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Old 06-13-2009, 07:27 PM
 
6,061 posts, read 13,859,655 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acuda View Post
minaflewis-

I would urge you to look at another city. Your posts alone were quite niave, unresearched and frankly, a bit offensive. Now, you may have not intended to insult anyone by calling the kids urchins with unkept hair, but had you done that in front of some people in Eugene, I don't think too many people would keep their mouths closed. Now, I'm not going to get in a discussion about the content of your other posts, so let's look at reasons you may want to reconsider moving to Eugene.

Allergies- grass pollen is very bad.
Schools- some are older and they are crowded.
Liberalness- IMAO, from your posts alone, it will be too liberal for you unless you find a tiny group of citizens that think like you.
Openness- far too open for you. You claim you are openminded, but others who are conservative mentioned it is far more liberal than some think.
General Mindset- Most people will not see eye-to-eye with you on many issues.

Now, regarding that magical number that greatschools.net assigns for each school they review. Yes, it is based on test scores, but every state has different standards. As you know, Arizona is way down the list in terms of education. So, a 10 in Arizona may or may not translate to a 10 in Oregon.

Now, you may want to look elsewhere. If you end up moving there, good luck and look out Metlakatla.
I've been volunteering for many years in my kids classroom in Eugene schools, and have had many conversations with principals and teachers regarding test scores and the standardized tests and also *drum roll please...* the (dreaded) math curriculum. No one is very happy with the math curriculum. Many teachers seem to feel that the reason for most of the low math scores on the standardized tests is directly related to the math curriculum that the district currently uses. The way the the tests go about testing the knowledge that the kids have gained in math does not pair up with the way that the current curriculum goes about teaching the kids math. They were in the process of trying to change curriculums when they then had to begin making cuts do to the budget shortfalls.

So... honestly... I personally don't place too much value on those numbers you see on the websites that allow you to compare schools. The only true way to know whether a school is going to be right for your child is to go visit it, observe classrooms, talk to the principal, talk to teachers, and really get an idea for what's happening there. Learn what they value and what they stress in their school and see if that follows along with what you want for you child. You can't tell all that by a number.

We lived in the Lake Washington School District in Rdmond, WA and our kids went to a very highly rated school. LWSD is also supposed to be one of the highest rating districts in the nation. My kids - and I - were miserable there. We are so happy to be back in Eugene!
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:30 PM
 
6,061 posts, read 13,859,655 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
Well, I must admit I wondered about the street urchin comment as well but...and I suppose several years ago my own urchin might have been among the children she found lacking in kemptness. Never mind that he could have stepped out of GQ these days--when he was a kid he acted like a kid, playing outside with messy hair and all
My son hasn't had a haircut in four months. Most days - even after a shower and an attack of the comb by me - he has terminal "bedhead". Both my guys now ride their bikes to school and the bike helmets mess up their long'ish locks and they wear clothes to school that are old and worn because we don't want their nicer clothes to get mucked up on the playground or in gym...

Looks can absolutely deceive!
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:36 PM
 
22,447 posts, read 29,933,916 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
My son hasn't had a haircut in four months. Most days - even after a shower and an attack of the comb by me - he has terminal "bedhead". Both my guys now ride their bikes to school and the bike helmets mess up their long'ish locks and they wear clothes to school that are old and worn because we don't want their nicer clothes to get mucked up on the playground or in gym...

Looks can absolutely deceive!
LOL--I envy you. My son is 24 and I'm missing the days when he was living at home. He has the "family hair"...Mediterranean black and curly and always so adorably unkempt.

Your posts always make me smile, hhe. They remind me of when I was raising my son; we have a lot in common. I have a feeling that your boys are going to do you as proud as mine has.
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:37 PM
 
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BTW, after way too much frustration with the public school system, we decided that private school would better serve our son. It was expensive but thankfully we only had one child and the investment was more than well worth it.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Austin, Texas
2,098 posts, read 3,153,145 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
My son hasn't had a haircut in four months. Most days - even after a shower and an attack of the comb by me - he has terminal "bedhead". Both my guys now ride their bikes to school and the bike helmets mess up their long'ish locks and they wear clothes to school that are old and worn because we don't want their nicer clothes to get mucked up on the playground or in gym...

Looks can absolutely deceive!
But does he look like this urchin?

http://www.luc.edu/faculty/wwasser/dev/urchin.jpg (broken link)

I agree with you on choosing a school. I have taught in a Springfield elementary and now in an Austin, TX elementary and there are stark differences in curriculum, students, environment, testing, etc. The school I am at now "drills and kills" the students on the tests. That is the curriclum, even though by state law, we are only allowed to focus 10% of of our instruction on testing. It is up to me to find ways to teach them all the other needed stuff that is not on the test.

