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View Poll Results: Help us make a choice!
Royal Oak 6 50.00%
Berkley 3 25.00%
Clawson 0 0%
Wixom 1 8.33%
West Bloomfield 0 0%
Birmingham 2 16.67%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-03-2017, 02:25 PM
 
169 posts, read 131,319 times
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Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
So even good and very desirable school districts have to decide whether to reduce capacity or to look to increase revenue/students from outside of traditional school attendance areas.
Not all of them...

"At the high school, already crowded with nearly 2,400 students, enrollment is expected to increase, as there are about 100 more district middle schoolers heading to the high-school level over the next three years than there are students who will graduate from the high school. Officials are considering adding multipurpose space and fitness facilities there as well as reconfiguring existing spaces to handle the expected increase."

Northville Schools could seek bond issue to upgrade buildings
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Old 07-03-2017, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,930,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pojack View Post
In 2015, Royal Oak was ranked as the 4th "snobiest" city in Michigan based on household income and home values, among other things. It's not the middle class oasis you're trying to make it out to be. It's actually one of the wealthiest communities in the state. For the third time, it's not a good example for the point you're trying to no to make.

https://www.roadsnacks.net/snobbiest...s-in-michigan/



So you aren't impressed with people or school districts who demand educational success unless they're middle or lower class. Got it. Educational success tends to be demanded in upper class communities and school districts, which is why we chose Northville. I want my kid going to a district where excellence is an expectation, not a surprise if or when it occurs.
Whoaa, back off Turbo. RoadSnacks.net rated it as the 4th snobbiest? Nooo!! Man, I can't dispute that Especially when they use such solidly quantifiable metrics as, "when your city is the setting of Home Improvement, you know that you have royally snobby aspirations" and "Art galleries per capita". Whew, I concede.. but wait!!

Ah ha, I got it! It turns out that this RoadSnacks data is suspect, which is probably to be expected of a source which evokes images of beef jerky and slurpees. Roadsnacks indicates Royal Oak is in the top 10 for income in MIchigan,
MLive did a good data compilation of ACS data from 2011-15, and what it found is that Royal Oak median household income is roughly $65,786. Comfortable, but certainly not wealthy. In fact, it's lower than neighboring Berkley ($73,111) and nearby Farmington Hills ($71,609) - both of which are considered to be solidly middle class/lower-professional class cities, and often referred to here as stable and desirable, but rather modest places to call home. Also it limits its list to the 61 towns in Michigan with more than 5,000 people, fair, but... here's a list of 176 municipalities in Michigan with more than 10,000 people. Finally the site indicates the median home price in Royal Oak is $150k (and $219k in Northville). Okay, seriously? What are those, taxable values only? Because I can promise you there are no homes for sale in either town for that price, and certainly not the "median" home, so... I hate to tell you this, but RoadSnacks really isn't a great source for defining difficult to quantify tags like "snobiness". To be fair, I won't even rag on what they placed at #1, because quite frankly the source is garbage and I'm not going to try and use it to make a point.

Now let's breakdown your straw-man argument. You indicated that I'm "not impressed" with Northville High - obviously that's not what I said, what I said was,
"When the median income of families of kids at a high school is representative of the median income of families in the metro area, but the schools still score quite well, that impresses me."
And I stick to that. I'm impressed when a school can be situated in a city with median income in the $50-75k range, accept students from even lower income areas, but still pump out top graduates to top universities at rates similar to schools which have a very homogeneously wealthy student population; however, at no point have I said I'm not impressed with the wealthy western 'burb schools. They're great schools, I'm simply more impressed when schools with students from varying backgrounds and income situations score just as well. I don't see why that's a difficult concept to grasp. It's an impressive accomplishment, and if all schools were able to accomplish this we'd have a fantastic educational system.

Now finally your argument at the end. Are you suggesting that excellence is a surprise when it occurs at middle-class schools? I don't want to make myself guilty of attacking a strawman, so I want to be clear - is this what you're suggesting, or am I misunderstanding? Do you really believe that excellence is only expected at schools where the average student comes from a household making 6 figures? That's... incredibly pretentious, but please correct me if I'm misunderstanding you.

Last edited by Geo-Aggie; 07-03-2017 at 09:39 PM..
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:48 PM
 
169 posts, read 131,319 times
Reputation: 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo-Aggie View Post
Whoaa, back off Turbo.
Wow. I haven't heard that phrase since like 94'..lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo-Aggie View Post
I'm impressed when a school can be situated in a city with median income in the $50-75k range, accept students from even lower income areas, but still pump out top graduates to top universities at rates similar to schools which have a very homogeneously wealthy student population; however, at no point have I said I'm not impressed with the wealthy western 'burb schools. They're great schools, I'm simply more impressed when schools with students from varying backgrounds and income situations score just as well. I don't see why that's a difficult concept to grasp.
They don't score "just as well". If you did a little research, you'd discover that 11th graders at Royal Oak High scored substantially lower than 11th graders at Northville High on M-Step and SAT exams.

