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Old 11-02-2011, 11:51 AM
 
Location: City of Hyattsville, MD
187 posts, read 213,116 times
Reputation: 66

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Quote:
Originally Posted by meatkins View Post
I'm not saying that this is wrong, but I just simply disagree with it. No matter how you justify it, the families in this story who chose to send their kids to public school here do not see their child's education as the most important factor in deciding where to move. That is clear. Let's put it like this, if education was the singular most important factor, then the population in those communities wouldn't matter. That is to me where I simply differ. I don't think PG County is a bad place to live. There are some wonderful places here that make sense for people who are Yuppies, single, or perhaps don't have kids, but if you have kids and don't have enough money to send them to private schools, then how can you honestly move here and say that you value your child's education the most? That's why I disagree with the thinking behind why some of the people in this article decided to move here. Can we honestly say that they want what's best for their kids or are they motivated by their own selfish ambitions? Just a thought.
I think this is grossly unfair. As one of the parents noted in the article, schools can be influenced and changed, and parental involvement in the school is the best way to achieve that.

My wife and I could pay for private schooling, but after looking at the local schools, meeting teachers and administrators, and talking with friends and neighbors who have kids in the same cohort as our kids, we liked what we saw at the school and what we didn't like seems fixable.

We're active in the PTA and volunteer at the school, and as a group the PTA's been more active in lobbying the school board and county council, as well as state officials, something that will be even more important this coming budget cycle.

Private schools require the same sort of parental oversight and involvement, but many people just pay the fee and hand off their kids. To be fair, a lot of people treat public schools in the same hands-off manner. But to say you can't put your child's education first if you put them in PGCPS is way off base. You may have to work harder than if you pay for private school or are in some other DMV jurisdictions, but there are good schools and good teachers in Prince George's and there are lots of kids getting a quality education here.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:18 PM
 
Location: 10 Years Later from ...
7,996 posts, read 5,443,208 times
Reputation: 2675
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCR25 View Post
I think this is grossly unfair. As one of the parents noted in the article, schools can be influenced and changed, and parental involvement in the school is the best way to achieve that.

My wife and I could pay for private schooling, but after looking at the local schools, meeting teachers and administrators, and talking with friends and neighbors who have kids in the same cohort as our kids, we liked what we saw at the school and what we didn't like seems fixable.

We're active in the PTA and volunteer at the school, and as a group the PTA's been more active in lobbying the school board and county council, as well as state officials, something that will be even more important this coming budget cycle.

Private schools require the same sort of parental oversight and involvement, but many people just pay the fee and hand off their kids. To be fair, a lot of people treat public schools in the same hands-off manner. But to say you can't put your child's education first if you put them in PGCPS is way off base. You may have to work harder than if you pay for private school or are in some other DMV jurisdictions, but there are good schools and good teachers in Prince George's and there are lots of kids getting a quality education here.
Hmm, that's not quite what I was saying. There's a difference between choosing a school as oppose to choosing a school system. I was specifically speaking to the people in the story who believed they can change the school system from the "inside". That is the point that seems confusing to me, what if you can't make it to the "inside", then what? The assumption is that the wife was going to have a job in the school system and make an effective change. Well a) guidance counselors are being devalued, ousted and taken out of schools more than they were in the past and b) what's going to happen once her children get beyond that school or don't even attend the school that their mother works in. Again, I'm not saying their thinking is wrong, I just disagree with their thinking. Anyone who is buying a 6400 sq ft home clearly has money. To me the condition is not the most important factor in making the decision to move there when you believe you have to help make a change from the 'inside" to improve the school instead of moving some place that already has good schools. I'm sorry it is clear that this family is not moving to the area for the schools.

As far as your situation, good for you, I commend you for the decision you made. All I'm saying is this family is an example of a family that didn't necessarily consider schools as their #1 reason for moving to an area. That's all. If you believe that the choice you made to have your children to go to that school was the best, then there's nothing wrong with that. That's decision that you and your wife agreed on, but can you honestly say that the family in the article look at the schools before moving to that area or did they look at the neighborhood being full of black professionals? That's my point. I can't speak on everyone reasoning, but for this particular article and quite a few in this county, education is not the #1 motivation.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Maryland
17,410 posts, read 8,008,499 times
Reputation: 5499
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCR25 View Post
I think this is grossly unfair. As one of the parents noted in the article, schools can be influenced and changed, and parental involvement in the school is the best way to achieve that.

My wife and I could pay for private schooling, but after looking at the local schools, meeting teachers and administrators, and talking with friends and neighbors who have kids in the same cohort as our kids, we liked what we saw at the school and what we didn't like seems fixable.

We're active in the PTA and volunteer at the school, and as a group the PTA's been more active in lobbying the school board and county council, as well as state officials, something that will be even more important this coming budget cycle.

