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Old 10-08-2019, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,659 posts, read 12,907,869 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
Is it the school that makes the child perform better or worse overall or the intellect of those attending? By that I mean if an intelligent child attended highly rated school A, would their test scores by lower if they had instead attended lower rated school B?

If so IMO that would actually be holding back kids from their full potential. If however there is really no correlation and poor performing schools just have an over abundance of poorly performing students but still can educate those whom are motivated well, then picking schools based on scores is an outdated and misguided concept.
Two comments on this:

1. Very strong students will likely do well anywhere but probably won’t have as many opportunities for challenging classes as at a high performing school. Students who are more in the middle academically are more likely to be influenced positively (academically) by high-performing peers in a wealthy school and negatively (again, academically) in a poorer school. There is probably an optimal balance of rich to poor where most students are brought up by high achievers. I’d guess no more than 25% low-income in a school before you’d see negative effects.

2. Picking schools based on scores may be misguided but it won’t change for the majority of people who have an option.
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Old 10-08-2019, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Noth Caccalacca
5,844 posts, read 6,850,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
Is it the school that makes the child perform better or worse overall or the intellect of those attending? By that I mean if an intelligent child attended highly rated school A, would their test scores by lower if they had instead attended lower rated school B?

If so IMO that would actually be holding back kids from their full potential. If however there is really no correlation and poor performing schools just have an over abundance of poorly performing students but still can educate those whom are motivated well, then picking schools based on scores is an outdated and misguided concept.
The interesting question becomes would the intelligent kid perform even better at the "A" school than at the "B" school. That's the crux of the matter for upper-middle class parents. They believe that going to the "B" or "C" school will somehow damage their kid, so he ends up going to NC State rather than Duke.

The parents of the poorer students (both scholastically and economically) tend to believe that having their kids attend a better-rated school will expose them to better teachers and smarter kids, whose "smarts" will somehow "rub off" onto them. There seems to be studies that show that poorer students perform better in higher quality schools.

One of the factors that can determine how well a student will do is how "educationally rich" their early environment was. Kids that grow up in a house where the parents are constantly reading and they're taken to museums are going to do better than a kid who's planted in front of a TV for the first 5 years of his life. That's much more likely to take place in an economically stable household.

For poorer parents, having pre-K classes for their kids helps to overcome economic deficits. But again, it comes around to living in a place that has these classes available.
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Old 10-08-2019, 04:41 PM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
17,359 posts, read 26,679,748 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
Is it the school that makes the child perform better or worse overall or the intellect of those attending? By that I mean if an intelligent child attended highly rated school A, would their test scores by lower if they had instead attended lower rated school B?

If so IMO that would actually be holding back kids from their full potential. If however there is really no correlation and poor performing schools just have an over abundance of poorly performing students but still can educate those whom are motivated well, then picking schools based on scores is an outdated and misguided concept.

You'll probably find more kids trending toward the middle if it's truly diverse across the board. I grew up in a VERY diverse district - I had classmates who lived in slumlord flophouses and I had classmates whose houses set on hills overlooking their boat in the harbor next to their beach club with a pool and tennis court in the back yard. If you think that doesn't make for interesting days, you're wrong. And some of these kids are VERY disruptive for various reasons. Overall the district has become less and less desirable over the years and so I do think there's a a negative effect just not sure how it plays out in a county wide system.
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Old 10-08-2019, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,659 posts, read 12,907,869 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEmissary View Post
County-wide school systems have greater flexibility in shuffling students around than municipalities that control their own funding and borders. This is readily apparent to me, being originally from NJ. That county school system will save you money on unnecessary town-by-town administrative costs and services but it does so at the expense of tight local school control.

North Carolina is an interesting case. Most of the funding for schools comes from the state via income taxes with much smaller percentages coming from the property tax collected by each town or city. In NJ most of the funding comes from property taxes. About 40 towns and cities (e.g. Newark, Camden) in NJ receive the majority of their funding from the state via the state income tax. NJ's income tax rate is much lower than NC and the money collected, couldn't possibly pay for every student in the way that NC does. But the property tax bill that the average homeowner pays in NJ would make the average NC homeowner's eyes bleed. A tony section of Raleigh or Charlotte may have a section of homes of ~4000 sq ft or so that might pay $5000 in property tax. A similar collection of homes in a small upper-upper middle class NJ town will have tax bills of $25,000 to $30,000. So there's lots of money for higher teacher salaries and educational goodies like the latest tech and the newest textbooks.

