents were notified, I guess you will be fine if it happens to your children. It won't get reported, nothing to worry about. It isn't a big deal. You seem like you asked questions you did not want answers to. I honestly wish you and your family the best.

BTW, love your neighborhood, just couldn't move there due to the kid issue.

Last edited by Sideblinded; 07-04-2012 at 12:28 AM.. Reason: I spelled Kindergarten with a d. :)
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:51 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
9,935 posts, read 8,408,692 times
Reputation: 7589
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
You're only focusing on intelligence and grades as a measure. Consider emotional and mental health aspects. There are many intelligent, high performing people who are totally screwed up emotionally. Filling a house with all the books in the world won't fix that.

The Impact Of Negative Classroom Environments On A Child's Mental Health | Clinically Psyched

That's just one link. You can find the rest yourself. I'm just saying that it would be wise to also focus your research to the other aspects of success aside from performance and grades. Great grades can only take someone so far in life. You can only do so much at home to compensate emotionally for the negative stuff that happens in bad school environments.

Hey, what do I know. I've only raised two children. Been there, done that. We all start off thinking we know it all. Most parents eventually eat their words years later---if only privately in their own minds---one way or another about something major.

I never said a child needs to go to an elite school. I'm merely warning that a child shouldn't go to a dangerous or negative school environment, especially as their first experience at a very young age.
There's nothing in that article I find disagreeable. However, it looks at only first-grade students. It doesn't follow them their whole lives. Of course having a bad experience in first grade will lead to emotional trauma there. The question is how much that trauma will "carry through." And given what's generally known about human psychology, a lot of traumatic childhood experiences can be left behind with no implications for adulthood. We're very good at forgetting things.

That's not to say that having an academic environment which causes kids to suffer is a good thing by any means. Trauma is bad, and kids are people too - they shouldn't be put in awful environments even if twenty years down the road they'll essentially forget everything that happened. It just also means we shouldn't assume there's some super-secret part of the subconscious, like an airport black box, recording alll of this for adulthood.

In addition, there's a question of correlation versus covariation. Teachers who lack access to supplies such as pens, art supplies, and heat are almost invariably going to be teaching in very low-income districts. Their students will be low income as well. Thus there might be all sorts of stresses regarding their parents finances, up to and including being outright homeless. I'd need to look at the study to be sure, since hopefully they corrected for home SES, but if not, then I'm not sure the study shows anything worthwhile.
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