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Old 08-23-2013, 06:39 AM
132 posts, read 210,276 times
Reputation: 172


Originally Posted by semiurbanite View Post
I guess you can speculate that way if you choose.
Actually, this is exactly right. The conclusion I've drawn is really just a speculation, mostly because the data sample we are using is very small (not a lot of non-low income students in one urban school in any given year, 10-20 students max per grade) and maybe cherry-picked. In fact, ANY conclusion, including your conclusion that Cambridge/Somerville school hold its own against the "best" school, is just a speculation due to the lack of data.

So to make the discussion more fruitful, maybe we can do this - in your opinion, which are the best 5 schools that have the non-low-income students test score in Cambridge/Somerville (I confess I did not research city schools before so I know every little of which ones are the best)? I will then pick the best 5 school in Newton/Brookline/Weston/Winchester/Lexington, go through the history (maybe 5 years) to get as much data as I can, and have some more robust result.

Maybe urban schools really do outperform suburban schools when income factor is controlled, or maybe not, I really don't know. But in order to lay claim one way or the other, we need to look a bit deeper.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:06 AM
288 posts, read 620,860 times
Reputation: 549
Have you actually looked at a MCAS exam? Even as an adult English reader I still had to read the questions carefully. I'm not sure what "estimation strategy" means. (Should I write out my equations? should I explain in English the fine points of averages and divisions?). Personally, most people *should* know how to answer such questions, but I imagine if you're an inexperienced 11-year-old student who was ESL or had attention issues or if you were tired (the testing hours can be grueling), you might not do so well...

MCAS 6th Grade Example Math Question:

The table below shows the distance, in kilometers, Mary ran each day for 5 days.
Mary's Running Distances
Day Distance (in kilometers)
Monday 2.05
Tuesday 4.10
Wednesday 3.80
Thursday 1.95
Friday 4.05

1. Write the five distances in order from greatest to least.
2. Estimate the average distance, in kilometers, Mary ran each day for the 5 days. Explain your estimation strategy.

To prepare for a race, Mary plans to run 100 kilometers over a number of days.

3. Based on your answer to part (b), estimate the number of days it will take Mary to run 100 kilometers. Explain your estimation strategy.

Last edited by sharencare; 08-25-2013 at 01:43 AM..
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:29 AM
319 posts, read 597,527 times
Reputation: 129
Old thread but in case anyone stumbles here thought I'd chime in. Lived in Waltham for a few years and looked at schools for my daughter but ended up moving out of state. The Elementary Schools are good but not great. The middle and high schools are ok. There's a part of town that's not so, um, reputable. I never felt unsafe there though and compared to its neighbors, it's really a much more interesting place to be. You can walk all over town, festivals, Moody St, and river activities. Waltham has some really nice affordable modern apartments to rent which you can't find elsewhere. Houses are older and traditional.
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