Desirability of a town's or city's school system is maintained by economic segregation whether it's NC or NJ. As long as a "quasi-neighborhood school" school policy is the "unwritten law", the richer sections of Raleigh and Charlotte can maintain their top-rated schools. In NJ, poorer people will be keep out of the highest rated schools in towns where the "cheap houses" start at $750,000 plus for your 4bd 2.5ba models. That's how it's done!
My 2700 square foot house in Chapel Hill comes with an $8500 tax bill. Not as much as New Jersey but not cheap either! Of course it is a small school district but not with the autonomy that a NJ school district has.
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Old 10-08-2019, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Noth Caccalacca
5,844 posts, read 6,850,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michgc View Post
My 2700 square foot house in Chapel Hill comes with an $8500 tax bill. Not as much as New Jersey but not cheap either! Of course it is a small school district but not with the autonomy that a NJ school district has.

My old house in Paterson NJ (a dumpy, small city ...think a 1/3rd scale Newark) is 1100 sq ft on 1/10 of an acre and now has an $8700 tax bill. My sister's friend lives in Montclair NJ, an old town with a couple of dubious sections. She pays $42,000 property tax on her 2500 sq ft Queen Anne style house. Of course, for that princely sum, she shares a neighborhood with Stephen Colbert and several Metropolitan Opera singers.

Oh, and the Montclair school system is rated very good, but not great!
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:04 PM
 
5,629 posts, read 4,065,431 times
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The reality is, parents who care a lot about education prefer that their children go to school with other children who's parents care a lot about education. I don't think it's up to any of us to decide whether that's right or wrong, nor is it up to the school board.

I can almost guarantee that a significant portion of families moving to the Triangle, would not have moved here if they knew they'd be sending their kids to a school with a large number of families who don't value education as much as they do. I think if you took the average test score across the county and took the "GreatSchools.com" equivalent rating, moving here would be a much tougher sell. Whether or not you agree with basing ratings on test scores, it's hard to argue with statistics.

I guess I'd be lying if I said it didn't concern me *slightly* that a school board has enough power to potentially modify the future and success of an entire metro area. That being said, I think making all schools equal would be an impossible feat, as parents with the means to do so will just send their kids to private school, or move to where they think the better schools are.
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:31 PM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
17,359 posts, read 26,679,748 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m378 View Post
The reality is, parents who care a lot about education prefer that their children go to school with other children who's parents care a lot about education. I don't think it's up to any of us to decide whether that's right or wrong, nor is it up to the school board.

I can almost guarantee that a significant portion of families moving to the Triangle, would not have moved here if they knew they'd be sending their kids to a school with a large number of families who don't value education as much as they do. I think if you took the average test score across the county and took the "GreatSchools.com" equivalent rating, moving here would be a much tougher sell. Whether or not you agree with basing ratings on test scores, it's hard to argue with statistics.

I guess I'd be lying if I said it didn't concern me *slightly* that a school board has enough power to potentially modify the future and success of an entire metro area. That being said, I think making all schools equal would be an impossible feat, as parents with the means to do so will just send their kids to private school, or move to where they think the better schools are.
But sometimes you have to wonder why some schools don't perform so great. Salem is right down the road form Davis Drive - why is there such a big drop off in scores??

Anyone who moves to WC and expects that they bought a seat at a given school hasn't done their research. Seeing all those people on the WC forums saying "I bought here in this neighborhood specifically for the schools after doing A TON OF RESEARCH" is partially amusing and partially disheartening.

The school board has lots of power. VOTE THEM OUT IN 2020. This board has got to go. They all send their kids to magnet schools too. They want you to do so too so that they can give your cushy suburban seat to a kid who would otherwise go to school in the hood. This is their diversity plan in action. They will be dismantling all the electives by the time your kid is in high school.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:18 PM
 
5,629 posts, read 4,065,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twingles View Post

Anyone who moves to WC and expects that they bought a seat at a given school hasn't done their research. Seeing all those people on the WC forums saying "I bought here in this neighborhood specifically for the schools after doing A TON OF RESEARCH" is partially amusing and partially disheartening.
I think most likely knew what they were getting into, just assumed it would never happen to them.