Private schools require the same sort of parental oversight and involvement, but many people just pay the fee and hand off their kids. To be fair, a lot of people treat public schools in the same hands-off manner. But to say you can't put your child's education first if you put them in PGCPS is way off base. You may have to work harder than if you pay for private school or are in some other DMV jurisdictions, but there are good schools and good teachers in Prince George's and there are lots of kids getting a quality education here.
I was actually going to post this in response to meatkins. Still I think he has a point though, in a sense they are valuing a bigger home over the future education of their children and changing PG schools will be a daunting task.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:28 PM
 
Location: City of Hyattsville, MD
187 posts, read 213,116 times
Reputation: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by meatkins View Post
Hmm, that's not quite what I was saying. There's a difference between choosing a school as oppose to choosing a school system. I was specifically speaking to the people in the story who believed they can change the school system from the "inside". That is the point that seems confusing to me, what if you can't make it to the "inside", then what? The assumption is that the wife was going to have a job in the school system and make an effective change. Well a) guidance counselors are being devalued, ousted and taken out of schools more than they were in the past and b) what's going to happen once her children get beyond that school or don't even attend the school that their mother works in. Again, I'm not saying their thinking is wrong, I just disagree with their thinking. Anyone who is buying a 6400 sq ft home clearly has money. To me the condition is not the most important factor in making the decision to move there when you believe you have to help make a change from the 'inside" to improve the school instead of moving some place that already has good schools. I'm sorry it is clear that this family is not moving to the area for the schools.

As far as your situation, good for you, I commend you for the decision you made. All I'm saying is this family is an example of a family that didn't necessarily consider schools as their #1 reason for moving to an area. That's all. If you believe that the choice you made to have your children to go to that school was the best, then there's nothing wrong with that. That's decision that you and your wife agreed on, but can you honestly say that the family in the article look at the schools before moving to that area or did they look at the neighborhood being full of black professionals? That's my point. I can't speak on everyone reasoning, but for this particular article and quite a few in this county, education is not the #1 motivation.
For the last family in the article, it was the reporter who characterized what the woman was saying as "working from the inside." While she did work within PGCPS, her quote was about parental involvement. I don't think she was saying that her position in the school was how she hoped to build on things; it was by engaging with the system as a parent.

That said, there have to be a lot of different considerations in picking a house; schools are important but not necessarily the final determiner. We could live in Howard County, but then I'd never make it home from work in Alexandria in time to see the kids before they went to bed. Schools, commute, neighborhood, amenities ... buying a house is a complex decision even before you start to factor in cost.

I don't think it's really possible to say one factor trumps all others or that it should ... if you think you're giving your child a better start on the future by owning a home in certain neighborhood for reasons X, Y, and Z, and are willing to work to improve factors E, F, and G that need improvement, then I don't think that's a situation to criticize. I'd be more critical of someone who is moving into a neighborhood with the expectation that it's intrinsically better and that they don't have a responsibility to be engaged with the community and its institutions.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:32 PM
 
Location: City of Hyattsville, MD
187 posts, read 213,116 times
Reputation: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdwardA View Post
I was actually going to post this in response to meatkins. Still I think he has a point though, in a sense they are valuing a bigger home over the future education of their children and changing PG schools will be a daunting task.
It's daunting, but it needs to be done. There's more good in there than bad, and the more parents (and other members of the community -- even people without children or without children in the PGCPS system will benefit from the school system improving) demand change, the faster it will improve.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:40 PM
 
546 posts, read 1,076,913 times
Reputation: 464
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdwardA View Post
I'm curious how would you report the fact that 6 people were shot in one night? Also the Post never explicitly mentioned the race of the victims or perps. That's one of the criticisms they face.
This is America. People get shot and/or killed all the time year round. The news is making this seem like some random, unexplainable and out of control problem, which it is not. If one is aware of the true history of the United States, then one would not be surprised that six people got shot in one night in a particular city. One would actually expect it if they understand the way American society has been shaped during the past and in the present.

Most problems in society are the result of complex situations that have happened in the past;and due to a problem's complexity, most people would not want to deal with it directly, but come up with some easy and vague answers for it so as to not really deal with the problem.

That's how newspapers sell. They put a spotlight on a particular problem, and come up with some vague and simple explanations for that problem so they can get people to read their news. Newspaper articles are meant to be short and to the point, but most of America's problems are not short and to the point.

If the news started dealing with complexities that article would be more than a hundred pages long, and we know the average American ain't reading all that!
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:56 PM
 
Location: 10 Years Later from ...
7,996 posts, read 5,443,208 times
Reputation: 2675
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCR25 View Post
For the last family in the article, it was the reporter who characterized what the woman was saying as "working from the inside." While she did work within PGCPS, her quote was about parental involvement. I don't think she was saying that her position in the school was how she hoped to build on things; it was by engaging with the system as a parent.

That said, there have to be a lot of different considerations in picking a house; schools are important but not necessarily the final determiner. We could live in Howard County, but then I'd never make it home from work in Alexandria in time to see the kids before they went to bed. Schools, commute, neighborhood, amenities ... buying a house is a complex decision even before you start to factor in cost.

