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)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-09-2013, 11:23 AM
 
1,356 posts, read 1,639,099 times
Reputation: 1035

Advertisements

Someone mentioned in the urban renewal topic that urban planners don't take education into consideration and I find it hard to believe that it isn't considering education is an huge investment in itself and that a lot of people choose to not want to live in some cities because the state of neighborhood schools. DC's been in the process of renovating some schools and libraries in the eastern part of the city. That seems like a very conscious decision to try and make the schools and neighborhood seem more attractive to people who would have otherwise passed them up.

Now that I think about it. One of the things I've read about in the Washington Post a few months back was about DC's growth and how it was primarily being fueled by young childless individuals. The primary concern in the article was about what would happen when they started to get married and have children. Would they leave the city when their child reached school age?


Here it is:


Quote:
During the past decade, Washington has become a magnet for ambitious 20-somethings. Not only does the city offer good jobs and better-than-average public transit, it also boasts food trucks and, of course, cupcake shops.

For a recent college graduate, whatís not to like?

Itís been a remarkable deal for the District, too. The influx of newcomers has transformed the city from a symbol of civic dysfunction and drab government offices to a cosmopolitan hub ó an urban playground.

The flood of newcomers did not arrive by accident. City planners and developers have bet big on luring transplants to the region. These are the people who will fill the more than 11,000 new apartments expected to be completed in the area in the next 12 months and whose income, sales and real estate taxes are helping the cityís finances fare far better than those of similar urban areas. Long-blighted storefronts and commercial corridors are being rebuilt.

What D.C. hasnít yet figured out, or even really planned for, is what happens when this raft of newcomers grows out of one-bedroom condo living. What happens when their lives evolve past the urban-playground stage and they are less interested in speakeasies than in parks for their kids?
D.C.’s growth is fueled by 20-somethings. Can the city grow up with them? - The Washington Post

There's more to it. As much as I often disagree with Katiana about some things, I value her perspective when it comes to this topic. The first paragraph represents this board well including myself. I'm in my 20s, childless, and investing in myself as I imagine most people on this board are. Things like walkability and amenities appeals to me since I'm largely only responsible for myself. But when kids come knocking, priorities change and suddenly suburban living becomes a lot more appealing because the schools are "better" and we don't have to pay to send our child off to a private school so they can get a good education if we want to continue living in the city because of the state of public inner city schools. For the typical middle class person who would like to live in a city, that's a huge turn off since private schools are expensive and the implications of this is that these people aren't moving in and helping to (re)invest in the community and make it a more attractive place to live.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-09-2013, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,462 posts, read 11,970,443 times
Reputation: 10568
Quote:
Originally Posted by Octa View Post
There's more to it. As much as I often disagree with Katiana about some things, I value her perspective when it comes to this topic. The first paragraph represents this board well including myself. I'm in my 20s, childless, and investing in myself as I imagine most people on this board are. Things like walkability and amenities appeals to me since I'm largely only responsible for myself. But when kids come knocking, priorities change and suddenly suburban living becomes a lot more appealing because the schools are "better" and we don't have to pay to send our child off to a private school so they can get a good education if we want to continue living in the city because of the state of public inner city schools. For the typical middle class person who would like to live in a city, that's a huge turn off since private schools are expensive and the implications of this is that these people aren't moving in and helping to (re)invest in the community and make it a more attractive place to live.
I've posted on this before, and I don't want to sound like a broken record, but the reason why city schools are "failing" is simple - intelligent, middle/upper-middle class people don't send their kids to them.

Seriously. I've read multiple studies comparing the effects of public versus private school. Elite merit-based magnets in NYC versus neighborhood schools. Suburban schools versus urban schools. And they all agree that once you account for the family background (the income of the parents, and how educated the parents are), there is no evidence the choice of school makes any difference in how a child turns out regarding their adult profession.

That's not to say that urban schools couldn't do a better job, in some cases, in educating the poor, minority population which attends them. But essentially the entire difference, when it comes to something like aggregate test scores, between a failing inner city urban school and a successful suburban one, comes down to race and economics. The suburban schools aren't really doing a better job educating, they're just starting out with student body which is much more likely to achieve, period.

This often sets up vicious cycles, which result in the total abandonment of schools by white middle class parents. Say a neighborhood school starts to have a growing Black/Latino enrollment. As a result (given nationwide, Black and to a lesser extent Latino scores are lower than white scores) the aggregate standardized test scores drop. Some white, middle-class parents become concerned, and ultimately either move elsewhere or enroll their children in private schools. Each parent who does this generally pulls a comparably high-achieving student out of the school, making the aggregate score that much worse in the following year. And so on, until at its logical conclusion the entire non-impoverished population pulls out.

