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Old 07-12-2016, 05:33 PM
 
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I have to echo the sentiments of the other posters. I went to Philly public schools in the 90s, and then moved to suburbs... *what a difference*. I'm not saying things were necessarily better then, but there have not been any positive developments since then. Those who can afford to do so tend to avoid city schools. There are suburbs that sit on the city border with really nice schools---Abington Township comes to mind---but it obviously doesn't have the proximity of Northern Liberties.
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:01 PM
 
10,273 posts, read 5,934,396 times
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Originally Posted by phillyjawn View Post
I have to echo the sentiments of the other posters. I went to Philly public schools in the 90s, and then moved to suburbs... *what a difference*. I'm not saying things were necessarily better then, but there have not been any positive developments since then. Those who can afford to do so tend to avoid city schools. There are suburbs that sit on the city border with really nice schools---Abington Township comes to mind---but it obviously doesn't have the proximity of Northern Liberties.
The frustrating thing it tends to be a catch-22 situation: too many people with resources avoid city schools so nothing changes and nothing changes because people with resources and motivation, who could affect change, bail, move to the suburbs to avoid city schools.
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Old 07-12-2016, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
1,243 posts, read 799,046 times
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Faith2187 has hit the nail on the head. Community reviews are flawed and meaningless. What matters are the test scores.

If one wants to give their kids a leg up in life, send them to the best schools.
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:15 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
288 posts, read 161,897 times
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Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
The frustrating thing it tends to be a catch-22 situation: too many people with resources avoid city schools so nothing changes and nothing changes because people with resources and motivation, who could affect change, bail, move to the suburbs to avoid city schools.
My wife and I hope to be one of those families that can support our local elem school rather than run away from it. The local school by us seems to have a lot of energetic parents who are invested in it, and because of that, hopefully over time, will be one of the schools that break the catch-22. We don't have kids yet and maybe I am sounding naive, but I think this is something that my wife and I need to experience ourselves, rather that look at numbers (ratings, scores, etc.). I am a product of the NYC public schools and I want my kids to have that experience as well.
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BK_PHL_DEL View Post
My wife and I hope to be one of those families that can support our local elem school rather than run away from it. The local school by us seems to have a lot of energetic parents who are invested in it, and because of that, hopefully over time, will be one of the schools that break the catch-22. We don't have kids yet and maybe I am sounding naive, but I think this is something that my wife and I need to experience ourselves, rather that look at numbers (ratings, scores, etc.). I am a product of the NYC public schools and I want my kids to have that experience as well.
Inspite of naysayers there are city parents who have already done what you hope to. One proof of that is the example ofmagnet school, Masterman, being considered one of the best schools in the state.
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
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Trust me, when you have kids, your views will change. I too wanted my kids to experience some of what I went through but my views have changed over the years. I now want my kids to have a better life and be successful individuals, and I will do what I can to play my part.




Quote:
Originally Posted by BK_PHL_DEL View Post
My wife and I hope to be one of those families that can support our local elem school rather than run away from it. The local school by us seems to have a lot of energetic parents who are invested in it, and because of that, hopefully over time, will be one of the schools that break the catch-22. We don't have kids yet and maybe I am sounding naive, but I think this is something that my wife and I need to experience ourselves, rather that look at numbers (ratings, scores, etc.). I am a product of the NYC public schools and I want my kids to have that experience as well.
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 1ondoner View Post
Trust me, when you have kids, your views will change. I too wanted my kids to experience some of what I went through but my views have changed over the years. I now want my kids to have a better life and be successful individuals, and I will do what I can to play my part.
Isn't it wiser to let the OP make this decision? There are successful people coming out of city schools. Believe or not you've probably met them.

I went to suburban schools....a supposedly good district 50+ years ago and there was awful stuff going on then. Issues involving racism that tried to steer black students to "special" education classes. Luckily my parents were college grads who were not going to accept that kind of thing regarding my education. Others weren't as lucky. Some of this subtle racism is probably still going on too. So enrolling a child in a suburban school is more nuanced than you might think.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
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First, what is the definition of success? Yes, there are successful graduates from inner city schools but the statistics on drop-outs, incarceration, teenage pregnacies, drug use, etc are way up compared to those graduating from suburban schools.

Some individuals will do well regardless of the environment. But many others will not.

IMHO, schooling happens beyond the classes, a lot of it takes place the communities where the students reside and also in their homes. In fact, bad schools are more of a reflection of the community residing around the schools. And all this sh.it adds up.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Isn't it wiser to let the OP make this decision? There are successful people coming out of city schools. Believe or not you've probably met them.

