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Old 01-21-2014, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,893 posts, read 7,654,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octa View Post
This thread is also asking why only two aspects urban planning are worshipped on this forum.
Worshipped? As has already been said: walkability and--to a lesser extent--density, are just indicators of the kind of quality of life one can expect from a location.

Quote:
The issue of education just doesn't solely belong in the education forum because
the issue of urban education(and keeping families in cities) is also important
to cities and pretty important from a planning viewpoint. Here's an example from
something that happened around 15 years ago: the city I lived in never
integrated their schools(it's a very complex issue that can be alleviated
through several policies such as housing and zoning, you know, an urban planning
thing). So what the city did was rezoned some neighborhoods so that a school
wasn't just majority minority and poor. What ended up happening was that the
parents in the affluent white areas moved out or sent their children to private
school. School integration and improvement a very complex social issue and it's
unique to cities. The issue spans decades and is the legacy of several policies
prior past. I imagine the aversion to the issue has to do with many posters not
being knowledgeable about the issue and not fitting the demographic that would
be interested in urban schools. There's more to urban planning than light rails
and "vibrancy"(ie Starbucks and Whole Foods) which caters to the transient
yuppie crowd. There's a lot of intersectionality when it comes to these things.
For those who feel that we should discuss schools, and their relationship with urban planning, they are entitled to create their own threads. But, when we've discussed schools in the past, (and yes, we've discussed schools in this forum a number of times in the past) the conversation rarely went anywhere. After all, if a quick or easy solution to poorly performing urban schools were found, that information wouldn't stay isolated to this forum for long.

Quote:
He didn't call anyone freaks in his post; he just explained why this board tends
to have tunnel vision about certain topics. and Europe(that's the center of the
universe).
No, the phrase they used to describe those of us who do not like suburban sprawl was: "europhilic liberal yuppies whom live in a bubble in the big cities and have a bizarre hatred of open space and cars."

Last edited by JR_C; 01-21-2014 at 03:16 PM..
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:38 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,989 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33053
^^The reason previous conversations about schools have gone nowhere, which I would agree has happened, is that most people on this forum are very uninterested in schools. They'll say (as an excuse for why schools shouldn't be considered a part of urban planning) "School districts are their own entities, not part of city government". Well, that's true in most cases. But so are most transit systems, yet we talk about transit constantly. Business owners, developers, etc are not part of city government either, yet we talk about shopping and housing constantly as well.

If cities want to grow, they'll have to rely on more than just recruiting 20 somethings from the suburbs. They have to do something to keep the people who have located in the city, in the city. While some have said, also correctly, IMO, that schools improve as the gentrifiers (the gentry, LOL) send their kids to them, that can take a while, and few parents are willing to take the risk that if they send their kids to these poorly performing city schools, that the schools will somehow improve without any effort. Somehow the schools need a jumpstart. We have a teacher who posts on that forum. Perhaps we could listen to him instead of just saying "we're not interested in schools, we're interested in architecture (also not part of city govt), transit, attracting businesses, etc, etc.
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,655,359 times
Reputation: 26651
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
That's some of it. But I think part of the reason too is it forces people to confront the following unpleasant truths.

1. There are still huge gaps in test scores between whites and blacks (and to a lesser extent Latinos) in the U.S. Indeed, the data I have seen suggests that it's not, as people have said, mostly about class rather than race, with upper-middle-class black students generally speaking scoring similarly to the poorest whites. Mind you, the data I have seen regarding this all comes from questionable sources (Charles Murray and the like) but I have never seen data from the other side refuting this either, so I have no reason to believe it's untrue.
I haven't seen these stats with huge differences in "race" based scores when accounting for class.

I have also seen big gaps for latinos as well. One thing that isn't necessarily noted in those studies, is that more affluent black families are more likely to live in poorer neighborhoods than their white counterparts.
Affluent African-Americans Live in Poorer Neighborhoods Than Middle-Class Whites - The Wealth Report - WSJ

Class is a lot more precarious for blacks since there isn't a long term benefit of multi-generational wealth of home ownership that is a predictor of future wealth. There isn't much class mobility for people of color either.

