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Old 12-11-2008, 12:59 PM
 
11,289 posts, read 23,023,469 times
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Historically City high was the big school in Iowa City and West high was always smaller, yet growing.

Within the past 8-10 years though they've switched. West now has over 500 more students than City high. When I went to West it was around 1,200 people. Now it's around 1,850.

I know back when my Aunt went to West High in the 70's, over 1/3 of the school wasn't even used by the High School cause there weren't enough students. Today all the space is used, and they've done countless additions.

Historically West was the academic school, City was the athletic school. West finally matched City in athletics during the 1990's though and stole some of the thunder (City was top in the state in a far disporportionate number of sports). Today I don't know if there's a difference as far as academics.

My mother worked for the schools and said City sees more discipline issues than West, but both schools have seen a huge increase the past 10 years.
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Old 12-11-2008, 01:35 PM
 
Location: New York City
2,814 posts, read 6,152,986 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
Historically City high was the big school in Iowa City and West high was always smaller, yet growing.

Within the past 8-10 years though they've switched. West now has over 500 more students than City high. When I went to West it was around 1,200 people. Now it's around 1,850.

I know back when my Aunt went to West High in the 70's, over 1/3 of the school wasn't even used by the High School cause there weren't enough students. Today all the space is used, and they've done countless additions.

Historically West was the academic school, City was the athletic school. West finally matched City in athletics during the 1990's though and stole some of the thunder (City was top in the state in a far disporportionate number of sports). Today I don't know if there's a difference as far as academics.

My mother worked for the schools and said City sees more discipline issues than West, but both schools have seen a huge increase the past 10 years.
What do you think accounts for the increase in discipline issues? Someone earlier mentioned a lot of drinking and marijuana use. Do you see that as a big problem or just the typical usage?
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Coralville/Ames, IA
267 posts, read 1,123,126 times
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I am aware of drinking and marijuana use at West, but I never thought of it as a huge problem. Of course, students who are into that sort of thing tend to get into trouble more often than those who don't, but in my experience, there weren't a ton of disciplinary problems to deal with. It depends who you talk to, I guess, but I didn't see it. I also didn't really feel pressure to drink or do drugs but again, that would depend on who you talk to. I always thought marijuana was probably pretty easy to get around there, but I'd suspect it isn't too much worse than anywhere else.
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,808,346 times
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I just finished my Human Relations for the Classroom Teacher class, so I'll try to put those skills to work in putting this as delicately as possible.

The increase in discipline issues is largely due to changing demographics. Iowa City as a whole has seen a big increase in the minority population in the last decade, which continues to rise. Many of these students are coming out of significant poverty and very tough schools (many from the Chicago area in particular, where violence is a part of life), and have a hard time adjusting to the new environment. Likewise, there are established students who are having a hard time accepting their classmates as the school and the city become more diverse. So there's tension there, which sometimes leads to discipline issues.

This is happening at both City and West, but since City has a larger minority population, with more students in poverty, the problem is more serious there.
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Chicago
6,365 posts, read 7,027,745 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharpHawkeye View Post
I just finished my Human Relations for the Classroom Teacher class, so I'll try to put those skills to work in putting this as delicately as possible.

The increase in discipline issues is largely due to changing demographics. Iowa City as a whole has seen a big increase in the minority population in the last decade, which continues to rise. Many of these students are coming out of significant poverty and very tough schools (many from the Chicago area in particular, where violence is a part of life), and have a hard time adjusting to the new environment. Likewise, there are established students who are having a hard time accepting their classmates as the school and the city become more diverse. So there's tension there, which sometimes leads to discipline issues.

This is happening at both City and West, but since City has a larger minority population, with more students in poverty, the problem is more serious there.
I did get a kick out of "a big increase in the minority population in the last decade" since it had nowhere to go but up anyway (IC used to Mayberry). But I'm curious:

with an economy that is built around the university and university related businesses (like ACT), what is attracting poorer, less educated people to IC/C'ville ?
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Coralville/Ames, IA
267 posts, read 1,123,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
with an economy that is built around the university and university related businesses (like ACT), what is attracting poorer, less educated people to IC/C'ville ?
I've always heard that the main factor is cost of living. The majority of these people come from Chicago, where it is significantly more expensive, especially for housing. Iowa City is close enough that they can still go back home, but here they can have enough to live on. I'd assume this works the same way for the Quad Cities.
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Old 12-15-2008, 01:26 PM
 
11,289 posts, read 23,023,469 times
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Originally Posted by gimme it View Post
What do you think accounts for the increase in discipline issues? Someone earlier mentioned a lot of drinking and marijuana use. Do you see that as a big problem or just the typical usage?
No, I can assure you that the schools are seeing as much marijuana and drinking as they have since the 60's. I remember smoking pot with all my friends after football games outside the library at West High, and no one thought anything of it.

The big catalyst the past few years has been a massive influx of people moving in from Chicago.

They tore down the public housing in Chicago, and that "fluffed" a lot of families and people out from their homes. They needed a place to settle, and for some of them Iowa City was the answer. What happened after that was that news got out of Iowa City's low cost of living, good public schools, low unemployment, good standard of living, and good social benefits. 50 random people moved, and told 50 of their friends about how good Iowa City was. Those additional 50 people told 75 more, and friends of friends started coming to town that were desperate to leave the urban mess in some Chicago neighborhoods, or they were following family and friends for an opportunity at something new.

Unfortunately it's hard for people who grew up stable, educated and blessed in Iowa City to know what it's like for some of these people moving in with no education, no social values and no discipline. A majority of people moving in are perfectly good citizens, and are excited for a chance at changing their lives. Of course the flip side is the 10% of people who move and just keep doing the only thing they know how to do, which is selling drugs, causing problems and taking advantage of anything presented to them.

It's gotten bad press in Iowa City because the city isn't very use to getting screwed over for its social services on this level, and certainly isn't use to the violent crime that has followed people in from Chicago.

My mother worked for the schools in Iowa City for decades, and I have a friend who started a few years ago at an elementary school on the east side.

They both said it's been very interesting, and VERY challenging for the school district to keep stable and progressive with the unheard of discipline and educational problems that are creeping in. They're trying their best though to work with many of the troubled kids, or kids that are years behind their peers as far as education levels. So far the school district is still a very good place to learn.

Some of the stats are pretty impressive for Iowa City:

Just within the past 5-12 years the % minority at many schools has increased greatly. This is just a sampling of the 20-25 public schools in Iowa City.

Elementary:

Wood: 10% --> 56%

Twain: 13% --> 64%

Mann: 23% --> 44%

Roosevelt: 16% --> 58%

Junior High:

Northwest: 14% --> 35%

High School:

West: 14% --> 27%



I'm not saying that to be racist, as a vast majority of the students, white, black, asian, hispanic are fine, but it shows that the demographics of Iowa City have changed a lot since 2000, and the influx of people moving in is a huge adjustment to the status-quo. A lot of people moving in are trying to go from bad situations to good situations, and those first few years of adjustment can be very difficult.
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,808,346 times
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Nailed it.

It's been a very contentious issue in town. Some people don't seem able to separate, in their minds, the 90% of people just looking for a better life and not causing problems from the 10% of troublemakers.
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