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Old 06-21-2014, 08:09 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALackOfCreativity View Post
If you get rid of that lottery without fixing the public schools before doing so all you're doing is consigning everyone whose parents don't have the resources to get them out of the city or into a private to a bad education. Shutting down charters and magnets because they don't reach everybody prior to making the normal public schools an equivalent viable alternative is the real devil's work -- hurting people simply for the sake of others feeling better because at least everyone else in their community is equally miserable.

edit: to circle back to the main topic of this thread, charters and magnets also keep families in cities; families who do have the means to opt-out of the city system by leaving or paying for private schools might stay to a greater extent if their kids can get into a magnet or charter which is more functional than the general system, so not only are you providing opportunities to less advantaged kids who otherwise would be all trapped in the dysfunctional normal public system but you'd also increase socioeconomic diversity by keeping more middle-class families from fleeing the system.
The establishment of charters and magnets is what is slowing the progress of improving all schools. The "ho-polloi" can get their kids into these high-end schools, and then they quit caring about the rest of the school district.
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:34 PM
 
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If you didn't have the magnet or charter schools, you would lose most of the families to suburban districts or other school districts. The city clearly loses out, both in taxpayer dollars and the quality of students.

It's better to keep the magnets to retain as much of the middle classes and the presence of the magnets do help the poorer urban populations by providing an educational route that may not have previously existed.

By the way, the "hoi polloi" refers to "majority" or the "masses," which I don't think is the term you were looking for? The elite in all cities have almost always sent their children to private schools or lived in rich suburban school districts. They're not affected by the presence of magnet schools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
The establishment of charters and magnets is what is slowing the progress of improving all schools. The "ho-polloi" can get their kids into these high-end schools, and then they quit caring about the rest of the school district.
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:53 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,674,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallybalt View Post
If you didn't have the magnet or charter schools, you would lose most of the families to suburban districts or other school districts. The city clearly loses out, both in taxpayer dollars and the quality of students.

It's better to keep the magnets to retain as much of the middle classes and the presence of the magnets do help the poorer urban populations by providing an educational route that may not have previously existed.

By the way, the "hoi polloi" refers to "majority" or the "masses," which I don't think is the term you were looking for? The elite in all cities have almost always sent their children to private schools or lived in rich suburban school districts. They're not affected by the presence of magnet schools.
You're right, I used the wrong adjective. However, it's not true that the "elite in all cities have almost always sent their children to private schools or lived in rich suburban school districts". And I'm not just talking about the elite. I'm talking about your average upper-middle class affluent families; the kinds of people that post here on Urban Planning. Pretty much every city that I'm familiar with has a few high schools that have always (or long term anyway) been considered "good" schools, even when the others were allowed to rot. So now, to attract more such people, they set up these magnets and charters. Magnets probably aren't *quite* as bad as charters. Charter schools were initially meant to help low achieving students, at least here in Colorado. Colorado Charter Schools Introduction | CDE These are not the kids who usually attend such schools. I find talking about "quality" students a bit distasteful.
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Old 06-21-2014, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,698,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
You're right, I used the wrong adjective. However, it's not true that the "elite in all cities have almost always sent their children to private schools or lived in rich suburban school districts". And I'm not just talking about the elite. I'm talking about your average upper-middle class affluent families; the kinds of people that post here on Urban Planning. Pretty much every city that I'm familiar with has a few high schools that have always (or long term anyway) been considered "good" schools, even when the others were allowed to rot. So now, to attract more such people, they set up these magnets and charters. Magnets probably aren't *quite* as bad as charters. Charter schools were initially meant to help low achieving students, at least here in Colorado. Colorado Charter Schools Introduction | CDE These are not the kids who usually attend such schools. I find talking about "quality" students a bit distasteful.
I just read this OP-ed that sums up pretty well why I think public school is important.

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oaklan...nt?oid=3950914

Having the affluent kids stay in a rich kid bubble, it causes long term problems at multiple levels.
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Old 06-21-2014, 10:12 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,674,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I just read this OP-ed that sums up pretty well why I think public school is important.