Our kiddos are impoverished, I mean super poor. 97% of our kids are poor and we are located near 3 gangs in Austin. Take Maple, Brattain, or Moffit and they still do not compare with our kids. No offense to any of those schools. I love those schools, especially Brattain, but they have been the most impoverished in SPS. Now, my class passed our state testing at a 94% rate. Only one child did not pass. Great kuddos, right? Unfortunately, they passed a test, one test, that we had been preparing for months. I know they are still low on so many things. They have little parental support and other things to worry about. They came in low, but we made a ton of progress, but some are still low. But, if someone only looked at test scores, my class would look outstanding. But, I wouldn't want my children to go to that school. I don't think other teachers place as much importance on the holistic teaching of the child. Compared to other states, Oregon does not place as much importance on testing. I feel parents in Oregon need to go to the school, meet as much of the staff as possible, look at student work, look at the students, get an overall vibe, and make a decision. I think there are a lot of solid schools in Eugene/Springfield that educate some great kids.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,723 posts, read 18,183,247 times
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I agree with those who say that the original poster should not move to Eugene or its environs. Attitude is everything. S/he would not be happy, nor would the community. God bless him or her, far far away from there.

Last edited by Nell Plotts; 06-14-2009 at 09:53 AM..
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:31 AM
 
6,061 posts, read 13,859,655 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
LOL--I envy you. My son is 24 and I'm missing the days when he was living at home. He has the "family hair"...Mediterranean black and curly and always so adorably unkempt.

Your posts always make me smile, hhe. They remind me of when I was raising my son; we have a lot in common. I have a feeling that your boys are going to do you as proud as mine has.

Awww... thank you. So sweet. I have to say that my boys make me feel proud every day. I just love these crazy guys. And I'm so glad that I am able to stay home with them. These fun years go by too quick and I don't want to miss a thing. I have the rest of my life to figure out a career, but only this short while to be a mom to my young and growing up sons.
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:40 AM
 
6,061 posts, read 13,859,655 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
BTW, after way too much frustration with the public school system, we decided that private school would better serve our son. It was expensive but thankfully we only had one child and the investment was more than well worth it.
We're pretty happy for the most part. We've had some issues but thankfully the teachers and staff at our kids schools have been quick to respond and address the issues, and involve us in being part of the solution. The few issues we've had basically boil down to the fact that our kids schools are among the most crowded in Eugene. They are good schools, and that's why, but the population has grown so much that it's put a strain on staff and teachers. Thank goodness we also have the highest number of active parent volunteers in the district, (or so I've been told) who make lots of good things happen for the kids and the school as a whole.

We have been checking into the online Oregon Virtual Academy and also Connections Academy as well. They are both free public online "homeschools" that are affiliated with public school districts. The curriculum is more intense and challenging than what they are currently exposed to in the traditional public school, and they are able to more easily work at their own pace, slower in areas where they are more challenged, and quicker through areas where they already have a good grasp on things. If I knew some other families in our area that were doing this that we could connect with regularly, I'd feel more keen to try this... but I worry that choosing this sort of path would isolate us as a family, and that I don't think is healthy. So we're sticking with the public school path for now. I have heard wonderful things of a few of the private schools in the area. My husband mentioned Marist high school for our boys the other day, so I'm reading into that option...
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:48 AM
 
6,061 posts, read 13,859,655 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acuda View Post
But does he look like this urchin?
Hmmmm... my oldest son just started putting gel in his hair... and when he takes his bike helmet off... pretty close!!

I went to school in Dallas, TX, where the pressure to score high on those tests was also intense. I hated it. I feel I was cheated out of an education. Even though I went to very good schools. (For elementary and middle school I attended schools in the Park Cities, and for high school I went to Booker T. Washington for the performing and visual arts.) Now as an adult, I'm putting myself through college and have had to take remedial math because everything I memorized and regurgitated in school growing up has been meaningless to me. I was a top student, always scoring extremely high... and where did that take me? Math 010.
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:14 AM
 
22,447 posts, read 29,933,916 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
Awww... thank you. So sweet. I have to say that my boys make me feel proud every day. I just love these crazy guys. And I'm so glad that I am able to stay home with them. These fun years go by too quick and I don't want to miss a thing. I have the rest of my life to figure out a career, but only this short while to be a mom to my young and growing up sons.
The time does go by very quickly--yikes, the next thing you know they are 19 and boarding a plane that will eventually land in Naples at 11 PM at night and you are a nervous wreck, especially when they e-mail you from the Middle East.

If we'd had more than one, private school might not have been an option. My last straw with the public school system was when an English teacher tried to say that he was plagiarizing in a free form type of writing assignment that was done in the beginning moments of every class--just one of those things where you write down whatever is on your mind. The teacher couldn't tell me who he was "plagiarizing" from, no books were allowed on the desks during the exercise.

Of course he wasn't stealing words from anyone. At that time a lot of his friends were already attending the private school we sent him to and it seemed like a good time to move on, and it was.
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