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View Poll Results: Do you think Merrillville is declining?
Yes 36 83.72%
No 6 13.95%
Other - Please Explain 1 2.33%
Voters: 43. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-28-2013, 09:33 AM
 
6 posts, read 23,709 times
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I am aware that Merrillville has some demographic challenges to contend with that some affluent or upper middle class areas do not. It has been facing those same challenges for decades, and in my opinion doing a good job. I wanted to clarify that greatschool.net compares Merrillville public schools to all public schools in state of Indiana. Salk is a 9 out of 10 because 97% of students are testing at or above grade level. There is no curb given because it is a Title 1 school. Eads Elementary and Elliot Elementary Schools in Musnter are rated "5" and "7" because much fewer students are testing at grade level. Salk is an amazing example of a school overcoming challenges and out performing 90% of elementary schools in state of Indiana. The other Elementary Schools in Merrillville are not at that level but two are testing the same or better than Eads or Elliot in Munster. The other interesting thing to note is that for the last few years there has been an increase in test scores at most Merrillville schools. In graduate school my sister interned a semester at Merrillville High School in 2011, and was amazed by how quiet, and well organized it was. The school has a zero tolerance for violence. Merrillville has a graduation rate of 90% twice that of most schools in Gary, or Chicago. Merillville end of course achievement scores are slightly below(English slightly above) the average High School in Indiana. The scores are much higher than almost all other schools with similar demographics. Merrillville is not the kind of lovely, tree-lined, affluent American town that Norman Rockwell painted. It is a gritty survivor with much to offer anyone who isn't afraid to dig beneath the tarnished surface.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjerm2002 View Post
I am aware that Merrillville has some demographic challenges to contend with that some affluent or upper middle class areas do not. It has been facing those same challenges for decades, and in my opinion doing a good job. I wanted to clarify that greatschool.net compares Merrillville public schools to all public schools in state of Indiana. Salk is a 9 out of 10 because 97% of students are testing at or above grade level. There is no curb given because it is a Title 1 school. Eads Elementary and Elliot Elementary Schools in Musnter are rated "5" and "7" because much fewer students are testing at grade level. Salk is an amazing example of a school overcoming challenges and out performing 90% of elementary schools in state of Indiana. The other Elementary Schools in Merrillville are not at that level but two are testing the same or better than Eads or Elliot in Munster. The other interesting thing to note is that for the last few years there has been an increase in test scores at most Merrillville schools. In graduate school my sister interned a semester at Merrillville High School in 2011, and was amazed by how quiet, and well organized it was. The school has a zero tolerance for violence. Merrillville has a graduation rate of 90% twice that of most schools in Gary, or Chicago. Merillville end of course achievement scores are slightly below(English slightly above) the average High School in Indiana. The scores are much higher than almost all other schools with similar demographics. Merrillville is not the kind of lovely, tree-lined, affluent American town that Norman Rockwell painted. It is a gritty survivor with much to offer anyone who isn't afraid to dig beneath the tarnished surface.
The problem with Merrillville schools tend to be the influx of Gary and East Chicago students. Sadly, GCSC students tend to be behind so once you enter in that suburban school system, they are automatically playing catch up. There's a difference between having to bring students up to par with the rest of the student body versus just being a bad district from top to bottom minus a school or two.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:30 PM
 
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And these occurred in two areas of Merrillville that many in the immediate area regard as "safe". And the one area I think is more so Crown Point/Winfield:

Two charged in M'ville break-ins

Woman fears family wrongly targeted after shots fired at M'ville home, note found
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:16 AM
 
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Not sure what two isolated incidents of crime tell you about the overall quality of life in a city? Nobody is saying that Merrillville is a perfect, manicured little town. I am sure there were isolated crimes in Merrillville 10, and even 20 years ago. I am just impressed that it has been able to maintain a solid retail core, and three good elementary schools (average middle and High Schools). White people have been predicting the death of Merrillville for over 30 years citing crime, influx of minorities from Gary etc. and 30 yaers later things have changed very little. The black population has risen but by a much smaller percentage than predicted. In 10 years there will be the same discussion that Merrillville is on its last legs, but it will still be standing. It will never be the blighted city that Gary has become.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:29 PM
 
