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Old 02-07-2015, 06:48 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Indeed. It's worth noting that even if middle-class families stay in the city in larger numbers, the level of gentrification that this implies (both to get the schools to be acceptable to begin with, and then as a consequence of the schools improving) will mean the number low-income families will drop by larger numeric value. E.g., everything we're talking about to make cities "family-friendly" will result in less families overall in cities.
100 years ago, city schools were considered the pathway to upward mobility. Look at Boston Latin, some of the high schools in NY (nei knows what they are), even Omaha Central. I don't know what happened. I wish I did.
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Old 02-07-2015, 07:30 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FallsAngel View Post
100 years ago, city schools were considered the pathway to upward mobility. Look at Boston Latin, some of the high schools in NY (nei knows what they are), even Omaha Central. I don't know what happened. I wish I did.
Note Boston Latin was (and is) a magnet high school.

As for what happened, that would be an interesting thread topic, and seems like the obvious ignored question whenever schools are brought up. Ignored because it's a hard to answer question.
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Old 02-07-2015, 07:36 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Note Boston Latin was (and is) a magnet high school.

As for what happened, that would be an interesting thread topic, and seems like the obvious ignored question whenever schools are brought up. Ignored because it's a hard to answer question.
Didn't know that. Interesting OCHS was called (by some) "The Boston Latin of the Midwest". It is not a magnet school, although they've long had open enrollment in their HSs, even when DH went there.
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Old 02-07-2015, 09:11 PM
 
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In the end one only has to look at people moving in this forum to see that first in families with kids is most often the school .They even ask about different school by where one lives.
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Old 02-08-2015, 11:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FallsAngel View Post
100 years ago, city schools were considered the pathway to upward mobility. Look at Boston Latin, some of the high schools in NY (nei knows what they are), even Omaha Central. I don't know what happened. I wish I did.
What I believe happened is that a lot schools got away from what worked and grouped a range of students into a generalized curriculum or way of teaching. There is a poster in the Buffalo forum that has mentioned this due to their experience with that school district. It still has some good magnet HS's, including arguably one of the best in the country, but others have gone away or lighted up from its original course.

I suggest looking at the history of Dunbar High School in Washington DC as a remarkable example of this. This article touches on this: Thomas Sowell - "The Education of Minority Children"
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Old 02-08-2015, 03:24 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Anyone who thinks schools are just a miniscule part of the calculation for families contemplating a move needs to take a look at these threads from some city/state forums that I visit:

Best Denver public schools?
Denver Stapleton School confusion
What are the best schools in Boulder (K-8)?
Are Boulder area public schools good at handling special needs?
Private Elementary Schools in Boulder
BVSD Open Enrollment
Where Colorado Ranks In Education
relocating, schools, 200k home, low crime, schenery, neighbors
Moving from FL to Co needs advice on schools, housing areas, etc.
Quaker Valley Schools
west suburbs -- school specifics
Schools/Community in Bloomington, MN
Edina neighborhoods, school, relocating with kids

Mind you, these are just from the front pages of these forums, and these are only threads that mention schools in the thread title. There are probably many more.
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Old 02-08-2015, 06:30 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Did you ignore my post near the start of the thread.

To recap, most city schools are "bad" because they have poor students in them. Within the U.S. context, the way one "fixes" a school is by almost totally displacing the poor kids and replacing it with yuppie spawn. I won't say there is no other way to raise test scores, but I will say it's quite telling that there are hundreds of urban school districts across the country, all of which have experimented with various methods to improve their under-performance, and not a single one has managed to meet top suburban schools. Indeed, the only city schools which match the performance are the "districts within a district" in the favored quarter of cities, along with merit-based magnets which keep the under-performing poor kids out.

What I draw from this, as a parent, is there is no appreciable difference in teaching quality between suburban and urban schools - there is a difference in student quality. Thus I have no issue sending my children to an urban public school with poor children, as long as I don't think the environment is too disruptive to learning or unsafe.

Of course, most parents won't make this conclusion. I don't expect them to. Although enough parents are making these conclusions that neighborhood schools at the K-5 level in places like Chicago, Portland, and Seattle are "gentrifying" just as their neighborhoods did.

As to what parents can do to hurry this along, I would say not much overall. If a district decided to change its feeder zones to concentrate the poor kids away from the gentrifying neighborhoods, it could run afoul with the Justice Department via a Civil Rights Act lawsuit. No Child Left Behind requires that students from "failing schools" be allowed to transfer to good schools within its district, so feeder zones are nominal anyway. Things are changing, but the change is going to be slow for quite some time yet.
Re: bolded part...I think this is the biggest hurdle for urban schools. While the resources (teachers, books, etc.) are adequate, the environment isn't conducive to learning nor is it the safest.
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Old 02-09-2015, 11:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Going a bit more, here's an example: numbers of a gentrifying NYC neighborhood (Williamsburgh & Greenpoint).