Royal Oak / Northville

M-Step Science: 47.37 / 59.23

M-Step Social Studies: 56.79 / 65.27

SAT- Reading and Writing: 75.1 / 88.6

SAT- Mathematics: 61.8 / 75.9

(Schooldigger.com)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo-Aggie View Post
Now finally your argument at the end. Are you suggesting that excellence is a surprise when it occurs at middle-class schools? I don't want to make myself guilty of attacking a strawman, so I want to be clear - is this what you're suggesting, or am I misunderstanding?
No, isn't that what YOU'RE suggesting? After all, you're "more impressed when schools with students from varying backgrounds and income situations score just as well." If scholastic excellence was equally expected in both middle and upper class schools, there'd be no reason for you to be "more impressed" with the middle class school that you're convinced is on par with the upper class school (even if the test scores tell a different story). If expectations were equal, you'd be equally impressed, no?
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,930,463 times
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And we all know a single data point establishes the end of all data. Last year's M-STEP scores placing Royal Oak High in the 94.8th %ile and Northville High in the 88th %ile should be ignored.

Now I'll admit Northville is typically in the top 2-3% while ROHS is typically "only" in the top 10%, but seriously, we're talking about schools which are in the top 10% statewide. Are you really going to suggest a student attend one over the other because its %ile ranking is 7% higher? Like.. seriously?

You're misrepresenting what I'm saying.. Again.. so I'll spell it out another way:

Northville has an impressive school district - one of the best in the state, but just like almost every other "best in state" school district, it's an incredibly high income area. High incomes equate to high school performance. Middle class schools generally equate to middle-class performance. Royal Oak is a modest income area with a median household income ($65,786) lower than median for Oakland County ($69,998) and only maybe 20% above that of the metro area ($53,628). Contrast this with Northville ($95,478). In addition to this, ROHS accepts students from nearby communities and has 21% of students receiving subsidized lunches. (Contrast with Northville @5%).

Yet its scores are still impressive. This is why it impresses me, along with Berkley High, along with Canton High - if you look around the metro you'll find most high performing high schools have very limited free/reduced lunch school recipients, only a handful have that kind of economic diversity, but still score in the top 10% of high schools. Is Northville High a great school? Absolutely, as it should be, 95% of students there are middle class or better. I don't understand why you're not impressed by schools who have more economic diversity, but manage to put out a competitive product. And if we're weighing potential vs. product, I'm still more impressed with the middle class schools who score in the top 10% than I am in the Northvilles and Birminghams who manage to do exactly what they're supposed to do which is to give good education to those who already have a built-in advantage based on their family's income situation.
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,759 posts, read 65,577,769 times
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I am pretty sure the advantage comes from having educated parents who value education, teach at home and work with their kids homework, etc. Even just conversation on a more intellectual level will improve reasoning and deduction skills. The reason high income areas do better from what I understand is that such parents typically have skilled jobs and higher incomes, not because having money somehow makes you perform better in school.

At the extremes, it can make a difference. A kid who is being fed sandwiches by the housekeeper when she gets home will obviously do better than the kid who can find nothing n the fridge than a left over beer.

However in the middle like Royal Oak and Northville the only difference is going to be the education levels and involvement of the parents, not that one kid is starving, or his brother was kidnapped by a gang last night.
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:13 PM
 
169 posts, read 131,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo-Aggie View Post
And we all know a single data point establishes the end of all data. Last year's M-STEP scores placing Royal Oak High in the 94.8th %ile and Northville High in the 88th %ile should be ignored.

Now I'll admit Northville is typically in the top 2-3% while ROHS is typically "only" in the top 10%, but seriously, we're talking about schools which are in the top 10% statewide. Are you really going to suggest a student attend one over the other because its %ile ranking is 7% higher? Like.. seriously?
It's interesting that in the first sentence you attempted to diminish my contention that Northville HS achieved better test scores than RO HS, yet in the next sentence you agree that Northville consistently outpaces Royal Oak by 7-8%. Weird.

