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Thread summary:

3 of 4 upstate New York areas named best places to educate children by Forbes; seeking opinions on accuracy of list, methodology used to compile list

 
Old 12-15-2007, 12:01 PM
 
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Forbes took many education factors into count and ranked the top 20 metro areas for education. 3 of the 4 upstate metros made the top 20 with Albany at number 7, Syracuse at number 8, and Rochester at number 13. The only one that didn't make top 20 was Buffalo. Here's the forbes page on it, it's one of the top stories on Yahoo. Notice if you look at the list that the majority of areas are in the northeast, and all but 1 are in the eastern half of the country.

http://http://www.forbes.com/2007/12/12/best-places-for-education-oped-cx_apa_1212educate_slide_14.html?thisSpeed=30000 (broken link)
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:54 PM
 
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go ny. in case you run into problems with the above.

http://www.forbes.com/2007/12/12/bes...e_slide_2.html
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Old 12-15-2007, 11:26 PM
 
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hmmmm I wonder why the link I posted doesn't work? Oh well, thanks for posting one that does!
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Old 12-16-2007, 12:33 PM
 
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It makes me proud to say I'm a "New Yorker" no matter where I live!
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:21 AM
 
Location: NW District of Columb1a USA
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Sorry but this list seems like it came down from Mars. The DC public school system is one of the worst in the nation. I know that first hand. I don't know what the methodology used in creating this list but it is dubious to say the least.
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomerBrink View Post
Sorry but this list seems like it came down from Mars. The DC public school system is one of the worst in the nation. I know that first hand. I don't know what the methodology used in creating this list but it is dubious to say the least.
I agree with you. You are correct if you look at the methodology they did not Solely base the rankings on graduation rates and performance. Here is what is actually about:
Three out of 10 of us either work in an educational institution or learn in one. Education eats up 8% of the Gross National Product. Keeping it all going is the biggest line item on city budgets. Whether the results are worth it sometimes makes teachers and parents--and administrators and politicians--raise their voices and point fingers.

In the 1930s, the United States was fragmented into 130,000 school districts. After decades of consolidation, there are now fewer than 15,000. They range in size from hundreds that don't actually operate schools--but bus children to other districts--to giants like the Los Angeles Unified District, with three-quarters of a million students.

Greater Chicago has 332 public school districts and 589 private schools within its eight counties. Metropolitan Los Angeles takes in 35 public library systems. Greater Denver counts 15 public and private colleges and universities. Moving into any of America's metro areas means stepping into a thicket of school districts, library systems, private school options and public and private college and universities.

In Pictures: Top 20 Places To Educate Your Child
Let's agree with wise experts that the quality of education any child gets comes down to just three things: their own motivation, their parents' support and good teachers. Still, is there a way to compare America's metro areas for education strengths? Consider five factors.

1. School Support

One of the Department of Education's most popular Web sites is Build a Table. Here, you can collect data on anything from public school finances and teachers to high school graduation rates for any place you wish--the country, states, counties, metro areas and districts.

Using the department's data, which come from each of the states, you can combine the metro area's average number of students per full-time equivalent classroom teacher (the lower the better) with its average instructional expense figure for student (the higher the better) to produce some interesting winners: Ocean City, N.J., Ithaca, N.Y., and Honolulu, Hawaii.

2. Private School Options

Today, one of nine children attends a private school. Catholic schools are the private school alternative with the biggest enrollment (2.5 million pupils).

Although half of all private school pupils sit in Catholic school classrooms, two of every three private schools are non-Catholic. Some 1.7 million pupils attend schools run by groups such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Seventh-Day Adventist Board of Education and the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools. Nonsectarian schools enroll another 800,000 pupils, most of whom pay tuition to institutions belonging to the National Association of Independent Schools.

Yes, you can find a private school at another Department of Education site-- and yes, you can rate each metro area's options for private school options. Winners in this category are Washington, D.C., Houston and Atlanta.

