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Old 06-17-2013, 08:59 AM
Location: Quincy, MA
385 posts, read 1,454,212 times
Reputation: 189


Milton is a diverse town with good schools.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:29 AM
1,298 posts, read 1,331,642 times
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Good school vs bad school is a slippery slope in my opinion. I recently did an MCAS score comparison between some diverse elementary schools (Somerville and Cambridge) with some suburban and less diverse schools. If you try to control for socio-economic status, and only compare the Non-Low Income students, the urban, diverse schools actually outperform the suburbs in many cases. See link to my xls. Many people that I show this to are bewildered by the fact that the Somerville and Cambridge elementary schools outperforms Weston, Newton and Lexington in some grades. Yet it is true, and this just goes to show that socio-economic status is what really drives student achievement, not the school, town or district.

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Old 06-17-2013, 02:44 PM
Location: Massachusetts
6,301 posts, read 9,637,296 times
Reputation: 4798
Originally Posted by goolsbyjazz View Post
I dislike the term, "minorities" and think it is inadequate to describe people of color.
The term "minority" is very outdated, divides people against one another and no longer describes the American peoplescape. "Ethnic diversity" better describes a community that is not all one group and can be a range of ethnic backgrounds racially, a mix of American born and new citizens or a range of people within one racial group.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:22 PM
1,768 posts, read 3,237,965 times
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I find 495neighbor response very refreshing. This is 2013 (and thank God it is) and some people still like to talk about world in terms of 1953. "Minority" and "majority" are outdated/racist terms, and should be left to die.
In the end, regardless how we look, and where we come from, we are all wanting same things in life...to have happy life, good health, sense of community, friends, to do our best when raising our kids. We should be feeling very lucky to be able to attract smart, educated people from all over the world to come to live in MA.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:33 PM
288 posts, read 634,402 times
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If you are interested in the Boston Public Schools, racial achievement gaps, and race relationships, I highly recommend reading "The Education of a White Parent" by Susan Naimark. I think the statistics about test scores and socio-economics are interesting, but you also have to consider real phenomenons like "stereotype threat," how teachers discipline young black and Hispanic boys more harshly than white boys (if you are being disproportionately punished all the time, would you enjoy school??), unequal resource allocation by race, and how tests may favor or be biased against different cultures.

Anyway, now I am an professional, and my husband and I are seriously considering staying in Boston to raise a family. We know BPS has some big problems. But from my personal experience, I think the OP is right to be concerned about diversity, especially for young children. I spent eight years in Boston Public Schools and six years in a virtually all white parochial school. I have to say that I preferred Boston Public Schools. I went to BPS Josiah Quincy for K1 and K2 and I secretly wished my mother had never taken me out of that environment where the teachers and the other kids were more likely to understand where I was coming from. Parochial elementary school was a lonely experience, being one of two minorities in the entire school. I eventually went to Boston Latin School (50 percent non-white students; a good mix of teachers of all races), and I made many lifelong friends of all different backgrounds. I still stay in touch with my high school friends, whether they were Chinese, Haitian, or fresh off the Mayflower. Boston Latin was the most academically demanding (and stressful) experience of my life, being much more demanding than college or graduate school (both of which were top-notch). Many of my classmates went onto to colleges like Boston College, Harvard, MIT, BU, Northeastern, and Wellesley, and many still live in the surrounding area or Boston itself. I think most people think urban schools are impersonal, but because the school was so large and diverse, I found my own community and made lifelong friendships. Yeah, Easter egg hunts in suburban yards sounds like fun. But it's also nice to drop by Symphony Hall or the multitude museums as part of a class lesson, or see your school throw cultural shows celebrating the many different ethnic backgrounds of the student body.

So really, schools are important, but also consider affordability, commute time, and the makeup of the community.