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oaklan...nt?oid=3950914

Having the affluent kids stay in a rich kid bubble, it causes long term problems at multiple levels.
We are in agreement!
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Old 06-22-2014, 04:57 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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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
The establishment of charters and magnets is what is slowing the progress of improving all schools. The "ho-polloi" can get their kids into these high-end schools, and then they quit caring about the rest of the school district.
I'm somewhat skeptical that the other schools would have improved if it weren't for magnets (not commenting on charters, for the moment). I think it's more likely they would have stayed the same. Evidence would be helpful. The two ways I could see this happen are:

1) Magnets take away scarce funding or some other type of resource
2) Not having as many high achieving kids drags down normal schools

For (1) we'd need proof that magnets get better funded (or take resources away in some other way). For (2), maybe but BajanYankee said this well:

Education and urban (dis)investment

though more in comparison to terrible schools. The demographics of magnets I'm familiar with aren't particularly privileged. And many are not built specifically towards "gentrifiers". Many were created a long time ago. The anti-magnet view reads to me as ideology over reality, because they violate an egalitatian ideal, a better education for some of the more promising students must be sacrificed.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:00 AM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,353,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I'm somewhat skeptical that the other schools would have improved if it weren't for magnets (not commenting on charters, for the moment). I think it's more likely they would have stayed the same. Evidence would be helpful. The two ways I could see this happen are:

1) Magnets take away scarce funding or some other type of resource
2) Not having as many high achieving kids drags down normal schools

For (1) we'd need proof that magnets get better funded (or take resources away in some other way). For (2), maybe but BajanYankee said this well:

Education and urban (dis)investment

though more in comparison to terrible schools. The demographics of magnets I'm familiar with aren't particularly privileged. And many are not built specifically towards "gentrifiers". Many were created a long time ago. The anti-magnet view reads to me as ideology over reality, because they violate an egalitatian ideal, a better education for some of the more promising students must be sacrificed.
The cited reference quotes: "The public school was always intended to be the focal point of a community: a place where families came together to support not only their own children but the entire neighborhood."

The hypothesis is just faulty and curiously fails to even mention education. Not sure whose "intent" is identified but it is certainly not reflective of reality. The purpose of schools has been to train a workforce and to indoctrinate with an agenda, i.e., an agenda written by a governing class seeking mass standardization for building a workforce and promoting consumerism. School is compulsory, not voluntary - and there are criminal offenses for failure to attend. H.L. Mencken noted the following nearly 100 years ago:

"That erroneous assumption is to the effect that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence, and so make them fit to discharge the duties of citizenship in an enlightened and independent manner. Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all, it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else."

Last edited by IC_deLight; 06-22-2014 at 08:19 AM..
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:16 AM
 
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It may depend on how you define elite. If we're talking about the "rich," the leading professionals, business owners, senior corporate executives, major politicians, and you look at where their children go to school, it's almost always private schools or a certain handful of elite suburban public schools. The Washington DC area is a perfect example of this. Philadelphia? Boston? Atlanta? New York City? Los Angeles? Chicago? It's the same story.

In my home city of Baltimore, when my children were growing up, almost all upper middle class families (as defined as those with a 6 figure income in the 1980s and 1990s) sent their children to private or Catholic schools. Few elected to use even the handful of remaining selective public schools. That's how bad things were in the Baltimore City public schools and none of us wanted to use our children as guinea pigs.

If we had not had access to the private schools, my family as well as pretty much all of our neighbors with children would have moved to suburban districts.

The city schools have improved since then and there are more professional families electing to use the public routes, but it's still very much only a handful of zoned elementary schools or certain magnet programs. If those magnet programs are removed or the zones changed, we will see another flight to the suburbs. The city can't afford to lose more of its precious middle classes and families will not sacrifice their children's education to participate in a unproven public social theory testing.

