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Old 08-23-2014, 03:40 PM
 
56,737 posts, read 81,038,544 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
School taxes are the largest portion of property taxes most places. Most school systems, at least in the NE and Mid-Atlantic, require teachers to be Master's holders, some sooner some later, so that really can't be a variable.

Back to planning.
Schools have been a component of Planning for decades. Where will schools go, what populations will they serve (hence the general areas schools will go to), what's the maximum distance we want students to have to travel? All those go into school planning.

Those questions are all determined by various Master Plans and predictions of growth and development patterns, some of which go out 20 years.
In terms of your first point, isn't it a coincidence that those states tend to have higher property taxes in general. That was my point about teacher requirements playing a part in higher property taxes.

Also, in terms of planning, many schools were centralized prior to annexation of communities or consolidation of school districts in the past. With newer communities, it appears that schools are the focal point due to the more suburbanized nature of newer communities that appeal primarily to families.
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:51 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,020 posts, read 102,674,652 times
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Here is an interesting article on per-pupil spending by state.
States Spending The Least On Education: 24/7 Wall St.
Note that Colorado ranks near the bottom, but near the top in some proficiency tests.

Back to planning, most areas require developers to donate land or cash in lieu of for school sites.
Some examples:
https://www.azag.gov/sgo-opinions/I00-006
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...73612305,d.aWw
Article 10 Dedication Standards | Planning | Douglas County, Colorado
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,664,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Back to planning.
Schools have been a component of Planning for decades. Where will schools go, what populations will they serve (hence the general areas schools will go to), what's the maximum distance we want students to have to travel? All those go into school planning.

Those questions are all determined by various Master Plans and predictions of growth and development patterns, some of which go out 20 years.
This is certainly true. But some posters feel that, since school performance has such a large impact on who chooses to live--or stay--in cities, that urban planners should have a larger role in how schools perform. I'm not sure how they can do that, however.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,447 posts, read 11,948,134 times
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The articles about Chicago are interesting, and pretty strongly suggest what I've said in other threads - on a fundamental level, nothing is wrong with city schools besides the fact that middle-class parents usually don't send their kids there.

Yes, there are compounding factors. For example, teachers are more likely to get fed up and leave low-income schools. High teacher turnover means inexperienced teachers are often teaching students, which does lead to worse student outcomes. And peer effects matter - isolated low-income kids in middle-class schools do tend to perform better than they would otherwise, and the reverse is likely true as well.

Still, there are no institutional factors which result in worse results in city schools. It's not about funding levels. It's not about teachers unions. It's not about management style. I mean, given the sheer number of urban school districts in the country, it would stand to reason if better management could result in equal results to top suburban schools, one would have chanced upon the formula by now.

Kids are not widgets, and teachers are not assembly-line workers. For better or worse, students show up at schools already primed to succeed or fail, and those divisions tend to fall mainly along racial, class, and cultural lines. Two teachers of equal skill, teaching in an identical manner, will get very different results. Worse, the kind of remedial, "back to basics" action which might help underperforming schools meet targets is the sort of thing which will bore kids for whom schooling comes easy, and alienate middle-class parents.

I guess what it comes down to is I'm pessimistic about the ability of schools to solve the issues of inequality in our society, period. I think inequality is an issue, but I don't think school is the right place to address it. We did better as a society at reducing inequality when there were more decent working-class jobs to be had than we do today, where we try to force everyone into being "college material" regardless of what inclinations they actually show.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,664,847 times
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^ I had friends who tried sending their young kids to Youngstown City Schools. (one of the worst performing districts in the state) They soon took their children back out of the school because, during a visit, they disliked the disciplinary environment they witnessed.

But, having said that, I still firmly believe that if the faculty from the YCSD were switched with the faculty from Canfield Local Schools, (a nearby school district, that's one of the best performing in the state) there would be little change in each district's performance.
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 25,558,395 times
Reputation: 9216
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
California pools funding at the state level to a degree, but you still have huge funding differences.
A Note on California Student Funding - Partners in School Innovation

Unfortunately, with Prop 13, there's just not much money for schools at all which is part of the reason why we're number 49th. Generally I agree that you can't just throw money at the problem and expect it to go away, but California is an expensive state which means expensive salaries.