As a parent in my 30s, what this tells me is to not worry about how other kids are doing, and just concentrate on my own. I would never send my daughter to an actual ghetto school, but I have no problem sending her to schools with a black plurality or majority. Our local magnet schools are all roughly 50/50 white/black. The black students do better than the neighborhood schools, but still lag. The white students do as good as in the top suburban schools in the region. Should I look at how the school at large performs, or how the demographic which most closely reflects my daughter performs?

It also suggests that if educated, professional parents enroll their children en-masse in a neighborhood school, it will result in the school making a comeback. And while few parents are willing to do this, it really does work.

One somewhat disturbing thing about education - studies have also shown that while the strongest determinant of academic success is the level of education their parents have, this is only true if their parents are biologically related. There is no evidence that even upper-middle class parents adoptive children are more likely to finish college than if they were a random person off the street. This suggests the vast majority of academic success is determined due to hereditary factors. Either way, it's clear that the school you go to doesn't make a huge difference in boosting or hindering your chances in the future.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2013, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,051 posts, read 102,770,515 times
Reputation: 33099
^^I hate to disagree with so much, but I disagree with a lot of the above post.

Yes, there's a strong correlation between family SES and kids' test scores. Test scores cannot be used to measure say, teacher quality, b/c most of the kids in the high scoring schools will do well no matter who is teaching. OTOH, some "good" teachers do prefer teaching at schools where kids are motivated to at least do well in school. Too, there are schools that score "better than expected" when accounting for SES. My old school district, which, when I attended was a solid district with a lot of steelworkers' kids, is now a quite depressed SES district, yet they perform "BTE". Maybe some of these failing urban school districts should look at these districts. Your link was basically an anecdote with no statistics, and an appeal for a fundraiser.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bea...chool_District
93% high school graduation rate in 2011.

Your comments about adoption are outrageous and again, without any backup.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2013, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,462 posts, read 11,970,443 times
Reputation: 10568
I find it funny you responded to an anecdotal news story from someplace I've never been with an anecdotal story about your own childhood school district.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Your comments about adoption are outrageous and again, without any backup.
AFAIK, this study has shown the strongest relationship between education of adopted children and their parents. Even in this case, it only found that adopted children gained about a quarter year of education for each year their adoptive mother had, meaning roughly speaking four years of college is good enough, on average, to get one year of college out of your adopted child. This is a far weaker effect than has been shown for biological children.

Here's a post on how a child's income relates to their parents. Note that biological children see their average income climb in rough proportion to their parents. Adopted kids (in this case, international adoptees from Korea), not so much. Also note that a biological mother raises her child's chances of completing college by 26%, but for adoptees, only 7%.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2013, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,462 posts, read 11,970,443 times
Reputation: 10568
More generally...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Yes, there's a strong correlation between family SES and kids' test scores. Test scores cannot be used to measure say, teacher quality, b/c most of the kids in the high scoring schools will do well no matter who is teaching. OTOH, some "good" teachers do prefer teaching at schools where kids are motivated to at least do well in school.
This is true. Teaching at a failing school where kids don't want to learn is often quite dispiriting. That said, part of the reason why city schools often pay more than suburban ones is they realize they need to have some extra incentive to make teachers stay in tough jobs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Too, there are schools that score "better than expected" when accounting for SES. My old school district, which, when I attended was a solid district with a lot of steelworkers' kids, is now a quite depressed SES district, yet they perform "BTE". Maybe some of these failing urban school districts should look at these districts.
IIRC Katiana, you are around my mother's age, and grew up in the 1950s/1960s. Things were different then in numerous ways - one important one being that we were only just transitioning into an educational meritocracy. Many public schools were full of working class kids, some smart and some dull. Many of the smart ones got to be part of the first generation in their families to go to college, and their children grew up in suburban areas. The ones who weren't smart stayed put, or stayed in very similar school systems. As a result, smart people (or, at least, those who excel in terms of education and job performance), are concentrated in a way they were not when we were a more "aristocratic" society.

Also, FWIW, the test score gaps on race are much larger within the U.S. context than income. White kids taking the SAT from the poorest 10% of households score the same as black kids taking the SAT in the top 10% of households. So presuming your home district is still overwhelmingly white (and I'm pretty sure it is, since Aliquippa and Ambridge are the only places in Beaver County with a black population), it would score better than low or even moderate SES-black districts,
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2013, 02:54 PM
 
1,211 posts, read 892,508 times
Reputation: 1107
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I've read multiple studies comparing the effects of public versus private school. Elite merit-based magnets in NYC versus neighborhood schools. Suburban schools versus urban schools. And they all agree that once you account for the family background (the income of the parents, and how educated the parents are), there is no evidence the choice of school makes any difference in how a child turns out regarding their adult profession.
Do you have links to these studies?

Last edited by nei; 04-09-2013 at 03:59 PM.. Reason: fixed quote
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2013, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,051 posts, read 102,770,515 times
Reputation: 33099
I do not have time to research the adoption issue right now, but I am horrified at your posts about it.