If you are coming from the relative security of Colorado, you may not be aware of the deeply problematic urban ills facing many American cities and urban school districts, particularly on the East Coast and in the rust belt states. If your choice is between sending your children to school where the typical student is from a crime and drug ridden household, where chaotic classrooms are the norm, where illiteracy after many years' education is the norm, where students participate in a culture that sneers at education, or a charter school that offers higher quality education in a more controlled setting, which will you pick? That's the dilemma faced by urban middle class families who can't afford private options. And if they can't find a suitable charter program or afford a house in the one or two highly regarded zoned elementary school districts that may exist, it's no wonder most give up and move to suburban districts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
You're right, I used the wrong adjective. However, it's not true that the "elite in all cities have almost always sent their children to private schools or lived in rich suburban school districts". And I'm not just talking about the elite. I'm talking about your average upper-middle class affluent families; the kinds of people that post here on Urban Planning. Pretty much every city that I'm familiar with has a few high schools that have always (or long term anyway) been considered "good" schools, even when the others were allowed to rot. So now, to attract more such people, they set up these magnets and charters. Magnets probably aren't *quite* as bad as charters. Charter schools were initially meant to help low achieving students, at least here in Colorado. Colorado Charter Schools Introduction | CDE These are not the kids who usually attend such schools. I find talking about "quality" students a bit distasteful.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:01 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,674,652 times
Reputation: 33083
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I'm somewhat skeptical that the other schools would have improved if it weren't for magnets (not commenting on charters, for the moment). I think it's more likely they would have stayed the same. Evidence would be helpful. The two ways I could see this happen are:

1) Magnets take away scarce funding or some other type of resource
2) Not having as many high achieving kids drags down normal schools

For (1) we'd need proof that magnets get better funded (or take resources away in some other way). For (2), maybe but BajanYankee said this well:

Education and urban (dis)investment

though more in comparison to terrible schools. The demographics of magnets I'm familiar with aren't particularly privileged. And many are not built specifically towards "gentrifiers". Many were created a long time ago. The anti-magnet view reads to me as ideology over reality, because they violate an egalitatian ideal, a better education for some of the more promising students must be sacrificed.
Here is a great article about magnet schools, even if it is from Wikipedia.
Magnet school - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Magnets started as a form of racial desegregation in the 1960s. Many people on this forum weren't even alive then, let alone old enough to be aware of educational issues. Disclaimer: I was 20 in 1969. Magnets offered special choices at schools that kids (and more to the point) parents wouldn't otherwise send their kids to.

From the link:
**Districts started embracing the magnet school models in the hope that their geographically open admissions would end racial segregation in "good" schools, and decrease de facto segregation of schools in poorer areas. To encourage the voluntary desegregation, districts started developing magnet schools to draw students to specialized schools all across their districts. Each magnet school would have a specialized curriculum that would draw students based on their interests. One of the goals of magnet schools is to eliminate, reduce, and prevent minority group isolation while providing the students with a stronger knowledge of academic subjects and vocational skills.[10] Magnet schools still continue to be models for school improvement plans and provide students with opportunities to succeed in a diverse learning environment. . . . Some magnet schools have a competitive entrance process, requiring an entrance examination, interview, or audition. Other magnet schools select all students who apply or use a lottery system, or a system combining some elements of competitive entrance and a lottery.

Most magnet schools concentrate on a particular discipline or area of study, while others (such as International Baccalaureate schools) have a more general focus. Magnet programs may focus on academics (mathematics, natural sciences, and engineering; humanities; social sciences; fine or performing arts) or may focus on technical/vocational/agricultural education. For example, the Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker in Hartford, CT integrates environmental sciences into its core curriculum of reading, math and social studies and also provides discrete classes in local and global environmental problems.**