3. Library Popularity

At a bank of Internet terminals at a public library's main branch, you may see a cab driver researching family genealogy on your left, a high school senior investigating jobs with the airlines on your right. Behind you, a stack of Mexico City newspapers wait on a re-shelving cart. And in front, an acre of tables is piled with briefcases and book bags where people sit reading. More than any other metro-area educational institution, libraries are the vital center and ultimate education resource for everyone.

If librarians had to choose one measurement of success, it would be turnover rate. Calculated by dividing the library's circulation by its number of books, turnover shows the activity of the library's collection--indicating the number of times each book would have circulated during the year if circulation had been spread evenly throughout the collection.

A library system emphasizing best-seller circulation will have higher turnover than a library system that has an extensive reference collection, or frankly, a library system that is open fewer hours and has books no one likes to read.

Among metro areas, the perennial winners in library turnover are all out west: Portland, Ore., San Jose, Calif., Colorado Springs, Colo., and Salt Lake City.

4. College Town

Colleges and universities are great white-collar employers. In fact, there is a big connection between research-oriented universities and healthy economies. Two historic examples are Stanford University's boost to the growth of Silicon Valley high-tech enterprises in San Jose and the Bay Area, and MIT's faculty and alumni, who started electronics firms along Route 128 outside Boston.

Any place can be a college town if it has at least one institution of higher education. But if you weight each person attending local colleges by the number of years needed to get the highest degree offered (that is, associate of arts enrollment is weighted by two, bachelor degree enrollment by four, master's degree enrollment by six and doctoral enrollment by nine), you come up with a wide range of numbers.

Places like College Station-Bryan, Texas; Iowa City, Iowa; Lawrence, Kan.; and Columbia, Mo., come out very high on this criterion. Alas, there's only one game in town in Ames, Iowa (Iowa State University), in College Station-Bryan (Texas A&M), in Lawrence (University of Kansas) and in Columbia (University of Missouri). Something else is needed to reward higher-education variety.

5. College Options

A metro area's collection of higher-education institutions should meet the needs of the greatest number of residents: low-cost night and weekend continuing-education courses for people who work, full-time graduate courses in the professions, courses leading to occupational certification in two-year colleges and the traditional bachelor's degree curriculum offered in colleges or universities. Here, the top-ranking places are one, two and three in size: New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Combining all these criteria gives us the rankings of the top places in America to educate your children--led by Washington, D.C.-Arlington, Va., and followed closely by Madison, Wis., and Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, Mass.

http://www.forbes.com/2007/12/12/bes...12educate.html
So to recap it is about college availability, private school options, and how much support.
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:00 AM
 
Location: NW District of Columb1a USA
382 posts, read 1,453,448 times
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At the risk of beating a downtrodden horse...the bias in this study is profound.
First, sometimes the more private schools in an area the worse the public schools are.
Examples are Houston and DC. Second, larger metros have more private schools than smaller ones. Third, just because colleges are in close proximity doesn't mean opportunity for the local people. I'm glad places in NYS ranked high but the study's validity is poor. However, it's disseminated Forbes magazine....what more can be said. that's it I'm done. Have a nice day.
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Old 12-17-2007, 11:45 AM
 
Location: The Bay State
332 posts, read 1,555,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomerBrink View Post
Sorry but this list seems like it came down from Mars. The DC public school system is one of the worst in the nation. I know that first hand. I don't know what the methodology used in creating this list but it is dubious to say the least.
Agreed. All this study really says is "they spend lots of money and have lots of students." That really doesn't necessarily equate with quality of education.
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:03 AM
 
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I was wondering how Durham made the list actually..........hmmm.
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomerBrink View Post
Sorry but this list seems like it came down from Mars. The DC public school system is one of the worst in the nation. I know that first hand. I don't know what the methodology used in creating this list but it is dubious to say the least.

I believe they were looking at the entire DC metro area (about 8 million people) as opposed to DC itself which is a very small geographic area. It only makes sense that is the DC metro area has the highest percentage of educated people and the highest median household income of all metro areas then they would be sending their children to private schools. It is unfortunate that all areas cannot be this well off. I also know this first hand.
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