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/lucds/bk1profile.pdf

Since 1990 (with most of the change from 2000 to 2010) the population of white non-hispanic children has risen by 26%. But the population of children of other races has declined by 11%. Assuming the white families are wealthier*, the neighborhood became more family friendly (or more of those moved in) to those "with options" and less friendly to "those without". Does this mean the neighborhood succeeded in being friendly for families with children? Or just some types of families?

*Maybe a bad assumption as there's a large population of Hasidic Jews who are relatively poor, have large families, and don't use the public school. I'll assume that an increase in Hasidic Jewish wasn't a big factor as the larger increase in children was in 2000 to 2010 when there was more gentrification.

No matter where you look (city, outer suburbs, inner suburbs), school performance is tied very closely to household economic characteristics. The academic achievement of your local neighborhood school is nothing more than code for "this school has a lot of household wealth". Kids who go to a homogeneous school of nothing but wealth aren't socially prepared to deal with certain realities in the world. Kids who go to a school where 90%+ of all kids are on assisted lunch programs probably aren't getting a lot of attention because just about every kid in that classroom has some significant out of classroom distractions to deal with. Classroom management, kids needing extra attention, etc become nearly impossible in that setting.

I'd argue that a gentrifying area that can attract students of more affluent backgrounds while maintaining some level of attendance by those who aren't as well off is more friendly to kids of both backgrounds. This creates balance. I'm not suggesting that wealthy kids aren't immune to out of classroom issues. Some of the most messed up people I know came from a lot of money. I'd rather have 1000 schools where 40% of the kids where poor and the other 60% where a mix of different income levels above that than I would a scenario where 400 schools contained 100% poverty, 250 schools 100% working class families, 250 schools 100% middle class kids and 100 schools upper middle to upper class kids.
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rwiksell View Post
We all know about the recent culture shift which has resulted in an urban residential surge. More and more people are living in lofts, restoring historic homes, and (controversially) gentrifying blighted neighborhoods.

But by and large these urban newcomers are single, married-without-kids, or retired. Particularly those living in lofts, which are being built left and right. Thus, many people assume that when these single people finally get married, or when these married people finally have kids, that the party will be over, and an urban bust will follow. And when you consider the noise, traffic, crime (real or perceived) and general lack of quality public schools, playgrounds and other family-friendly amenities, it makes sense.

However, there are a lot of people with HUGE investments in this recent boom, and I doubt they plan to sit idly by while their condo buildings and mixed-use developments go belly up. So my question is, how do you expect these newly revived urban neighborhoods to evolve to accommodate family life? Or perhaps you expect them to to evolve at all?

Speak up!
I would think there would be a constant supply of singles to fill those condo units. As some singles marry, start families and move away, a slightly younger crop of singles will move in to take their place and this will go on and on as long as the human race continues to reproduce.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:00 AM
 
Location: Chicago - Logan Square
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Originally Posted by ilovemycomputer90 View Post
Re: bolded part...I think this is the biggest hurdle for urban schools. While the resources (teachers, books, etc.) are adequate, the environment isn't conducive to learning nor is it the safest.
The bolded part is "too disruptive to learning or unsafe".

That is absolutely the base level to look at. I think very few schools are unsafe anymore (I'm saying that as someone who worked in some grim Boston and Chicago Public schools in the 90's). Disruptive is still an issue in many schools, but the level of disruption in CPS has dropped off dramatically in last decade.

In general the phases an urban school needs to go through are:

1 - Be a safe school
2 - Be a school with parents who care enough to search for and choose a school
3 - Be a school with a manageable number of disruptive students
4 - Be a school where parents work with teachers to help their kids learn
5 - Be a school with parents who can contribute time to the school
6 - Be a school with parents who can contribute time, and money, to the school

Once you get to that point you've basically got a school where a significant percentage of the parents have college degrees and are creating a stable home for their kids. At that point an urban school is as good as any school anywhere in the country.

There are many public schools in Chicago that have reached phase 4 or 5 in some neighborhoods hard hit by poverty. There are also loads of schools on the North and Northwest sides that have gone beyond the 6th phase (my daughter has spent 5 years in one of them). Ultimately schools are built by the parents in cooperation with the principal, with the principal making sure that the school is staffed with quality teachers.

Chicago started on the right path when it endorsed school choice, and parental involvement through LSCs. That allows parents to group together to hire a good principal and create a solid school.

In Chicago charters are pretty much irrelevant. They aren't attracting the kids of college educated parents at all, and only increase enrollment by selling themselves hard to immigrant Hispanic families, and then kicking out any of their kids who have even the slightest problems. They're currently performing well below average CPS schools, while using admission policies that are tougher than Magnet Schools.
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