So magnet schools are NOT some new idea to keep hipsters in the city after their kids get to high school age. They've been around for ages. They were around as urban schools went to H*ll in a handbasket, in the 60s, 70s and 80s. My DH's school district had a sort of magnet system, where all schools had an attendance area, yet all had open enrollment as well. His attendance area school was the downtown HS, formerly the territorial capitol building of Nebraska. Their "focus" was high academics, and apparently the unwritten focus was basketball. Students would come from other parts of town to be on the basketball team in hopes of getting a college scholarship. DH, the son of a house painter, went there. Warren Buffet's kids went there. DH's next older brother went to a different high school that had an electronics focus. It was this focus that motivated that bro to go to college. He probably wouldn't have gone if he'd attended the downtown school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallybalt View Post
It may depend on how you define elite. If we're talking about the "rich," the leading professionals, business owners, senior corporate executives, major politicians, and you look at where their children go to school, it's almost always private schools or a certain handful of elite suburban public schools. The Washington DC area is a perfect example of this. Philadelphia? Boston? Atlanta? New York City? Los Angeles? Chicago? It's the same story.

In my home city of Baltimore, when my children were growing up, almost all upper middle class families (as defined as those with a 6 figure income in the 1980s and 1990s) sent their children to private or Catholic schools. Few elected to use even the handful of remaining selective public schools. That's how bad things were in the Baltimore City public schools and none of us wanted to use our children as guinea pigs.

If we had not had access to the private schools, my family as well as pretty much all of our neighbors with children would have moved to suburban districts.

The city schools have improved since then and there are more professional families electing to use the public routes, but it's still very much only a handful of zoned elementary schools or certain magnet programs. If those magnet programs are removed or the zones changed, we will see another flight to the suburbs. The city can't afford to lose more of its precious middle classes and families will not sacrifice their children's education to participate in a unproven public social theory testing.

If you are coming from the relative security of Colorado, you may not be aware of the deeply problematic urban ills facing many American cities and urban school districts, particularly on the East Coast and in the rust belt states. If your choice is between sending your children to school where the typical student is from a crime and drug ridden household, where chaotic classrooms are the norm, where illiteracy after many years' education is the norm, where students participate in a culture that sneers at education, or a charter school that offers higher quality education in a more controlled setting, which will you pick? That's the dilemma faced by urban middle class families who can't afford private options. And if they can't find a suitable charter program or afford a house in the one or two highly regarded zoned elementary school districts that may exist, it's no wonder most give up and move to suburban districts.
Colorado is not in a bubble in the Rockies. We have all the problems in our cities that everyone else has. I've heard that the Coors kids attend Catholic schools, and John Elway's kids attend(ed) [I think some are still in HS] the elite suburban Cherry Creek HS, but the kids of the university professors including the kids of the Nobel Prize winner in physics attend the local public high schools in Boulder. The Catholic school system is not huge here like it is back east.

I would not send my kid to a school such as the bold. But there are several comprehensive high schools in Denver that are regarded as excellent, including East High and George Washington HS. South High as well has a good reputation. There are several large magnet schools in Denver as well, e.g. Denver School for the Arts, and Denver School of Science and Technology. I think instead of starting up more magnet schools, the districts should work at making all high schools acceptable for as you put it, "urban middle class" families.

Charter schools are the devil's work. As I said, the initial purpose of the charter school law in CO was to provide an alternative form of education for low-achieving students, not to provide private-school education at public school prices, e.g. free at the time of use.

Urban planners generally have little interest in schools themselves. It would help if that could be changed as well.
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:22 PM
 
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I like Denver. It's a wonderful city.

But Denver is not Baltimore. Or Philadelphia. Or Washington. Or St. Louis. Or Cleveland. Or New York. Denver does not have the extent of the social problems these cities face. I've been to Denver a number of times. I've had tours of the "ghetto" parts of Denver and all I did was to laugh. Denver, in comparison to many other American cities, is a simple place. You're applying your localized experiences of Denver and the surrounding environs with other, more complicated and more dysfunctional cities with very segregated divides between urban and suburban districts and it is not a fair comparison to make. Nor is it fair to compare a highly homogenized, highly educated university town like Boulder to a diverse, decaying city like, say, Detroit. You can point out the children of Nobel prize winners in Boulder who send their children to highly regarded Boulder schools, I can point out the children of Nobel prize winners or Johns Hopkins medical school professors in Baltimore who send their children to private schools because they have no faith in the Baltimore public schools.