Of course things are different now. So what? The link I posted about BBF school district gives data from the last few years! Here is the article from the Pittsburgh Business Times:
Overachiever statewide ranking - Pittsburgh Business Times

You are wrong about the racial stats of BBF.

Big Beaver Falls Area School District, PA (4203630) DP1 General Demographic Characteristics
14.4% black
BFHS:
Beaver Falls High School - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Total minority enrollment: 28%. I can assure you almost all of these students are black.

Beaver Falls demographics:
Beaver Falls (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
19.3% black
Ambridge:
17%
Aliquippa:
38.6%
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2013, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,051 posts, read 102,770,515 times
Reputation: 33099
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiurbanite View Post
Do you have links to these studies?
Those are not my words, they're eschaton's. Ask him. I don't know how you attributed them to me, unless it was to try to discredit me. They're not even in anything of mine he did quote.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2013, 06:00 PM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,442 posts, read 9,902,851 times
Reputation: 4691
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I've posted on this before, and I don't want to sound like a broken record, but the reason why city schools are "failing" is simple - intelligent, middle/upper-middle class people don't send their kids to them.

Seriously. I've read multiple studies comparing the effects of public versus private school. Elite merit-based magnets in NYC versus neighborhood schools. Suburban schools versus urban schools. And they all agree that once you account for the family background (the income of the parents, and how educated the parents are), there is no evidence the choice of school makes any difference in how a child turns out regarding their adult profession.

That's not to say that urban schools couldn't do a better job, in some cases, in educating the poor, minority population which attends them. But essentially the entire difference, when it comes to something like aggregate test scores, between a failing inner city urban school and a successful suburban one, comes down to race and economics. The suburban schools aren't really doing a better job educating, they're just starting out with student body which is much more likely to achieve, period.

This often sets up vicious cycles, which result in the total abandonment of schools by white middle class parents. Say a neighborhood school starts to have a growing Black/Latino enrollment. As a result (given nationwide, Black and to a lesser extent Latino scores are lower than white scores) the aggregate standardized test scores drop. Some white, middle-class parents become concerned, and ultimately either move elsewhere or enroll their children in private schools. Each parent who does this generally pulls a comparably high-achieving student out of the school, making the aggregate score that much worse in the following year. And so on, until at its logical conclusion the entire non-impoverished population pulls out.

As a parent in my 30s, what this tells me is to not worry about how other kids are doing, and just concentrate on my own. I would never send my daughter to an actual ghetto school, but I have no problem sending her to schools with a black plurality or majority. Our local magnet schools are all roughly 50/50 white/black. The black students do better than the neighborhood schools, but still lag. The white students do as good as in the top suburban schools in the region. Should I look at how the school at large performs, or how the demographic which most closely reflects my daughter performs?

It also suggests that if educated, professional parents enroll their children en-masse in a neighborhood school, it will result in the school making a comeback. And while few parents are willing to do this, it really does work.

One somewhat disturbing thing about education - studies have also shown that while the strongest determinant of academic success is the level of education their parents have, this is only true if their parents are biologically related. There is no evidence that even upper-middle class parents adoptive children are more likely to finish college than if they were a random person off the street. This suggests the vast majority of academic success is determined due to hereditary factors. Either way, it's clear that the school you go to doesn't make a huge difference in boosting or hindering your chances in the future.
Add in the fact that urban schools often all-out lack the sufficient resources/course offerings/amenities catering to the best and brightest. Having educated parents doesn't make much of a difference when a school doesn't offer advanced math, much less things like music programs... Or chalk...

So while I agree test schools are far and away from the end-all, be-all, it's fallacious to suggest things like comprehensive extracurricular activities, AP/IB classes, technological resources, etc. etc. don't matter. Put another way, "lower test scores" don't really matter in the case of an Allderdice. At a Carrick, it's symptomatic of a much bigger problem.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2013, 06:05 PM
 
1,356 posts, read 1,639,099 times
Reputation: 1035
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I've posted on this before, and I don't want to sound like a broken record, but the reason why city schools are "failing" is simple - intelligent, middle/upper-middle class people don't send their kids to them.

Seriously. I've read multiple studies comparing the effects of public versus private school. Elite merit-based magnets in NYC versus neighborhood schools. Suburban schools versus urban schools. And they all agree that once you account for the family background (the income of the parents, and how educated the parents are), there is no evidence the choice of school makes any difference in how a child turns out regarding their adult profession.

That's not to say that urban schools couldn't do a better job, in some cases, in educating the poor, minority population which attends them. But essentially the entire difference, when it comes to something like aggregate test scores, between a failing inner city urban school and a successful suburban one, comes down to race and economics. The suburban schools aren't really doing a better job educating, they're just starting out with student body which is much more likely to achieve, period.

