U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [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)
 
Old 04-09-2013, 01:00 AM
 
2,880 posts, read 4,614,582 times
Reputation: 3584

Advertisements

States already apportion funds to school districts with allowances for poverty levels, student/teacher ratios, English proficiency, etc. It's local funds that make up the disparity. Should one city be barred from supplementing its school budget because a neighboring city can't match such funding? It's impossible. Cities are responsible for their own quality of life.

The issue of disparity is really most pronounced for very large school districts and their uneven distribution of resources such as quality teachers. Yet breaking up large school districts may just lead to new problems. The basic problem still is money, which is already distributed in favor of faltering districts. So an even distribution across the board actually would hurt them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-09-2013, 06:48 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,983 posts, read 41,929,314 times
Reputation: 14804
Ok, is it the city schools or mostly demographics? Looking at Denver, its neighbor Aurora as similar income and school demographics:

Aurora public schools:

Black 17.9%
Hispanic 54.7%
White 17.8%

71% of our students receive free or reduced lunch.

Denver public schools:

58.0% of the school district’s enrollment is Hispanic, 20.3% is Caucasian, and 14.5% is African American. Sixty-eight percent of the district’s students qualify for free and reduced lunch.

Aurora Public Schools: Demographics

Denver Public Schools - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What's the achievemetnt difference between the two? If there's something about old city schools that are bad, then Denver's should be worse. If it's mostly demographics, then they should be similar. Of course, it's only one example.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2013, 07:50 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,987 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33050
^^If you're asking me, I don't have the answers off the top of my head. If I have some time, I'll try to research it. Thanks for posting those demographics. I recall someone (who lives 1500 miles away from here) posting once that Denver 'doesn't have a large black population; couldn't have the problems that some other large districts do', etc. As you can see, Denver doesn't have a huge black population, but the overall minority population is high and the overall school population is poor.

@Bunjee-Do keep in mind that cities usually have a good tax base and per-pupil funding is generally higher in city school districts than it is in suburban districts whose taxes are more residential based.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2013, 09:20 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,987 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33050
I wish I had bookmarked that blog I came across by the urban planner who had never thought about schools until his own kids became school age. I've given up looking for it, the search words are too vague. When I use any word pertaining to schools, education, etc, google brings up urban planning schools. However, I did find this blog index. You will note there is not one subject area for education or schools.
Urban Planning Blog - Thoughts on Design, Architecture & Urbanscape

I think that is an issue urban planners need to address, if they are really going to get people to live in these vibrant cities with all this public (tax supported) transit, etc.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2013, 09:24 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,096,962 times
Reputation: 3117
I'll ask again: In what way can urban planners address schools?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2013, 09:39 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,987 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33050
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
I'll ask again: In what way can urban planners address schools?
OK, I'm speaking from a position of being neither an urban planner nor an educator. Most planners work for a city or county govt (I assume, and yes, I know that's dangerous). However, how do urban planners address transit? Our transit agency serves Denver plus all/part of seven other counties. Do urban planners interface with the transit districts and say, "this is what we need here"? Could they not do that with public education as well? Look at that list of topics. Many of them are outside the purview of an urban planner, yet urban planners get involved with "design and architecture" for ex while being neither designers or architects. Ditto many other topics on that list, e.g. housing. Do urban planners build housing? Do they have any influence over those who do, outside of conformance to codes? No. Most cities don't build housing, except for public housing projects. "Interiors"-do urban planners have any business concerning themselves with the interior designing of people's homes? No, but they do so anyway. The section "Learning" is not about public education, it is about learning opportunities for urban planners, BTW. To reiterate, why don't urban planners care about education? Is not education more important than what kind of lighting is available for one's home? (Taken from "interiors") There is no reason urban planners can't have an interface with the education administration of their cities, a place on these zillions of "committees" educators have, etc. There's no reason urban planners could not take a stand that the performance of the public schools in their jurisdiction should improve. And so forth.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2013, 09:49 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,096,962 times
Reputation: 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
OK, I'm speaking from a position of being neither an urban planner nor an educator. Most planners work for a city or county govt (I assume, and yes, I know that's dangerous). However, how do urban planners address transit? Our transit agency serves Denver plus all/part of seven other counties. Do urban planners interface with the transit districts and say, "this is what we need here"? Could they not do that with public education as well? Look at that list of topics. Many of them are outside the purview of an urban planner, yet urban planners get involved with "design and architecture" for ex while being neither designers or architects. Ditto many other topics on that list, e.g. housing. Do urban planners build housing? Do they have any influence over those who do, outside of conformance to codes? No. Most cities don't build housing, except for public housing projects. "Interiors"-do urban planners have any business concerning themselves with the interior designing of people's homes? No, but they do so anyway. The section "Learning" is not about public education, it is about learning opportunities for urban planners, BTW. To reiterate, why don't urban planners care about education? Is not education more important than what kind of lighting is available for one's home? (Taken from "interiors") There is no reason urban planners can't have an interface with the education administration of their cities, a place on these zillions of "committees" educators have, etc. There's no reason urban planners could not take a stand that the performance of the public schools in their jurisdiction should improve. And so forth.
I guess it could be added to the job description. To answer your question in bold, I sincerely doubt that they don't care about schools. As stated, it just historically not been a huge part of the job.