Quote:
2. The average white parent might not talk like a racist anymore, but they still act like one. So if their school rises from 10% black to 40% black, they'll claim they're pulling their kids out because test scores are down, or because there are more fights in school. But the end result is still the vast majority of schools remain highly segregated, and in very few cases can a substantial number of black students be sent to a top-tier public school without the school dropping significantly in desirability.

3. In many of the cases where there is some diversity in the school system, you still end up with de-facto segregation in the classroom if not in the school itself. Many NYC elementary schools on paper have a fairly diverse student body, but have "enrichment" or "honors" classes which are almost entirely white and Asian, with the mainstream classes mostly black and Latino.
This is very true, and in my own experience, when my family moved to a new state, the new school district was reluctant to put me in the honors classes (even though my transcript reflected that placement.) It took the threat of a lawsuit to get proper placement. Obviously, not all parents will do that, and the schools chose a students path very early on. IF you aren't tracked in honors by 3rd grade, it is very difficult to move up.

There are tons of studies that note teachers have low expectations of black students, and act accordingly, even though the students are nor behaving or performing differently. Teacher bias has an enormous impact on future education.
Study Finds Low Teacher Expectations Dim Student Achievement | Education Trust

Quote:
4. Given the above data points, it seems nearly impossible, in America in the present, to have both integrated classrooms and retention of most middle-class white parents in the public school system. You can use enrichment programs, or magnet schools, to concentrate the white families with the highest "minority tolerance" in areas where they feel comfortable. Or you can admit that we can't desegregate neighborhood schools, and draw feeder patterns on neighborhood lines, even if that results in 90% white and 90% black schools. But ultimately I think that's all you can do, unless someone has a magic bullet to change American culture.
The problem is very multi-faceted, and we can't make progress if we don't make it a priority for all students, of all ethnic groups and income levels, to have access to great education. Our future depends on it, but we ignore this reality.

The STEM problems only magnify the inequalities and the education issues.

***I'm black and grew up in mostly white suburbia/attended mostly white schools
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:23 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,989 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33053
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
That's some of it. But I think part of the reason too is it forces people to confront the following unpleasant truths.

1. There are still huge gaps in test scores between whites and blacks (and to a lesser extent Latinos) in the U.S. Indeed, the data I have seen suggests that it's not, as people have said, mostly about class rather than race, with upper-middle-class black students generally speaking scoring similarly to the poorest whites. Mind you, the data I have seen regarding this all comes from questionable sources (Charles Murray and the like) but I have never seen data from the other side refuting this either, so I have no reason to believe it's untrue.

2. The average white parent might not talk like a racist anymore, but they still act like one. So if their school rises from 10% black to 40% black, they'll claim they're pulling their kids out because test scores are down, or because there are more fights in school. But the end result is still the vast majority of schools remain highly segregated, and in very few cases can a substantial number of black students be sent to a top-tier public school without the school dropping significantly in desirability.

3. In many of the cases where there is some diversity in the school system, you still end up with de-facto segregation in the classroom if not in the school itself. Many NYC elementary schools on paper have a fairly diverse student body, but have "enrichment" or "honors" classes which are almost entirely white and Asian, with the mainstream classes mostly black and Latino.

4. Given the above data points, it seems nearly impossible, in America in the present, to have both integrated classrooms and retention of most middle-class white parents in the public school system. You can use enrichment programs, or magnet schools, to concentrate the white families with the highest "minority tolerance" in areas where they feel comfortable. Or you can admit that we can't desegregate neighborhood schools, and draw feeder patterns on neighborhood lines, even if that results in 90% white and 90% black schools. But ultimately I think that's all you can do, unless someone has a magic bullet to change American culture.
I have to say, eschaton, both here and on the Pittsburgh forum, you are highly focused on race and bring it up a lot.

I certainly take offense at "the average white parent".

#3 is the school's problem, it seems to me. What is the need for honors classes in elementary school, at least prior to 4th grade or so?