Also, coming from Colorado you may not be aware of the very strong tradition of elite private schools in parts of America, particularly the East Coast. Metro Denver and metro Baltimore have similar populations, and while Denver has two elite private schools - Kent Denver and Colorado Academy, Baltimore has at least a dozen, and we're not even including the Catholic schools.

Before you criticize and attack charter and magnet programs you really need to understand why they are so much in demand in many urban areas and not just among middle class families but among poor families desperate to get their children out of the dysfunctional local public schools. Judging from the tone of your posts I'd say you're clueless as to how bad and dysfunctional urban public schools and even entire school districts can be in other parts of the United States.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Here is a great article about magnet schools, even if it is from Wikipedia.
Magnet school - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Magnets started as a form of racial desegregation in the 1960s. Many people on this forum weren't even alive then, let alone old enough to be aware of educational issues. Disclaimer: I was 20 in 1969. Magnets offered special choices at schools that kids (and more to the point) parents wouldn't otherwise send their kids to.

From the link:
**Districts started embracing the magnet school models in the hope that their geographically open admissions would end racial segregation in "good" schools, and decrease de facto segregation of schools in poorer areas. To encourage the voluntary desegregation, districts started developing magnet schools to draw students to specialized schools all across their districts. Each magnet school would have a specialized curriculum that would draw students based on their interests. One of the goals of magnet schools is to eliminate, reduce, and prevent minority group isolation while providing the students with a stronger knowledge of academic subjects and vocational skills.[10] Magnet schools still continue to be models for school improvement plans and provide students with opportunities to succeed in a diverse learning environment. . . . Some magnet schools have a competitive entrance process, requiring an entrance examination, interview, or audition. Other magnet schools select all students who apply or use a lottery system, or a system combining some elements of competitive entrance and a lottery.

Most magnet schools concentrate on a particular discipline or area of study, while others (such as International Baccalaureate schools) have a more general focus. Magnet programs may focus on academics (mathematics, natural sciences, and engineering; humanities; social sciences; fine or performing arts) or may focus on technical/vocational/agricultural education. For example, the Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker in Hartford, CT integrates environmental sciences into its core curriculum of reading, math and social studies and also provides discrete classes in local and global environmental problems.**


So magnet schools are NOT some new idea to keep hipsters in the city after their kids get to high school age. They've been around for ages. They were around as urban schools went to H*ll in a handbasket, in the 60s, 70s and 80s. My DH's school district had a sort of magnet system, where all schools had an attendance area, yet all had open enrollment as well. His attendance area school was the downtown HS, formerly the territorial capitol building of Nebraska. Their "focus" was high academics, and apparently the unwritten focus was basketball. Students would come from other parts of town to be on the basketball team in hopes of getting a college scholarship. DH, the son of a house painter, went there. Warren Buffet's kids went there. DH's next older brother went to a different high school that had an electronics focus. It was this focus that motivated that bro to go to college. He probably wouldn't have gone if he'd attended the downtown school.



Colorado is not in a bubble in the Rockies. We have all the problems in our cities that everyone else has. I've heard that the Coors kids attend Catholic schools, and John Elway's kids attend(ed) [I think some are still in HS] the elite suburban Cherry Creek HS, but the kids of the university professors including the kids of the Nobel Prize winner in physics attend the local public high schools in Boulder. The Catholic school system is not huge here like it is back east.

I would not send my kid to a school such as the bold. But there are several comprehensive high schools in Denver that are regarded as excellent, including East High and George Washington HS. South High as well has a good reputation. There are several large magnet schools in Denver as well, e.g. Denver School for the Arts, and Denver School of Science and Technology. I think instead of starting up more magnet schools, the districts should work at making all high schools acceptable for as you put it, "urban middle class" families.

Charter schools are the devil's work. As I said, the initial purpose of the charter school law in CO was to provide an alternative form of education for low-achieving students, not to provide private-school education at public school prices, e.g. free at the time of use.

Urban planners generally have little interest in schools themselves. It would help if that could be changed as well.
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