Personally, I don't care where people send their kids to school. All I'm saying, as I've said since the beginning of this discussion, is that I'd rather send my kid to a school district where scholastic excellence is expected and achieved. And honestly, if I had to choose between sending my kid to a school which performed 8% better than another school, yes, I'd choose the better performing school. Given a choice, why wouldn't anyone choose the better performing of the two?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo-Aggie View Post
Northville has an impressive school district - one of the best in the state, but just like almost every other "best in state" school district, it's an incredibly high income area. High incomes equate to high school performance.
Ok... And? This is a bad thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo-Aggie View Post
Middle class schools generally equate to middle-class performance. Royal Oak is a modest income area with a median household income ($65,786) lower than median for Oakland County ($69,998) and only maybe 20% above that of the metro area ($53,628). Contrast this with Northville ($95,478). In addition to this, ROHS accepts students from nearby communities and has 21% of students receiving subsidized lunches. (Contrast with Northville @5%).
Ok... And? By your own admission this district still performs consistently lower than Northville. And again, given a choice, 8% is a substantial difference and I'll choose the better of the two every time. Given the choice, who wouldn't?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo-Aggie View Post
Is Northville High a great school? Absolutely, as it should be, 95% of students there are middle class or better. I don't understand why you're not impressed by schools who have more economic diversity, but manage to put out a competitive product. And if we're weighing potential vs. product, I'm still more impressed with the middle class schools who score in the top 10% than I am in the Northvilles and Birminghams who manage to do exactly what they're supposed to do which is to give good education to those who already have a built-in advantage based on their family's income situation.
I get the impression that you have an "evil rich" mindset that demonizes people for being financially successful. Financial success is a good thing. Being middle class is good too. I'm impressed with any school that is able to provide a high quality education to my kids. But I'm more impressed with and I'll continue to be more impressed with schools that perform the best. Given the choice, why would anyone settle for less than the best? That's why we chose to move to Northville. We didn't choose it because of its "snob factor". We chose it because it's know for its excellent schools that consistently outperform other middle class area schools such as Livonia. And if I lived in the Royal Oak / Birmingham area, I would've chosen Birmingham schools because they also consistently outperform their neighboring middle class districts.
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Old 07-14-2017, 05:49 AM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,293,137 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pojack View Post
Personally, I don't care where people send their kids to school. All I'm saying, as I've said since the beginning of this discussion, is that I'd rather send my kid to a school district where scholastic excellence is expected and achieved. And honestly, if I had to choose between sending my kid to a school which performed 8% better than another school, yes, I'd choose the better performing school. Given a choice, why wouldn't anyone choose the better performing of the two?

Because to live in that district will cost you $200,000 more than it would to live in a city with a fine district like Farmington Hills or West Bloomfield. Some well-meaning parents, who do understand the importance of education, are just not going to be able afford $450,000 to live in Northville. Since you can afford it, good for you and your family.




Quote:
Originally Posted by pojack View Post
I get the impression that you have an "evil rich" mindset that demonizes people for being financially successful. Financial success is a good thing. Being middle class is good too. I'm impressed with any school that is able to provide a high quality education to my kids. But I'm more impressed with and I'll continue to be more impressed with schools that perform the best. Given the choice, why would anyone settle for less than the best? That's why we chose to move to Northville. We didn't choose it because of its "snob factor". We chose it because it's know for its excellent schools that consistently outperform other middle class area schools such as Livonia. And if I lived in the Royal Oak / Birmingham area, I would've chosen Birmingham schools because they also consistently outperform their neighboring middle class districts.
Each set of parents will have to determine how much they value being in the best school district, and the sacrifice that it will take to get into that district. From my anecdotal experience, a child doesn't need the best school system to get a good education. I lived in middle-middle class Southfield in the 90's. I am a product of the mediocre Southfield Public School system. My mediocre Southfield education got me into the University of Michigan, where I graduated with a degree in civil engineering in 4 years.

It was my parents, who were both gainfully employed and had bachelor's degrees, who instilled in me the importance of education at an early age. They made me do homework the second I got home, and I couldn't play or hang out or watch TV until I was finished. It also depends on the mental make-up of the child to keep focused on education and not to get sidetracked, lose focus or get caught up in the other things.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,759 posts, read 65,577,769 times
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"Given the choice, why would anyone settle for less than the best"

After you have raised your kids you will realize something no one seems to realize in the early years. "Best" is extremely relative. The best for what? What you want is the best educational atmosphere for your particular child. Not the best at teaching kids to take tests. Dumping your kids into a hyper competitive atmosphere where they will either lose their self esteem, become a holes or both, just might not be the best option for your particular kid - depending on what your goals for them are. However for some kids, that may be exactly what they need to thrive. Many business and political leaders need to be convinced they are the "best" went to the "best" schools ect in order to be driven to assume leadership positions. Test score data just might do that for them.

But what do you want for your kids? Harvard admission and an 80 hour a week job as a grunt in a big law firm and their first divorce by age 32? Life balance between spiritual, material, social and academic elements? Wlil their classmates high school test scores give them that? Will an Ivy League pedigree provide it? DO you want your kids to be community oriented? In touch with God? Understanding of a clear purpose in life? Happy? A good parent or spouse? Will Northville or an other school give them that?