4. Since I disagree with some of your data points (jade408 did a good job, BTW), I can't agree with your conclusion.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,893 posts, read 7,654,530 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
^^The reason previous conversations about schools have gone nowhere, which I would agree has happened, is that most people on this forum are very uninterested in schools. They'll say (as an excuse for why schools shouldn't be considered a part of urban planning) "School districts are their own entities, not part of city government". Well, that's true in most cases. But so are most transit systems, yet we talk about transit constantly. Business owners, developers, etc are not part of city government either, yet we talk about shopping and housing constantly as well.

If cities want to grow, they'll have to rely on more than just recruiting 20 somethings from the suburbs. They [cities, I assume] have to do something to keep the people who have located in the city, in the city. While some have said, also correctly, IMO, that schools improve as the gentrifiers (the gentry, LOL) send their kids to them, that can take a while, and few parents are willing to take the risk that if they send their kids to these poorly performing city schools, that the schools will somehow improve without any effort. Somehow the schools need a jumpstart. We have a teacher who posts on that forum. Perhaps we could listen to him instead of just saying "we're not interested in schools, we're interested in architecture (also not part of city govt), transit, attracting businesses, etc, etc.
The second sentence in bold is why the first sentence in bold is often brought up; not as an excuse to dismiss schools as a valid urban planning subject.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:31 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,989 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33053
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
The second sentence in bold is why the first sentence in bold is often brought up; not as an excuse to dismiss schools as a valid urban planning subject.
As I said, transit is usually a separate entity; certainly bars, coffee shops, housing for gentrifiers are not part of city govt. either.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,893 posts, read 7,654,530 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
As I said, transit is usually a separate entity; certainly bars, coffee shops, housing for gentrifiers are not part of city govt. either.
I'm not disagreeing with you. But that also means statements like: "cities have to improve their schools to keep families from leaving," don't have much meaning, either.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:51 PM
 
56,553 posts, read 80,847,919 times
Reputation: 12490
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I haven't seen these stats with huge differences in "race" based scores when accounting for class.

I have also seen big gaps for latinos as well. One thing that isn't necessarily noted in those studies, is that more affluent black families are more likely to live in poorer neighborhoods than their white counterparts.
Affluent African-Americans Live in Poorer Neighborhoods Than Middle-Class Whites - The Wealth Report - WSJ

Class is a lot more precarious for blacks since there isn't a long term benefit of multi-generational wealth of home ownership that is a predictor of future wealth. There isn't much class mobility for people of color either.


This is very true, and in my own experience, when my family moved to a new state, the new school district was reluctant to put me in the honors classes (even though my transcript reflected that placement.) It took the threat of a lawsuit to get proper placement. Obviously, not all parents will do that, and the schools chose a students path very early on. IF you aren't tracked in honors by 3rd grade, it is very difficult to move up.

There are tons of studies that note teachers have low expectations of black students, and act accordingly, even though the students are nor behaving or performing differently. Teacher bias has an enormous impact on future education.
Study Finds Low Teacher Expectations Dim Student Achievement | Education Trust



The problem is very multi-faceted, and we can't make progress if we don't make it a priority for all students, of all ethnic groups and income levels, to have access to great education. Our future depends on it, but we ignore this reality.

The STEM problems only magnify the inequalities and the education issues.

***I'm black and grew up in mostly white suburbia/attended mostly white schools
Great points and I myself have a similar background. I will say that I have seen urban schools, granted that they were magnet, where the grad rate for Black students was slightly higher than the grad rate for White students in the same school. I'm talking about a school with a high grad rate too. So, there are examples of diverse urban schools with high achievement for all students.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:58 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,989 posts, read 102,554,590 times
Reputation: 33053
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
I'm not disagreeing with you. But that also means statements like: "cities have to improve their schools to keep families from leaving," don't have much meaning, either.
Say what? If these gentrifiers are going to stay in the cities as virtually all claim they will, there will have to be some schools for them to send their kids to. This problem may start to show up in five years or so.
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:00 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,985 posts, read 41,937,844 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Say what? If these gentrifiers are going to stay in the cities as virtually all claim they will, there will have to be some schools for them to send their kids to. This problem may start to show up in five years or so.
They do?
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