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Old 04-11-2013, 03:45 PM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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"Too true! Unfortunately, the urban advocates, both on this board and IRL, don't think much about the schools at all."

urban advocates dont think about schools? What?

thats not true in DC

Greater Greater Education

whatever some blowhard at WaPo says.
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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^^Fine! Then I take it it is OK to talk about the role city governments have in the public schools within their boundaries?
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:26 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
My point was to show that in the several cities I chose, the schools are NOT part of the city govt. In Denver, and all over Colorado, the SCHOOL BOARD chooses the supt. of schools.
I didn't realize it was that common in big cities, I thought that setup was more common in smaller cities and suburbs. But would it help city schools to be directly involved with the schools rather than a separate school board? Long Island school boards have no connection to municipal government, it's school board system is separate. But that doesn't mean Long Island doesn't care about its schools; it's just set up separately.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I didn't realize it was that common in big cities, I thought that setup was more common in smaller cities and suburbs. But would it help city schools to be directly involved with the schools rather than a separate school board? Long Island school boards have no connection to municipal government, it's school board system is separate. But that doesn't mean Long Island doesn't care about its schools; it's just set up separately.
City governments are so big already, it's probably better for the schools to be separate. It's probably easier for them to ask for tax increases for specific projects that way, too, rather than depend on the city's general funds.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:04 PM
 
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Wow this topic really blew up since I've been gone.

As someone noted earlier, this topic is not literally about urban planners in the professional/job sense. It was made in response to a statement Katiana made in the other thread about why education is largely left out of the equation when it comes to redeveloping cities that have seen it's investment decline over the past couple decades. Inner city schools and education are just as relevant and have an important place when it comes to revitalizing urban areas. This board overall has a very Richard Florida take on urban planning where all you need to do to revitalize urban areas are make it "hip" and I'm sure that has to do with a lot of fitting into the demographic that he talks about, but I think cities improving their neighborhood schools is much better long term investment than designating a few blocks in a city an art district and creating cupcake shops.

What good are cities if no one wants to settle down in one because the quality of the schools are abysmal? Not every city is going to be a DC, New York, or San Francisco that is going to attract young professionals due to an abundance of jobs to gentrify neighborhoods and it's not realistic to expect that. If you want your average everyday person who just wants to raise a family live closer or in a city then you're going to have to make it be a place that's attractive to live and that involves reversing the stereotype of cities being dangerous places to live. Improving the quality of the neighborhood schools is going to help do that which also has the long term benefit of helping to alleviate crime in the neighborhoods surrounding those schools.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
it varies from place to place. In all the areas of VA where the school board chooses the supt, the county boards and county execs are very aware of schooling and school issues - seeing as its typically half their budgets, and a huge determinant of residential and business location, its hardly suprising. Im just not seeing this "city pols ignore education" thing.

But HOW to make schools better belongs in the education forum. And how to make city schools in particular better, probably belongs there also - at least if the differences have to do with demographic factors that are not unique to cities.

Here in greater DC the district schools have some big problems. So do the PG county schools in adjoining Md. Both have issues with student bodies that are relatively poor, whose parents are less educated, and who come from minorities that have historically suffered discrimination. PGs SFHs, its autocentrism, and its formal status as a suburb do not change that. I would argue that the problems of DC schools, so similar to those of PG, are not really "urban school problems" They are poor minority school problems. And thus not particularly on topic for this forum.

Other issues - how to get more kids to bike to school - what to do about landmark school buildings no longer needed - what to do about a school system that is first losing students but then regaining from gentrification - as some say DCPS will - and therefore what to do with the buildings - IS on topic.
Maybe I am having a little trouble expressing what I want to say. I think Octa said it well above. I feel that many urban advocates, people who are interested in urban issues such as transit, walkability, bikeability, bars, apartment living, density, density, density, etc are not terribly interested in the public schools. They have said so on this forum! And no, it's no secret that the public schools have problems, that they have in many cases abysmal high school graduation rates, discipline problems and so forth. It didn't used to be that way. In many cases the schools have gotten away with saying "it's poverty, it's this, it's that". Maybe it's time to quit making so many excuses and come up with an action plan to improve the situation. These educators need to be held accountable, and they need to hear that from the residents of the cities.

Last edited by nei; 04-12-2013 at 09:20 AM..
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:27 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Photos of the life of an inner city school teacher:

Alexis Lambrou's Photos of Young Brooklyn High School Teacher - NYTimes.com
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:33 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Photos of the life of an inner city school teacher:

Alexis Lambrou's Photos of Young Brooklyn High School Teacher - NYTimes.com
Nice photos.

(note the urban gardens in frame 15 ).
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:46 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
45,992 posts, read 42,110,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Maybe I am having a little trouble expressing what I want to say. I think Octa said it well above. I feel that many urban advocates, people who are interested in urban issues such as transit, walkability, bikeability, bars, apartment living, density, density, density, etc are not terribly interested in the public schools. They have said so on this forum! And no, it's no secret that the public schools have problems, that they have in many cases abysmal high school graduation rates, discipline problems and so forth. It didn't used to be that way. In many cases the schools have gotten away with saying "it's poverty, it's this, it's that". Maybe it's time to quit making so many excuses and come up with an action plan to improve the situation. These educators need to be held accountable, and they need to hear that from the residents of the cities.
That makes a bit more sense IMO that saying urban planners need to pay attention to schools, which sounded to me as a mostly pointless beaucratic shuffle. As to lack of interest, I'm more interested in city layout, urban development history and geography, which is why I post here and don't post on the education forum. Paying attention to grade school education is important but something I'd rather not. And I suspect I'd have trouble relating, I'd just think: bah, why can't these kids learn math, it's not that hard.

As for cities making excuses and the educators being accountable, is it really true that the cities don't care and are just making excuses? Or are they doing the best they can with a bad hand. In many cities, families with children are quite a bit poorer than suburban families. Together with entrenched minority deprivation, having good schools is harder. It's easier for outsiders to say the cities must do something, but reality is harder. I'd like to see more evidence that cities don't care about schools.

I don't know about other city school districts, but New York City has done a number of changes in the last decade. Some might have been helpful (making high school admission based, with any student able to test out to a school of his/her choice by test*) others maybe not so much. To enable accountability, lots of failing schools have been closed, with new ones been started with a new administration. In some cases, it just causes chaos. Instead of accountability, the new school fails again and gets closed 5 years later and cycle repeats.

*Giving tests to rather young children reminds me of a quote by an elementary school teacher in the Simpson: Don't worry children, these tests will have no effect on your grades. They merely determine your future social status and financial success.
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:40 AM
 
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An example of education and urban policy:


Neighborhood preference in D.C. charter schools would be allowed under bill - The Washington Post

Apparently some districts in San Francisco and NYC have a policy of open zoning:

Should charters also be neighborhood schools? - Greater Greater Education
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