Northville is not the "best" school for any given student. It is just the school the produces the "best" test takers right now. It may actually be the "best" for some students, don't get me wrong, Northville has great schools, but not because of test score data. These school rankings and test score comparisons are more about real estate marketing than they are about childrens education. It is all about bragging rights "my kids attend the "best" schools in the State. Sorry, no they don't there is no such thing.

We have a friend that taught their kid test taking from an early age. They have about 10 years practice/preparation for eh SAT and ACT. Their test scores are phenomenal. Are they the "best" student a college could choose? Definitely not. The kid is bright and a decent student, but not the best, not even in his class. There are twenty to thirty or more in their class alone who are ore likely to become college and professional success stories.However based on the same data points used to "rate" schools. This is the "best" graduate our school system will ever produce. Again, like everything it depends on what the goal is. This kid would be a great choice for colleges looking to produce professional test takers, but a poor choice for an arts school.

As more and more parents adopt this plan, this kid and others like him will skew the test scores in some schools. Is our school any "better" because this kid was taught to take standardized tests from age 8? Well according to data Junkies, it certainly is, but guess what?, our school did not improve one iota over the last three years. Nothing changed of consequence. So what made our school "better" when this kids test scores were reported?

For some kids, the "best school is a small school where teachers have the luxury of taking an interest in individual students. For others it is a giant school where the kid can get lost int he crowd and take classes in everything imaginable. Another kid may do well in a school with more under-performing students where it is easier to stand out and that motivates the kid. Yet another may do better in a school that has refused to adopt the "Gold Medal for everyone, you are all winners" philosophy and instead be driven to work hard to accomplish something, but that same kids brother, may need the Gold Medal for participation in order to stay motivated. The school that is "best" for a particular kid today, may well not be the "best" in three, or five, or ten years.

In hindsight, choosing a place to live based on the "best" schools by test data is incredibly foolish. No I am not attacking you. We fell for to too. There are lots of things society promotes that you fall for when you are young and then after your kids are grown you realize was incredibly foolish.

What is the ideal ruberick for choosing a community? I do not have the answer. Find a community that makes you happy, where you feel comfortable and a part of something. If that requires bragging rights about the school test scores last year, then maybe that is the right ruberick, but do not kid yourself into believing you are dong it for your kids. School test scores do not help your kids, you are doing it for yourself. You are filling some psychological need. And if that works, then it is probably a good choice.

As we get older and thing things through more clearly, we realize most of the things we claim to do for the benefit of our kids, were really for our own benefit. We just fooled ourselves into believing it is just for our kids. Pshaw.

Last edited by Coldjensens; 07-14-2017 at 08:12 AM..
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Old 07-14-2017, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,930,463 times
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Yeahh, I see your point pojack, and I have all along, but I kind of get the feeling you're approaching this as, "There is only one side and if I ignore your point and talk over you by hammering on my own then I'm right." - which as you can probably imagine is really frustrating, so I think I'm going to reiterate the whole "best" is relative thing. I can assure you that an economically homogeneous and wealthy high school would not have been the "best" school for me, nor do I believe it is "best" for most. It is the best for some, and as parents we decide if our kids fit into that "some" or if they fit into another "some".

My partner and I have decided that the cultural and economic diversity of the nicer inner-ring suburbs offer a greater exposure than the more economically homogeneous outer ring suburbs. We have also decided the inner-ring suburbs offer more of what we're looking for regarding the walkability that this thread was initially about. We have also decided that the commute time to major job centers (Detroit, Southfield, Warren, Troy) is better here - another point the OP was initially asking about. This whole tangent has become a bit much for me and I see no need to rehash the same points which you've not refuted but rather talked over as if somehow this invalidates them, so I'm happy you love Northville schools so much - they are good schools, there are many other good schools which are in some cases better for some and worse for others. So do I want the "best" for my kids? Of course, and I believe that is what I'm providing them, within the limitations of the best of my means. I think that's what we all strive for.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:48 PM
 
169 posts, read 131,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usroute10 View Post
Because to live in that district will cost you $200,000 more than it would to live in a city with a fine district like Farmington Hills or West Bloomfield. Some well-meaning parents, who do understand the importance of education, are just not going to be able afford $450,000 to live in Northville. Since you can afford it, good for you and your family.
There are move in ready homes for sale in Northville for less than $300K. There are move in ready condos for sale for less than $200K. They aren't plentiful, but they are available. However, they aren't the newly renovated or brand new 3000 SF Mcmansions that so many people feel the need to live in. I agree, you'd be hard pressed to find one of those in Northville for less than $500K. Northville has relatively affordable options. But the almighty newly built Mcmansion takes precedence for many. Why do you think the Lyon Twp. area has exploded?
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