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Old 05-21-2013, 06:14 PM
 
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Rankings like Greatschools and overall average MCAS comparisons don't really paint an accurate picture of the experience your child will have if you ignore the SES aspect. I think alot of people living in the nicer suburbs around Boston would have a hard time believing the numbers in that xls that I posted, showing Cambridge and Somerville with excellent MCAS scores in the non low-income bracket, even better than Weston and Arlington.

On "urban" and density - Somerville is the most dense city in the entire northeast outside of NYC. Cambridge must not be far behind. Around 22% of households have kids, and with this kind of density, there are kids everywhere as the "children per square mile" is among the highest in the state.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:15 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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@nei-Perhaps since I come from the political side of it, rather than this ambiguous "form" faction, I tend to see urban as "within city limits". In discussing large cities and their surrounding areas, I have always thought "the city" meant the core city. Here is the Wiki definition of urban:
Urban area - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"In the United States, there are two categories of urban area. The term urbanized area denotes an urban area of 50,000 or more people. Urban areas under 50,000 people are called urban clusters. Urbanized areas were first delineated in the United States in the 1950 census, while urban clusters were added in the 2000 census. There are 1,371 urban areas and urban clusters with more than 10,000 people.

The U.S. Census Bureau defines an urban area as: "Core census block groups or blocks that have a population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile (386 per square kilometer) and surrounding census blocks that have an overall density of at least 500 people per square mile (193 per square kilometer)." "

With that definition, both the core city and its built up suburbs can be considered "urban".

Here is an academic definition:
http://geography.sdsu.edu/Research/P.../Weeks_Ch3.pdf
You'll have to read it; I can't copy from it. I will quote one phrase:
"a spacial concentration of people whose lives are organized around nonagricultural acitivites"
With this definition, anything other than agricultural land and farm towns can be considered urban. In fact, if you read the article, it says that a tourist town of 2500 people can be considered urban.

Certainly, it was my take on this thread that we were talking about schools in the core cities, not in urban-lite suburbs. There is no point to even having this discussion if anyone can call any place they choose "urban" or "suburban". Are these people in Weston engaged in agricultural activities? If not, they're urban, too.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:24 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
45,992 posts, read 42,037,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
@nei-Perhaps since I come from the political side of it, rather than this ambiguous "form" faction, I tend to see urban as "within city limits". In discussing large cities and their surrounding areas, I have always thought "the city" meant the core city. Here is the Wiki definition of urban:
Urban area - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"In the United States, there are two categories of urban area. The term urbanized area denotes an urban area of 50,000 or more people. Urban areas under 50,000 people are called urban clusters. Urbanized areas were first delineated in the United States in the 1950 census, while urban clusters were added in the 2000 census. There are 1,371 urban areas and urban clusters with more than 10,000 people.

The U.S. Census Bureau defines an urban area as: "Core census block groups or blocks that have a population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile (386 per square kilometer) and surrounding census blocks that have an overall density of at least 500 people per square mile (193 per square kilometer)." "

With that definition, both the core city and its built up suburbs can be considered "urban".

Here is an academic definition:
http://geography.sdsu.edu/Research/P.../Weeks_Ch3.pdf
You'll have to read it; I can't copy from it. I will quote one phrase:
"a spacial concentration of people whose lives are organized around nonagricultural acitivites"
With this definition, anything other than agricultural land and farm towns can be considered urban. In fact, if you read the article, it says that a tourist town of 2500 people can be considered urban.

Certainly, it was my take on this thread that we were talking about schools in the core cities, not in urban-lite suburbs. There is no point to even having this discussion if anyone can call any place they choose "urban" or "suburban". Are these people in Weston engaged in agricultural activities? If not, they're urban, too.
Yes, I'm aware of the academic definition, but it only distinguishes between urban and rural, and nothing else. I guess part of the idea urban = more dense, is the denser a place the less rural it is. There are rural areas where few if any residents engage in agriculture, but because the density is very low it is still rural.

First I don't think urban means just "the city", it just refers to some place that is heavily built up in a relative sense. But if we're talking about the core or urban core, Cambridge is certainly part of the core, there's little "urban-lite" about it. For Boston, there's a core of contiguously high-density areas, some of which is Boston, others are in Cambridge and Somerville and really parts of Brookline, but Brookline residents might not like to think of themselves as urban. While you've said Denver doesn't have large differences in form and it seems rather ambiguous, the Boston area does and it's very obvious to any local or frequent visitor (also true of NYC and Philadelphia). It makes sense to think of the area having an "old dense core" consisting of Boston and several other smaller cities.

In any case, I think Cambridge and Somerville is somewhat thought upon in the region as "old cities" even if it's not "the city" with subpar schools. And the OP is trying to say it doesn't matter, which may or may not be true. I suspect this getting too local for anyone from far away to say much more.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:52 PM
 
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Kind of tough to argue that the most dense city in New England is not urban, isn't it?
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:24 PM
 
6,636 posts, read 4,607,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Since the words urban and suburban can mean anything anyone wants, I guess this whole thread is irrelevant.
Pretty much especially when you have cherry picking of the Cambridge/Somerville schools as if they are representative of the majority of urban schools. Wonder why no one has responded to your question about the Boston public schools. Surely they are as dense and urban as Cambridge/Somerville and should be included in any discussion about schools in the Boston metro.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:33 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 UNC4Me View Post
Pretty much especially when you have cherry picking of the Cambridge/Somerville schools as if they are representative of the majority of urban schools. Wonder why no one has responded to your question about the Boston public schools. Surely they are as dense and urban as Cambridge/Somerville and should be included in any discussion about schools in the Boston metro.
The OP lives in Cambridge/Somerville, that's why he picked them.

Boston schools are worse. But few white middle class students are in there, much of the decline occurred soon after busing. The other cities never had a similar integration busing or as heavy a white flight.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Boston schools are worse. But few white middle class students are in there, much of the decline occurred soon after busing. The other cities never had a similar integration busing or as heavy a white flight.
Boston does have open enrollment, however, and a few merit-based schools at the higher grade levels which have attracted more middle-class parents back into the city recently.
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:17 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,020 posts, read 102,689,903 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
The OP lives in Cambridge/Somerville, that's why he picked them.

Boston schools are worse. But few white middle class students are in there, much of the decline occurred soon after busing. The other cities never had a similar integration busing or as heavy a white flight.
Well, I thought the point of this thread was to figure out why that was so. The OP seems to have a premise that the school doesn't matter; just the parents' SES. Except, if the test scores show that urban schools, defined by him/her, do better when controlling for low-income students.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:06 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
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Btw, Cambridge Public Schools is more "diverse mix of immigrant kids" than "professor's kids" or stereotypical "inner city ghetto kids". Here's a description of a recent grad of the public schools:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/05/us...bing-link.html

Of course, plenty of "inner city" schools are diverse mix of immigrants from everywhere, too.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:57 AM
 
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Here is some more evidence to support my thesis:

Note Cambridge and Somerville are urban areas, among the most dense cities in the NE. The rest are the high-end suburban schools generally regarded to have the best schools. Note how the urban schools actually outperform the high end suburbs when you only looks at Non Low-Income students across all of the schools:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1OS...it?usp=sharing
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