As we agreed, it's difficult to "fix the schools." There is no formula that works 100% of the time. I like your idea, perhaps it has merit. However, I think blaming planners for not caring about schools - when that has not really been part of their job, previously - is not fair. You wouldn't blame Wendy's employees for potholes in the road, nor Staples employees for long lines at King Sooper's.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2013, 09:59 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,987 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33050
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
I guess it could be added to the job description. To answer your question in bold, I sincerely doubt that they don't care about schools. As stated, it just historically not been a huge part of the job.

As we agreed, it's difficult to "fix the schools." There is no formula that works 100% of the time. I like your idea, perhaps it has merit. However, I think blaming planners for not caring about schools - when that has not really been part of their job, previously - is not fair. You wouldn't blame Wendy's employees for potholes in the road, nor Staples employees for long lines at King Sooper's.
But urban planners are supposed to be concerned with urban living! Frankly, I'm not quite sure what urban planners do in their work day, but that's probably a subject for a different thread. Posters on this forum, who are interested in all kinds of things urban, say they're not interested in the schools. Urban Planners write on a blog that they never had any interest in the schools in their city. I find that amazing, in a bad way.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2013, 10:07 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,096,962 times
Reputation: 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
But urban planners are supposed to be concerned with urban living! Frankly, I'm not quite sure what urban planners do in their work day, but that's probably a subject for a different thread.
What a lot of planners do is work on unbelievably minute details of large, years-long projects for 60 hours per week. Environmental impact assessments, economic impact assessments, alternative analysis, public input meetings ... things don't just pop up without a lot of labor from planners.

I guess when our universities start churning out dual majors in education and civil engineering we can implement this idea. What do you expect a planner to know about actually educating students? Planners might study the best locations for schools, the need for schools in planned growth areas, etc.

You yourself have declined to opine on the solution for schools because you aren't an educator. Why hold planners to a different standard than nurses?

Maybe a planner could come up with a rigid model for how many special ed teachers are needed based on a formula that takes into account socio-economic status, parental education level, how many people the student has seen killed, etc. But would incredulous parents and teachers say - "why are pencil pushing non-educators telling us how to educate?! They aren't educators!!!" The answer is yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Posters on this forum, who are interested in all kinds of things urban, say they're not interested in the schools. Urban Planners write on a blog that they never had any interest in the schools in their city. I find that amazing, in a bad way.
It's pretty anecdotal - almost to the point of being a strawman.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2013, 10:16 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,987 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33050
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
What a lot of planners do is work on unbelievably minute details of large, years-long projects for 60 hours per week. Environmental impact assessments, economic impact assessments, alternative analysis, public input meetings ... things don't just pop up without a lot of labor from planners.

I guess when our universities start churning out dual majors in education and civil engineering we can implement this idea. What do you expect a planner to know about actually educating students? Planners might study the best locations for schools, the need for schools in planned growth areas, etc.

Maybe a planner could come up with a rigid model for how many special ed teachers are needed based on a formula that takes into account socio-economic status, parental education level, how many people the student has seen killed, etc. But would incredulous parents and teachers say - "why are pencil pushing non-educators telling us how to educate?! They aren't educators!!!" The answer is yes.



It's pretty anecdotal - almost to the point of being a strawman.
60 hours a week, my foot! What govt. employee routinely puts in 20 hrs/wk overtime, and yes, I have worked for the govt.

You are getting sarcastic with that last full paragraph. I don't know the urban planning curriculum, but i don't think it's civil engineering, either. Cities and other govts do hire civil engineers, but they're hired to do civil engineering.

I think planners should take an interest in the schools in their cities. It's not strawman. If nei didn't object when I (but not others) "dredge up old posts" I could actually go dredge up some that show that there is a minimal interest in education among the people on this board. Whenever I have brought up education in the past, the general response has been "We don't care". This board wants to talk about transit, car sharing, walkability, planting vegetables in the front yards, anything but education. Heck, the thread titles show that, too. There is very little interest in education on this board, and when it does come up, many posters show they still believe some of these old songs and dances about city schools having less money per pupil than suburban schools, which is totally untrue in most cases.
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:

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 > General Forums > Urban Planning
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