This often sets up vicious cycles, which result in the total abandonment of schools by white middle class parents. Say a neighborhood school starts to have a growing Black/Latino enrollment. As a result (given nationwide, Black and to a lesser extent Latino scores are lower than white scores) the aggregate standardized test scores drop. Some white, middle-class parents become concerned, and ultimately either move elsewhere or enroll their children in private schools. Each parent who does this generally pulls a comparably high-achieving student out of the school, making the aggregate score that much worse in the following year. And so on, until at its logical conclusion the entire non-impoverished population pulls out.

As a parent in my 30s, what this tells me is to not worry about how other kids are doing, and just concentrate on my own. I would never send my daughter to an actual ghetto school, but I have no problem sending her to schools with a black plurality or majority. Our local magnet schools are all roughly 50/50 white/black. The black students do better than the neighborhood schools, but still lag. The white students do as good as in the top suburban schools in the region. Should I look at how the school at large performs, or how the demographic which most closely reflects my daughter performs?

It also suggests that if educated, professional parents enroll their children en-masse in a neighborhood school, it will result in the school making a comeback. And while few parents are willing to do this, it really does work.

One somewhat disturbing thing about education - studies have also shown that while the strongest determinant of academic success is the level of education their parents have, this is only true if their parents are biologically related. There is no evidence that even upper-middle class parents adoptive children are more likely to finish college than if they were a random person off the street. This suggests the vast majority of academic success is determined due to hereditary factors. Either way, it's clear that the school you go to doesn't make a huge difference in boosting or hindering your chances in the future.
Yes you're right about some things. I mentioned in the previous topic about urban renewal, that the whole charter vs public thing is an illusion since children will do well when the parents are invested.

What I don't agree with you with is your notion about intelligence and race. I think IQ tests can be useful in some instances of tracking cognitive development, but outside of that they're fairly useless since they measure fluid and spatial reasoning while leaving other things such as interpersonal and emotional reasoning out. They also tend to be very culturally biased and favor kids who have acquired a lot of background knowledge. Actual outcomes is going to be determined by the childs SES since they have the connections and resources to be more successful.

When it comes to race, know that most latinos and african-americans are living in poverty compared to poor whites or asians. When you break it down by poverty and race, any child will achieve less compared to a child in an upper income bracket. Upper income blacks do a lot better than those in a lower SES and same with other groups. Rural appalachia or the boonies out in Alabama are a good example of this.

With that being however, I'm a pre-service teacher and I don't believe SES should always be used as a scapegoat to try and improve schools like the ones found in inner cities. Jonathan Kozol in his book Savage inequalities looks at inner city schools and compares them to more well off ones and found that inner city schools were significantly underfunded due to things like property taxes bringing in more revenue in richer neighborhoods. I described my experiences in the previous topic about working in an inner city school and the difference between the inner city and well funded suburban schools were like night and day. Even the rich inner city school in the neighborhood with a million dollar homes(with the gerrymandered district) were vastly superior to the ones found in poor neighborhoods. That's only just describing the environment. I could understand why middle class people wouldn't want to move into a city even if they really wanted to live in one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I find it funny you responded to an anecdotal news story from someplace I've never been with an anecdotal story about your own childhood school district.



AFAIK, this study has shown the strongest relationship between education of adopted children and their parents. Even in this case, it only found that adopted children gained about a quarter year of education for each year their adoptive mother had, meaning roughly speaking four years of college is good enough, on average, to get one year of college out of your adopted child. This is a far weaker effect than has been shown for biological children.

Here's a post on how a child's income relates to their parents. Note that biological children see their average income climb in rough proportion to their parents. Adopted kids (in this case, international adoptees from Korea), not so much. Also note that a biological mother raises her child's chances of completing college by 26%, but for adoptees, only 7%.
I find that interesting coming from Tyler Cowen's blog. I read him, but I don't like how he tends to cite Bryan Caplan a lot who happens to be a huge advocate for genetic outcomes. Anyways, I read through your adoption study and found that the adoption is not statistically significant for outcomes. Don't know where you're going with that, but it's a little off topic.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavenWood View Post
Add in the fact that urban schools often all-out lack the sufficient resources/course offerings/amenities catering to the best and brightest. Having educated parents doesn't make much of a difference when a school doesn't offer advanced math, much less things like music programs... Or chalk...

So while I agree test schools are far and away from the end-all, be-all, it's fallacious to suggest things like comprehensive extracurricular activities, AP/IB classes, technological resources, etc. etc. don't matter.

Agreed. I've been in schools where they were still using VCR's and cassette players instead of DVD and CD players this decade. Just reading some of the transplant topics on the state forums reveals how important extra resources are since parents will usually ask about school resources in a district when they are deciding whether or not they should move to a new area.
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