2,155 posts, read 5,464,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjerm2002 View Post
Not sure what two isolated incidents of crime tell you about the overall quality of life in a city? Nobody is saying that Merrillville is a perfect, manicured little town. I am sure there were isolated crimes in Merrillville 10, and even 20 years ago. I am just impressed that it has been able to maintain a solid retail core, and three good elementary schools (average middle and High Schools). White people have been predicting the death of Merrillville for over 30 years citing crime, influx of minorities from Gary etc. and 30 yaers later things have changed very little. The black population has risen but by a much smaller percentage than predicted. In 10 years there will be the same discussion that Merrillville is on its last legs, but it will still be standing. It will never be the blighted city that Gary has become.
It's not only White people who believe Merrillville is going downhill.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:44 PM
 
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Houses "going under" or foreclosures are everywhere. I know that many neighborhoods in chicago were very hard hit. I own a rental property in west ridge area that is now worth half of the purchase price. I am confused how that is a unique attribute of merrillville? I am sure that many people of all races think Merrillville is in decline, but i just do not see clear evidence that supports the premise. I think it is the way people in the region have always thought. I remember my grandparents (who lived in Merrillville for 40 years), and their neighbors in the mid 1980s complaining..about influx of lower income people from Gary etc.(Merrillville is in decline) when i was a teenager. A lot of people advised my sister (about 6 years) not to buy in Merrillville(merrillville is in decline!!!)...these arguments made about thirty years apart have not changed. the argument is the same one being advanced in this thread. Merrillville is not "Hinsdale" or "Wilmette", but than again it never was. It is a middle to lower middle class, very racially integrated city. My premise is that a city whose school test scores are better than 5 years ago. Merrillville High School average test scores, and a solid graduation rate. That has three elementary schools with better test scores that most schools in Dyer,Munster, and Highland, and is still the retail hub of the regions...is not in sharp decline. It is the "same" merrillville it has been for last at least two decades.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjerm2002 View Post
Houses "going under" or foreclosures are everywhere. I know that many neighborhoods in chicago were very hard hit. I own a rental property in west ridge area that is now worth half of the purchase price. I am confused how that is a unique attribute of merrillville? I am sure that many people of all races think Merrillville is in decline, but i just do not see clear evidence that supports the premise. I think it is the way people in the region have always thought. I remember my grandparents (who lived in Merrillville for 40 years), and their neighbors in the mid 1980s complaining..about influx of lower income people from Gary etc.(Merrillville is in decline) when i was a teenager. A lot of people advised my sister (about 6 years) not to buy in Merrillville(merrillville is in decline!!!)...these arguments made about thirty years apart have not changed. the argument is the same one being advanced in this thread. Merrillville is not "Hinsdale" or "Wilmette", but than again it never was. It is a middle to lower middle class, very racially integrated city. My premise is that a city whose school test scores are better than 5 years ago. Merrillville High School average test scores, and a solid graduation rate. That has three elementary schools with better test scores that most schools in Dyer,Munster, and Highland, and is still the retail hub of the regions...is not in sharp decline. It is the "same" merrillville it has been for last at least two decades.
One main difference is the influx of renters moving in. Owners on average care more about their property. Not only are they renting apartments but houses as well. Even in gary you can tell a block of home owners from a block of home renters. With renters come the people associated with them. Of course this does not apply to all renters.

Schools havent changed, the only difference comes from kids in gary schools and ec, hammond transferring in and automatically behind and forced to play catch up. Schools are not equal. A kid from merrillville would probably be behind in carmel while a kid in carmel might be behind transferring to the international school.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:44 AM
 
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Whether or not the town is actually "in decline" is pretty subjective and debatable and based on what standards are used. What really matters is what the perception of the town is by people in the area and people who are considering a move to the area. Most people would agree that the perception is that Merrillville is in decline, whether true or not. Northwest Indiana, probably more than other areas, is all about image and perception when it comes to which towns are desirable and which are not. Merrillville falls into the negative image for most people. I'm not saying it's fair, but it is what it is.

Another example would be Portage. If you look at the data, it's a pretty solid working middle class town whose crime is not out of control and whose schools actually post test scores well above average. But, Portage's image is not nearly as good as other towns in Porter County. It's all about perception.

Last edited by svillechris; 03-28-2013 at 09:03 AM..
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:56 PM
 
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I agree that the perception is that "Merrillville is in decline" and that in real estate perception is more important that reality. This is a sad but true fact.
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:25 PM
 
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Merrillville was incorporated in 1971 or 72 I believe. There has been a continual exodus SOUTH (from Gary) since the mid or late sixties. Glen Park used to be the "nice place" South of Gary in the sixties but it was closer to Gary.

Who can forget the white convenience store clerk who was blown away by a black teen shooter a few years ago in M-Ville........after she complied for his demands for money. As usual, family members described this shooter as "good kid" after the swat team was on their doorstep.

NO THANKS
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