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Old 02-13-2008, 09:46 AM
 
6 posts, read 18,584 times
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I'm in the middle of school choice season for my kid and I can't believe how many terrible schools I have to "choose" from in Minneapolis. I also took a peek at St. Paul's schools and they're not much better. I want to live in the city but I don't want my kid to be illiterate. Is anyone on the forum a parent who's been happy with the public schools? Do you mind saying where you're at and what you like?
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:05 AM
 
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I am thrilled to death with our public schools but we are in Rosemount and our district is rated as the top district in the state. It is kind of a hike from the cities to open enroll your kids here. I don't know where exactly you live but there are plenty of suburbs that have excellent schools. Have you looked into any of those near you? It is too late to open enroll for next year though. Those applications have to be in in January.
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by even View Post
I'm in the middle of school choice season for my kid and I can't believe how many terrible schools I have to "choose" from in Minneapolis. I also took a peek at St. Paul's schools and they're not much better. I want to live in the city but I don't want my kid to be illiterate. Is anyone on the forum a parent who's been happy with the public schools? Do you mind saying where you're at and what you like?
I am very happy with my daughter's school experience in the St Paul Public Schools, esepcially grade school and high school. She was in the IB program in high school and thrived in it. She graduated *** laude, got into a highly selective college, earned an academic scholarship and today is on the dean's list. She developed a wonderful group of friends, all academically motivated and doing well in collge today. Her h.s. friends' parents valued education just as much as we did.

The secret is to get into a good grade school (go visit some), and if your child is so inclined, enroll in IB (or at least AP) classes. The test score of the other kids are irrelevant, it's about YOUR kid, not someone else's.
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:13 PM
 
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Do you mind saying where in the city you are and what schools you have looked at?
Most of Mpls.' best schools are part of the IB programs. South and Southwest are both great high schools. As far as middle schools; Field, Barton and Lake Harriet are considered to be the best. Open enrollment is tight right now, but you may look into Saint Anthony or Edina schools as both have high numbers of City kids.
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:32 PM
 
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We are not from MN but plan on moving there soon. What is school of choice?
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:52 PM
 
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Most schools here are good. What area were you looking to live in?
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:46 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
1,839 posts, read 5,337,918 times
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Originally Posted by Ben Around View Post
The secret is to get into a good grade school (go visit some), and if your child is so inclined, enroll in IB (or at least AP) classes. The test score of the other kids are irrelevant, it's about YOUR kid, not someone else's.
Ben, you make an extremely excellent point in this post, and although I've avoided responding to threads like this as I personally don't have kids, I feel compelled to share my thoughts. I have some experience working in educational environments, both of my parents are life-long public school educators, and my siblings are educators in K - 12 and collegiate public institutions.

The middle/ high schools I attended, although not in Minneapolis or the Metro area, I feel are pretty comparative to schools here in Minneapolis. Although great schools in their own right with excellent, dedicated professional teachers, they were considered the urban lower-income schools of the district which IMO may have equated to a general area perception that the schools were somehow less desirable (but I guess I can't speak as to how our test scores or graduation rates stacked up against other high schools in the city). I was enrolled in what would be the closest equivalent to an "IB" program here in the cities as just about all of my courses were AP/ College Prep. A large number of my AP classmates attended ivy league universities, several were National Merit finalists, and two actually scored perfects on both their SATs and ACTs. In retrospect the classes were good preparation for the rigor of college-level courses, but I seriously do not believe that they had a major impact on my ability to excel in college.

If your son or daughter doesn't perform well in school and you stack him or her up against a schoolful of overachievers/ amazing test-takers, you run the risk that s/he will begin to feel alienated and develop some type of educational complex as much as the promise that the test-taking abilities will rub off on them (and suburbs don't draw better teachers, whatever people might say). School "ratings" are all based on test-scores or the number of AP tests being taken, and quite frankly people should be wary of schools where the curriculum is seemingly overly-focused on over-performing standardized test scores, IMO the focus of any learning environment should concentrate on building students' critical thinking/ reasoning skills, applying academic concepts to daily life, etc. And if your kids already do well in school, chances are they will continue to do well, be challenged, and have classmates to "compete" with in any school environment in the city/ metro area.

