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Old 12-14-2012, 01:40 PM
 
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My son is in 6th grade here in Scranton, PA. The city's school district (which my son attends)is in the lower bottom 10 for the entire state. My son is a straight A student, but am questioning is this only because he attends this low performing district? Will he get a decent education? He is very happy with his school and I did feel he received a good elementary education.
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:43 PM
 
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Low performing only means that a good portion of the students are not passing the tests. Since, imo, these tests are meaningless, it is not a good measure of how the school actually educates.

You need to see for yourself whether your son is learning and what the curriculum is like. Is he in honors classes? Is he able to take AP classes? Are his teachers decent? I taught in an inner city school in Chicago which would probably be rated poor today, but the teachers there were excellent and the students who were interested in learning did well. I had kids go to the University of Chicago after graduating. The kids in our honors and AP classes stacked up well, but they were not the majority of kids in the school.
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bloominscranton View Post
My son...
If your son had available a better delivery system for his education he could open up and go full bore without restriction. He could be involved with a system that let teachers teach without regard for arguments, foolishness, or other distractions.
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Low performing only means that a good portion of the students are not passing the tests. Since, imo, these tests are meaningless, it is not a good measure of how the school actually educates.

You need to see for yourself whether your son is learning and what the curriculum is like. Is he in honors classes? Is he able to take AP classes? Are his teachers decent? I taught in an inner city school in Chicago which would probably be rated poor today, but the teachers there were excellent and the students who were interested in learning did well. I had kids go to the University of Chicago after graduating. The kids in our honors and AP classes stacked up well, but they were not the majority of kids in the school.
There is no offering for honors or AP that I know of in 6th grade. I know the high school has AP classes but I do not know if there are any offerings in his middle school.
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Rich_CD View Post
If your son had available a better delivery system for his education he could open up and go full bore without restriction. He could be involved with a system that let teachers teach without regard for arguments, foolishness, or other distractions.
I do not understand this post at all! What type of better delivery system??
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bloominscranton View Post
There is no offering for honors or AP that I know of in 6th grade. I know the high school has AP classes but I do not know if there are any offerings in his middle school.
I didn't pay attention to the grade. However, here in my granddaughter's middle school, they do track into advanced or regular classes depending on the elementary school teachers recommendations. Here the homerooms move from class to class together so kids are either in all advanced or all regular classes (which is a problem for my granddaughter who is advanced in math and science and not so much in language arts and social studies).

Still, even regular classes can be fine *if* your child is learning, *if* the teachers are decent and *if* the curriculum is reasonable.

UPenn does the educational talent search in Pennsylvania. You might see if any of the students in your son's middle school participate (they have to test well on the state tests in either math or English to do so). This doesn't mean your son has to be one of the participants to get a good education, but if the school supports it, then at least you know there are possibilities.

What kinds of activities and clubs do they have? That can be another indicator of what you want. For example, here there is chess club, art club, choir club, mathcounts club, robotics club, book club, skateboarding club, runners club, recycling club, Quiz bowl, student council, future problem solvers, yearbook (I know, I thought this was silly for the younger grades, but they do it here even in elementary school), and a few others. An active after school or before school program can be a sign of involved teachers, parents and students.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bloominscranton View Post
I do not understand this post at all! What type of better delivery system??
Virtual systems are advancing quickly. They provide for children to move along at the pace that suits the child. Someone strong at math can move farther faster. Weak points can be addressed with more attention. Virtual systems don't require people to enter a particular physical classroom so students can quickly and easily advance at their own pace.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
I didn't pay attention to the grade. However, here in my granddaughter's middle school, they do track into advanced or regular classes depending on the elementary school teachers recommendations. Here the homerooms move from class to class together so kids are either in all advanced or all regular classes (which is a problem for my granddaughter who is advanced in math and science and not so much in language arts and social studies).

Still, even regular classes can be fine *if* your child is learning, *if* the teachers are decent and *if* the curriculum is reasonable.

UPenn does the educational talent search in Pennsylvania. You might see if any of the students in your son's middle school participate (they have to test well on the state tests in either math or English to do so). This doesn't mean your son has to be one of the participants to get a good education, but if the school supports it, then at least you know there are possibilities.

What kinds of activities and clubs do they have? That can be another indicator of what you want. For example, here there is chess club, art club, choir club, mathcounts club, robotics club, book club, skateboarding club, runners club, recycling club, Quiz bowl, student council, future problem solvers, yearbook (I know, I thought this was silly for the younger grades, but they do it here even in elementary school), and a few others. An active after school or before school program can be a sign of involved teachers, parents and students.
In his school homeroom is simply that, homeroom. Each child has their own schedule, so class placement is based upon performace. The only 2 clubs available to 6th graders are the school newspaper and ski club. I thoought there was none, but my son corrected me.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:14 PM
 
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I went from high school to the local junior college. They did placement tests to see if you could go straight to the regular English Comp and College Algebra. I was an honors student, but only 14th out of 185 and passed the placement tests with flying colors. I noticed that the honors students from our neighboring county all went into basic reading and math classes. I thought that was sad for honors students. I got a work study job with a girl who was an honors student from the neighboring county and she had poor grammar and math skills. My point is that having "honors" does not mean that your child is getting a good education if he is going to a poor school.
I would look at the average SAT/ACT scores for the high school. National Average ACT is 21.1, but I do not know the SAT average. Or if you could find out where last year's valedictorian went or how past valedictorians are doing. Maybe some of these things will give you an idea. We decided to send ours to private school because education is such a priority in our house. We are not anywhere near wealthy, so it is a sacrifice for us.
It probably also depends on just how smart your son is. If he's not being challenged, he's not in a school hard enough for him. If he has to give 100% to make those A's, maybe he's fine where he is.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by reneeisorym View Post
I went from high school to the local junior college. They did placement tests to see if you could go straight to the regular English Comp and College Algebra.
Sounds like colleges don't have much confidence in the public school system. Why test if they felt confident the schools where equal and effective?
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