I went to suburban schools....a supposedly good district 50+ years ago and there was awful stuff going on then. Issues involving racism that tried to steer black students to "special" education classes. Luckily my parents were college grads who were not going to accept that kind of thing regarding my education. Others weren't as lucky. Some of this subtle racism is probably still going on too. So enrolling a child in a suburban school is more nuanced than you might think.
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
288 posts, read 161,897 times
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Originally Posted by 1ondoner View Post
First, what is the definition of success? Yes, there are successful graduates from inner city schools but the statistics on drop-outs, incarceration, teenage pregnacies, drug use, etc are way up compared to those graduating from suburban schools.
Thankfully, in the elem school by us in Fishtown, we see kids with BOTH parents, who seem supportive and pleasant, and by the looks of it, a stable home and family life. The quality of life in the area is not that of the hood, but not super manicured and gleaming like the suburbs. For this particular school, I don't think it is likely, based on my super-scientific eye test, that these kids will succumb to the blights you mentioned. That being said, sometimes you just know if you are in a good situation or not.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ondoner View Post
IMHO, schooling happens beyond the classes, a lot of it takes place the communities where the students reside and also in their homes. In fact, bad schools are more of a reflection of the community residing around the schools. And all this sh.it adds up.
+1000

It is an unfortunate vicious cycle. Kids with broken homes/neighborhoods don't have the proper resources and attention needed from their parent(s), which leads to stress for both the parent and the kids, which leads to kids not being able to do well in school, which leads to dropouts-drugs-low income jobs, which leads back to broken homes/neighborhoods if/when they start a family of their own with their kids going through the same cycle again. And when the stress and poverty is all that the parent knows, how can they be expected to do anything differently to break the cycle? The emphasis that SHOULD be put towards education and bettering oneself is instead put towards day to day survival. When there are whole communities in this mindset, improvement is going to be near impossible, no matter how much money or intervention we throw at it.
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Old 07-18-2016, 10:24 AM
 
3,063 posts, read 2,637,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BK_PHL_DEL View Post
Thankfully, in the elem school by us in Fishtown, we see kids with BOTH parents, who seem supportive and pleasant, and by the looks of it, a stable home and family life. The quality of life in the area is not that of the hood, but not super manicured and gleaming like the suburbs. For this particular school, I don't think it is likely, based on my super-scientific eye test, that these kids will succumb to the blights you mentioned. That being said, sometimes you just know if you are in a good situation or not.




+1000

It is an unfortunate vicious cycle. Kids with broken homes/neighborhoods don't have the proper resources and attention needed from their parent(s), which leads to stress for both the parent and the kids, which leads to kids not being able to do well in school, which leads to dropouts-drugs-low income jobs, which leads back to broken homes/neighborhoods if/when they start a family of their own with their kids going through the same cycle again. And when the stress and poverty is all that the parent knows, how can they be expected to do anything differently to break the cycle? The emphasis that SHOULD be put towards education and bettering oneself is instead put towards day to day survival. When there are whole communities in this mindset, improvement is going to be near impossible, no matter how much money or intervention we throw at it.
The bolded is definitely important. However, having a two parent middle class home does not mean that the education at the school will be on par to what is being offered in areas with much better public schools. I'll put it this way, the demographics of a school certainly matter, but certain schools are rated the way they are based on the quality of education and the curriculum offered to students. Think of this way, the quality of education--the type, the way things are taught, the resources, the sorts of classes offered, the amount of funding etc--all factor into what type of student the school will churn out. For instance in middle class America, many schools are "good enough" in that they teach kids just what is necessary for the student to graduate high school and go on to a good vocational program, or trade school. These schools churn out what is known as "blue collar" or "trade worker" students. The students are taught in such a way to encourage them to be okay with getting associates, basic bachelors, and going to easy-to-get in colleges where the vast majority graduate with debt and no real job prospects. You have upper middle class schools that teach kids that going to college is a necessity and not just any college--good college, the teachers teach kids in a way that encourages critical thinking, being more authoritative(so that they can eventually get in positions where they are the top CEOS, etc) and so on. You then have the very high level upper class schools which churn out the executives, the ivy league students, and so on. And these are just the "basics"--there are many schools in between, there is more than what I've described that goes into the process... But essentially schools that are rated high are rated the way they are, because of the quality of curriculum, teaching philosophy, and the rate of success of students that attend. Parent participation is a must. So having two good parents in the home who care, MATTERS a lot, but again that alone is not the sole factor. I'm not saying that your observations about the elementary school don't matter much--I'm only saying that there are other components that matter just as much and that you should pay attention to those as well. The schools in the district of Philadelphia are horrible for many reasons, and lack of parent involvement is only one... I urge you to look at the "numbers" and "statistics" at the school you plan to send your child to, the curriculum, what it encourages, how things are being taught--and not just observe the parents and the teachers.

Good luck.
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