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Old 12-06-2013, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
14,354 posts, read 17,052,317 times
Reputation: 12412

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Hey all,

It seems a common complaint in nearly every city (often by the suburbanites, rather than any actual residents who have experience) that city schools are terrible. To a large extent this is a chicken-egg issue - if middle-class parents avoid using the public neighborhood schools, then no one goes to them except the poor, which sets them up for failure.

Regardless, getting into a general educational debate isn't the point of this thread. The point is rather to ask what cities have this dynamic the least. Where do upper-middle class people who live within the city core send their kids to public schools in large numbers? Feel free to discuss magnet-style systems (as exist in NYC for example) but examples of successful neighborhood schools would be even better. I'm going to ask people to discount sun-belt cities in name only - places like Mesa or Virginia Beach which are technically speaking pretty large cities but not really urban.

Regardless, fire away.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Georgia
484 posts, read 883,539 times
Reputation: 259
I'm gonna guess that San Fran, Portland, Denver, and Minneapolis have solid public school systems. On the flip side, Philly, LA, and Chicago are among the worst.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Texas
44,259 posts, read 64,410,209 times
Reputation: 73937
Several places in Texas. Like anywhere else, you need to be able to buy into the neighborhood.
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Middletown, CT
993 posts, read 1,768,906 times
Reputation: 1098
Minneapolis has pretty decent public schools by city standards
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
21,877 posts, read 25,187,651 times
Reputation: 19103
Seattle schools are pretty good, although the Eastside is definitely better. A lot of schools are good if you can get them in merit-based programs. Lowell High in San Francisco is exceptionally good, one of the best high schools in the country public or private. Overall, San Francisco's schools are above average, but there's a lot of dichotomy. It's mostly either very good (or better) or terrible (or worse). Since you're subject to the lottery in San Francisco, it's hard to control what you end up with. Most people who want to stay and can't afford private school do the lottery. My cousin ended up going to school in Oakland (private) since despite living next to a very good K-6 he got into one of the worst in the city. It's clear across the city anyway, so its not really any less convenient to go to Oakland. Once parents get their lottery assignments they either go to private schools or move out of the city if they don't get a good result which means you really have a much higher chance of being placed in a terrible school since so many people find other options if they're assigned to one.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:18 PM
 
93,520 posts, read 124,229,264 times
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Buffalo has some solid to very good magnet schools and is similar to the San Francisco description above. Madison WI and Ann Arbor MI seem to have good public schools.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Huntersville/Charlotte, NC and Washington, DC
26,701 posts, read 41,771,805 times
Reputation: 41381
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Hey all,

It seems a common complaint in nearly every city (often by the suburbanites, rather than any actual residents who have experience) that city schools are terrible. To a large extent this is a chicken-egg issue - if middle-class parents avoid using the public neighborhood schools, then no one goes to them except the poor, which sets them up for failure.

Regardless, getting into a general educational debate isn't the point of this thread. The point is rather to ask what cities have this dynamic the least. Where do upper-middle class people who live within the city core send their kids to public schools in large numbers? Feel free to discuss magnet-style systems (as exist in NYC for example) but examples of successful neighborhood schools would be even better. I'm going to ask people to discount sun-belt cities in name only - places like Mesa or Virginia Beach which are technically speaking pretty large cities but not really urban.

Regardless, fire away.
Charlotte (do not live on the East or West sides), Lexington, KY, San Jose.
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:20 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
27,604 posts, read 28,706,672 times
Reputation: 25187
I'm still trying to figure out what the deal is with Washington, D.C. city proper.

Supposedly, the city's public schools are not good. But then you have very affluent neighborhoods in Northwest D.C. I guess parents living there send all their kids to private schools. Not sure though.
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:41 AM
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Location: Western Massachusetts
45,983 posts, read 53,545,469 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Once parents get their lottery assignments they either go to private schools or move out of the city if they don't get a good result which means you really have a much higher chance of being placed in a terrible school since so many people find other options if they're assigned to one.
What's the purpose of the lottery? Why doesn't the city get rid of it?
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Near L.A.
4,108 posts, read 10,810,145 times
Reputation: 3444
Pretty much every large metropolitan area in the U.S. has incredible dichotomies between excellent and poor quality schools. But your best bets for placement in decent schools are:

Louisville, KY (stick to east end)
Lexington, KY (especially south side)
Orange County, CA
Austin
Seattle
San Francisco (but can be either excellent or deplorable)

Avoid, avoid, avoid LAUSD at all costs. I don't know if there are any charter schools yet, but those could be an exception. Otherwise, LAUSD is a joke.
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