Last edited by sharencare; 06-17-2013 at 10:44 PM..
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:01 AM
5,788 posts, read 5,100,404 times
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I agree. I grew up in Milton, but I had relatives who lived in Boston, and I often visited my cousins who went to the Josiah Quincy School (we went swimming at the pool in that school on Friday afternoons). I have to say that going into the city was a real treat for me, as there were so many different sights and sounds, and the people were so "varied" but awesomely fun. I wasn't just with my cousins, but their friends who were Chinese, Africans and Irish all mixed together. When I return home to Milton, I always felt like there was something missing; there was no vitality at my Milton school, and almost everyone looked the same (I think this has changed a little since). Granted Boston has its problems, and its PS system is a bit wacky to say the least. But there are real gems, like the Josiah Quincy School, that, if I could re-do my childhood, I would gladly attend. The jungle gym playground on the roof deck was just so much fun! I have more fond memory of the Josiah Quincy that I have of my own school.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:49 AM
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In discussions of schools the architecture rarely comes up so it is interesting to see that in the case of the Quincy School, which got lots of attention for its architecture when it opened in 1978 or so, the architecture really has made a difference.
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:31 PM
288 posts, read 634,402 times
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Aww, I'm glad you got to spend time at the Josiah Quincy. Some of my most vivid childhood memories include waiting in the big main hallway chatting about the new Little Mermaid with friends, diving for rings in the small swimming pool (Josiah Quincy had two pools), writing out Chinese numbers, New Year's cymbal crashing in the auditorium, and squealing on the rooftop playground during recess. I remember filing passed the upper school classrooms and cafeteria as a kindergartener, looking at envy at the big kids.

In the end my mother opted to send me to a neighborhood parochial school. The school had good teachers, but we had recess in a parking lot and ate lunch at our desks. Our gym was also our auditorium and general use room. I wished I had been bussed to a nice school instead of walking a few blocks to attend a somewhat mediocre one. Attending a neighborhood school didn't add much to my experience, except the tiny school limited even more with whom I could become friends. It shrunk my world to a half mile radius, and that was really stifling.The facilities were definitely not as nice as Josiah Quincy, so I caution parents about sending their kids to a "private" school with the assumption it must be better than a Boston public school. I also saw the videos of the noisy, overcrowded dilapidated Newton schools that were much worse then the parochial school, which in turn was worse than the Boston public school.

I guess if you are starting fresh in a new country with no ties to any particular town, you should pick whatever suits your family well. But for me personally, it would be a difficult decision to leave Boston. I see my friends starting to plant roots in Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury, Dorchester, and South Boston (I grew up in South Boston) and it's hard not to hope you will raise your kids together. But who knows, maybe once their kids turn 4 or 5 they'll decamp to Newton, Needham, and Lexington anyway. So raising kids in Boston can be rewarding because there are lots of opportunities, but you really need to aggressively seek them out and know how to navigate the system. I asked my Haitian-American high school friend, who is still involved with the schools, if she would send her kids to BPS, and even she hesitated. There are a few gems in the BPS system, but a lot of the schools are still failing students.

Last edited by sharencare; 06-18-2013 at 12:53 PM..
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:14 PM
Location: Boston
62 posts, read 135,694 times
Reputation: 65
Framingham, has a diverse population and an interesting spectrum of per capita family incomes. There is a lot to do and close to Boston. There is a commuter rail and a diverse downtown.

North Framingham is considered the nicer side. The Nobscot area is going to be pretty snazzy, I suspect.
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:08 AM
Location: 42°22'55.2"N 71°24'46.8"W
4,848 posts, read 11,804,851 times
Reputation: 2962
Originally Posted by papaya21 View Post

North Framingham is considered the nicer side. The Nobscot area is going to be pretty snazzy, I suspect.
Can you elaborate on this? The Nobscot plaza with its 80% vacancy rate and the abandoned gas station have been a neighborhood eyesore for the past decade. Now that the new sewer lines and sidewalk curbing have been put in place, I hope the town does something to attract new commercial tenants.
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