There's just a big divide between the haves and have nots here, bigger than most places. And while generally I'm against redistribution of wealth, schools is the one place where I'm completely for it. You're still going to have huge problems someplace like Ravenswood (East Palo Alto) even if it was sufficiently funded. Ravenswood gets these crazy grants (a lot of underperforming schools do) from time to time. But you can't really effectively run a school with a bunch of use it or lose it money where your budget doubles for a few years and then vanishes. Funding won't change the fact that it's 90% low-income, mostly ESL students. It has challenges that Palo Alto (median family income $160k, 75% college graduates) does not. I honestly don't know how you overcome that. Seattle and San Francisco uses a bring the kids to the schools approach, but even there it doesn't work well. People of means opt out of the system completely and foot it to the burbs or pay for private schools.
Aren't you forgetting about Proposition 98? That is California state law that mandates 39% of the state revenue be spend on education.

Prop 13 has many negative effects. But it alone does not limit nor control how much California spends on education.
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 25,558,395 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
The articles about Chicago are interesting, and pretty strongly suggest what I've said in other threads - on a fundamental level, nothing is wrong with city schools besides the fact that middle-class parents usually don't send their kids there.

Yes, there are compounding factors. For example, teachers are more likely to get fed up and leave low-income schools. High teacher turnover means inexperienced teachers are often teaching students, which does lead to worse student outcomes. And peer effects matter - isolated low-income kids in middle-class schools do tend to perform better than they would otherwise, and the reverse is likely true as well.

Still, there are no institutional factors which result in worse results in city schools. It's not about funding levels. It's not about teachers unions. It's not about management style. I mean, given the sheer number of urban school districts in the country, it would stand to reason if better management could result in equal results to top suburban schools, one would have chanced upon the formula by now.

Kids are not widgets, and teachers are not assembly-line workers. For better or worse, students show up at schools already primed to succeed or fail, and those divisions tend to fall mainly along racial, class, and cultural lines. Two teachers of equal skill, teaching in an identical manner, will get very different results. Worse, the kind of remedial, "back to basics" action which might help underperforming schools meet targets is the sort of thing which will bore kids for whom schooling comes easy, and alienate middle-class parents.

I guess what it comes down to is I'm pessimistic about the ability of schools to solve the issues of inequality in our society, period. I think inequality is an issue, but I don't think school is the right place to address it. We did better as a society at reducing inequality when there were more decent working-class jobs to be had than we do today, where we try to force everyone into being "college material" regardless of what inclinations they actually show.
This is a very good post. Especially the sentence "students show up at schools already primed to succeed or fail....."

That is borne out by the absurd spending per pupil in Wash DC - yet one of the worst school districts in the nation. More money is not the simple answer.

The best predictor of a child's school performance is who his/her parents are.
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:32 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,929 posts, read 42,185,115 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
This is certainly true. But some posters feel that, since school performance has such a large impact on who chooses to live--or stay--in cities, that urban planners should have a larger role in how schools perform. I'm not sure how they can do that, however.
My system just built a new high school (ok, it's in its 9th year) in an area of $500K-$1.25KM homes. Those kids, of course go there. But a majority of the students come from some of the poorest and most blighted areas of the County.


That's one way, the school district draws boundaries to get a mix.
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:21 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,020 posts, read 102,674,652 times
Reputation: 33083
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
This is a very good post. Especially the sentence "students show up at schools already primed to succeed or fail....."

That is borne out by the absurd spending per pupil in Wash DC - yet one of the worst school districts in the nation. More money is not the simple answer.

The best predictor of a child's school performance is who his/her parents are.
Just "throwing money at the problem" most assuredly doesn't work. However, the schools that try to do education with *too* little money generally aren't successful.
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,303,886 times
Reputation: 10428
Denver is interesting since it's a "big city" school district, and we know the problems that come with that. But it probably helps that the poverty in Denver is less concentrated in one huge area like you find in the Kansas City, MO school district. I applaud DPS for trying, but the real problem is in the home lives of the students in the poorly performing schools. I know a 4th grade teacher at one of the worst schools in Aurora and he's told me the stories about what many of his students deal with at home.

DPS has good schools in the good neighborhoods, although I question how great any of the high schools are. But a truly successful city needs good schools to attract people with kids.

My kids are in a DPS charter school and I'm extremely pleased with their education. But it's difficult to get into the charter schools.
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