What I get a kick out of the most is the "We bought this house because we wanted traditional schools so we can go on vacation in the summer" argument.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
10,625 posts, read 7,763,837 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m378 View Post
The reality is, parents who care a lot about education prefer that their children go to school with other children who's parents care a lot about education. I don't think it's up to any of us to decide whether that's right or wrong, nor is it up to the school board.

I can almost guarantee that a significant portion of families moving to the Triangle, would not have moved here if they knew they'd be sending their kids to a school with a large number of families who don't value education as much as they do. I think if you took the average test score across the county and took the "GreatSchools.com" equivalent rating, moving here would be a much tougher sell. Whether or not you agree with basing ratings on test scores, it's hard to argue with statistics.

I guess I'd be lying if I said it didn't concern me *slightly* that a school board has enough power to potentially modify the future and success of an entire metro area. That being said, I think making all schools equal would be an impossible feat, as parents with the means to do so will just send their kids to private school, or move to where they think the better schools are.
when the school board gets out of hand in their desire for utopian social engineering, then the voters replace them.

Think about when people considering a move come on here and ask "I hear ____ is a good school, but it's only a 6 on GreatSchools!" or "People say Wake County schools are great, but their scores don't look so good!"

When 2 relatively close elementary schools are built to a capacity of 800 kids each, and enough people flock to the assigned neighborhoods that each gets assigned 1100 kids, then they are going to take 300 kids per school and build a 3rd school to handle them and future nearby capacity.

Lots of Western Wake parents get apoplectic about MYR, until it's time for them to get apoplectic about reassignment.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
8,788 posts, read 6,577,104 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m378 View Post
The reality is, parents who care a lot about education prefer that their children go to school with other children who's parents care a lot about education. I don't think it's up to any of us to decide whether that's right or wrong, nor is it up to the school board.

I can almost guarantee that a significant portion of families moving to the Triangle, would not have moved here if they knew they'd be sending their kids to a school with a large number of families who don't value education as much as they do. I think if you took the average test score across the county and took the "GreatSchools.com" equivalent rating, moving here would be a much tougher sell. Whether or not you agree with basing ratings on test scores, it's hard to argue with statistics.
That's true, but I think you miss that the "other part" of what makes good schools, especially compared to bad ones, and that's resources. A student in the worst schools in this area and a student in the best is going to have the same textbooks and the teachers are paid by the same body.

And, I think that you miss that schools are far from the only factor. Heck, in my old neighborhood the most modest home is $500K (3/2) and the schools are rated 5/6/6. Joyner Elementary, Daniels Middle, Broughton; extremely desirable, and plenty of families in the neighborhood. Most don't send to private school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m378 View Post
I guess I'd be lying if I said it didn't concern me *slightly* that a school board has enough power to potentially modify the future and success of an entire metro area.
So does the legislature and other elected bodies. They are, ultimately, elected bodies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m378 View Post
That being said, I think making all schools equal would be an impossible feat, as parents with the means to do so will just send their kids to private school, or move to where they think the better schools are.
And you have to remember that moving for better schools is easy enough if you're going from one part of the county to another. For a family to decide to uproot completely, find new employment, move, things have to be pretty dire. And I think that most people, when they're actually in the school system, are happy enough with a lower rated school than they would tell you.

The county is growing. There is no reason to think it won't continue to grow. That means they need more schools. That might mean that you have more kids from a less advantaged background in the new school (or not.)

However, the end effect on kids from families that place a premium on education, is often minimal. I really think that there has to be an overwhelming majority of disadvantaged kids to the point that resources in the way of instruction quality, time and attention from faculty are reduced.

To that end, Wake County's demographics are such that it isn't a huge concern; Wake County is a more educated place than areas like Nassau County or Suffolk County NY, though not quite on par with some NOVA counties. On the whole, our "Average" is better than a lot of other places.

51% of adults in the county over 25 have a Bachelor's degree, 96.5% a HS Diploma.

North Carolina's population as a hole is 87% Diploma, 30% Bachelors.

Virginia's State average is 89%/37% Diploma and Bachelors. Fairfax County is 92% Diploma, 60% Bachelors.

I reference Fairfax County because its a similarly large, growing area with a large, county wide school district...And they don't have the problems you keep referencing.

I think your fears are either pearl clutching or thinly veiled racism.
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