If your desire in finding the best possible schools for your kids to attend is motivated by the hopes that they will be able to get accepted to a competitive college/university, I would take into consideration the urban/ suburban school paradigm - I would ask myself if my kids will be more likely to be accepted at the schools of their choice if they:

(a) attend a predominantly mid- to upper-middle class public school where 99% of students are college bound, a high majority achieve good test scores, and they virtually fight with eachother over local volunteer opportunities in an effort to continue to boost their college application competitiveness, OR

(b) live in a city/ urban environment, excel in an urban high school environment, and are lucky to experience real diversity prior to attending college. Not even considering the higher likelihood of being accepted to a competitive college/ university, there are numerous grants/ scholarships available to persons based solely on the demographics of the ZIP code they live in and/or high school that they attend.

Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis has a strong IB program and was ranked (as I believe were most all other Mpls high schools) in the top 5% in the nation this past year. In my neighborhood we have similarly been very impressed with the many offerings of Loring Community School (elementary) and their strong parent and community engagement.

And yes, I am a biased "city" opinion. But I am not so biased as to encourage someone that wants to live "in the City" to send their kids WAY out to Rosemount to get an education.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:37 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 57,524,631 times
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Originally Posted by Camden Northsider View Post
[color=black]B]

And yes, I am a biased "city" opinion. But I am not so biased as to encourage someone that wants to live "in the City" to send their kids WAY out to Rosemount to get an education.
See, that is why I said it was a hike out here and to look closer to the city.

While there are kids that can thrive in not so stellar schools, the school environment IS very important to most kids. If you have to walk through metal detectors every day, can't wear certain colors of clothing, have kids fighting during class many days of the week that does bring down the quality of education. Yes, the IB programs are great but there are a select few kids that actually get into the program. The Star Tribune had a story on this not long ago. There were 99 kids in the Minneapolis schools in IB programs at the beginning of the year and by Christmas it was down to 45 kids--in the largest district in the state. That is actually a pretty sad statistic. You can say these schools are great all you want but the reality is for most kids they are NOT great schools.

As for South High school being one of the top in the nation, we have had this discussion before. They compared their IB program kids, all 45 of them the the entire population of the rest of the schools in the nation, not exactly a representative sample. I can guarantee you that if you took the top 45 kids from our district they would blow the top 45 kids from your district out of the water--from our Rhodes scholar on down.

Try sending your high achieving kids through the regular classes in Minneapolis and see if you still think that they are such great schools.
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
1,839 posts, read 5,337,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
The Star Tribune had a story on this not long ago. There were 99 kids in the Minneapolis schools in IB programs at the beginning of the year and by Christmas it was down to 45 kids--in the largest district in the state. That is actually a pretty sad statistic. You can say these schools are great all you want but the reality is for most kids they are NOT great schools.

As for South High school being one of the top in the nation, we have had this discussion before.
I wasn't speaking about South High School, Patrick Henry High is in Camden area of Minneapolis. And you should link to the Star Tribune article you reference for everyone's viewing pleasure and to make their own informed decision about the article.

Last edited by golfgal; 02-14-2008 at 03:43 PM.. Reason: calling out a mod--see terms of service
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:42 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 57,524,631 times
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Originally Posted by Camden Northsider View Post
I wasn't speaking about South High School, Patrick Henry High is in Camden area of Minneapolis. And you should link to the Star Tribune article you reference for everyone's viewing pleasure and to make their own informed decision about the article.
First of all, the mods are also users of this board and therefore are entitled to post their opinions. Second, why is your biased viewpoints toward the Minneapolis schools any different then my biased opinions toward the suburban schools. As for the link to the Star-Tribune article, I did post that several months ago when this topic was debated then. The Tribune only keeps 14 days of articles in their search history but if you are interested in the information you can contact the Star-Tribune. I am sure they will help you find the information.
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