I don't think it's really possible to say one factor trumps all others or that it should ... if you think you're giving your child a better start on the future by owning a home in certain neighborhood for reasons X, Y, and Z, and are willing to work to improve factors E, F, and G that need improvement, then I don't think that's a situation to criticize. I'd be more critical of someone who is moving into a neighborhood with the expectation that it's intrinsically better and that they don't have a responsibility to be engaged with the community and its institutions.
Okay so speaking specifically to this article alone, how do you justify buying a 6400 sq ft for a family of four, as a means of making your children future better? Could their future not be better in a 2200 sq ft home with better schools?

I agree that you can't just move to a place and expect that being there alone will lead to a good life for your family. All I'm saying is I just think it's ridiculous to buy a house that is way way bigger than your family actually needs, has inherently poor schools and then sit there say oh yeah my child's education is the most important thing. Again not saying it's wrong, just saying that I disagree with it. If I had enough money to buy a 6400 sq ft house, I'm going to move my family where ever I can get good schools first and have other positives that go along with it. To me I can still involve myself regardless of how good or how bad the school system is and if that means I have to buy a smaller home so be it, but as long as my family can comfortably live in there, then what's wrong with that? Point being, clearly the motivation was mainly to live around black professionals. To say you will work in the school system to bring change, sounds like an excuse. Couldn't you say that about any school system? None of them are perfect.
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:03 PM
 
Location: 10 Years Later from ...
7,996 posts, read 5,443,208 times
Reputation: 2675
Here goes a direct quote from the article that illustrates the point I'm making:

Quote:
The couple said Anne Arundel and Calvert counties were on their initial list of possibilities because they heard about underperforming Prince George’s schools. But they could get more land and a bigger house with more amenities for their money in Prince George’s. Plus, LaShonda McFarland, who is a counselor at Melwood Elementary School in Upper Marlboro, decided that the way to improve the system is to work from inside. She is confident that her children will thrive in the county’s public schools because “it’s all about parent involvement.”

Standing at the front door of their 6,400-square-foot, four-bedroom brick home in Bowie, the couple said that they could not imagine raising their children, TaKaya, 8, and Troy Jr., 6, anywhere else.
“It was important to us to settle where they could see African Americans at their best,” LaShonda McFarland said. “It’s amazing because my daughter can go outside and see a female doctor across the way and that’s what she wants to be when she grows up. It’s like we have our own set of mentors in the neighborhood.”
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:27 PM
 
Location: City of Hyattsville, MD
187 posts, read 213,116 times
Reputation: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by meatkins View Post
Okay so speaking specifically to this article alone, how do you justify buying a 6400 sq ft for a family of four, as a means of making your children future better? Could their future not be better in a 2200 sq ft home with better schools?

I agree that you can't just move to a place and expect that being there alone will lead to a good life for your family. All I'm saying is I just think it's ridiculous to buy a house that is way way bigger than your family actually needs, has inherently poor schools and then sit there say oh yeah my child's education is the most important thing. Again not saying it's wrong, just saying that I disagree with it. If I had enough money to buy a 6400 sq ft house, I'm going to move my family where ever I can get good schools first and have other positives that go along with it. To me I can still involve myself regardless of how good or how bad the school system is and if that means I have to buy a smaller home so be it, but as long as my family can comfortably live in there, then what's wrong with that? Point being, clearly the motivation was mainly to live around black professionals. To say you will work in the school system to bring change, sounds like an excuse. Couldn't you say that about any school system? None of them are perfect.
I don't know them or their situation, so it's hard to say ... obviously the motivation to live in an area made up predominantly black professionals was a large factor for them, but the article doesn't address where she and her husband work in relation to their home. If they chose the neighborhood for the neighbors or the schools and then put up with a two hour commute and had less time at home with the kids, then I'd probably think worse of their decision.

The home size is also partially a factor of what construction is available: For a while there when a farm was cut up in the D.C. exurbs the only things being built were McMansions or townhomes, so if you wanted a single-family house, you had to go large.

I'm not judging the decision to buy a smaller home near better schools or a bigger home near black professionals as being better or not; it's a complex decision that has a lot of other factors that go into it.

I like that my neighborhood is ethnically, linguistically and economically very mixed. It's giving my kids a different experience than what I had in a more segregated southeast Louisiana or that I had in more monochromatic western Massachusetts (and I think that experience will help them in life). That all goes into the equation, along with the schools, housing stock, commute, etc.

Sticking to the story, the woman in the article never said schools were the number one consideration, just that they initially looked elsewhere because of what they'd heard about the schools. After looking at things, they found something they liked and they are willing to work to improve what they don't. That's the kind of people I want to see moving into Prince George's to help make what's good better.
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:35 PM
 
Location: City of Hyattsville, MD
187 posts, read 213,116 times
Reputation: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCR25 View Post
Sticking to the story, the woman in the article never said schools were the number one consideration, just that they initially looked elsewhere because of what they'd heard about the schools. After looking at things, they found something they liked and they are willing to work to improve what they don't. That's the kind of people I want to see moving into Prince George's to help make what's good better.
Which I guess validates your point, Meatkins. Although I think it's overly simplistic to frame the issue as schools being the only factor or even the overriding factor. It's got to be a balance, in which schools are a very important part of the equation, but not a trump card ...
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