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Old 06-27-2009, 05:25 PM
 
7 posts, read 34,880 times
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Still going back and forth between the decision of living in NJ or PA regarding our families relocation. Our children are 8 and 13. We have moved several times and they have gone to school in Illinois, Florida and for the past 4 years New Jersey. Our town schools score a "10" on those rating scales. I say "no duh", the average home cost 700,000 +

Honestly, I could give a crap about how my children perform on achievement tests... and it appears this is how schools are rated as far as being "good school systems". NJ has been a pressure cooker, particularly for my now going into 8th grader. I could go on and on, but my question really is, does PA have the same single focus on the achievement tests that NJ schools do?

When I say I want a "good school" for my children, I am not looking for high achievement test scores. I am looking for a nurturing, well educated staff who care about the kids more than they care about their achievement scores. Do public schools like this exist anymore?
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Old 06-27-2009, 11:34 PM
 
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Not all PA schools share that focus (Radnor SD does). And yes, caring districts do exist, although they still happen to be in the more affluent areas.

Tredyffrin Easttown schools are really great, Valley Forge Elementary and I'm guessing middle school are more "homey" than the other parts of the district (I read a post from a parent accusing Beaumont Elementary of teaching to the test, for example). Either way the district is competitive but no pressure cooker.

Wallingford-Swarthmore are probably the best fit for what you are looking for. Great for families and a great school district that does a lot with less money than the Main Line districts.

I would also check out Unionville-Chadds Ford for great schools and I'm assuming caring teachers just based upon the types of people who live in the district - caring educated parents and caring educated teachers seem to find each other somehow...
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:29 PM
 
7 posts, read 34,880 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orrmobl View Post
Not all PA schools share that focus (Radnor SD does). And yes, caring districts do exist, although they still happen to be in the more affluent areas.

Tredyffrin Easttown schools are really great, Valley Forge Elementary and I'm guessing middle school are more "homey" than the other parts of the district (I read a post from a parent accusing Beaumont Elementary of teaching to the test, for example). Either way the district is competitive but no pressure cooker.

Wallingford-Swarthmore are probably the best fit for what you are looking for. Great for families and a great school district that does a lot with less money than the Main Line districts.

I would also check out Unionville-Chadds Ford for great schools and I'm assuming caring teachers just based upon the types of people who live in the district - caring educated parents and caring educated teachers seem to find each other somehow...

Thanks, that Wallingford-Swarthmore keeps coming up as the first recommendation. I haven't heard of Unionville-Chadds Ford. Will look into it. I appreciate you taking the time to answer me, and read my morning rant!
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:30 AM
 
18 posts, read 69,240 times
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You might want to check out Great Valley, great district, if not one of the best......
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:39 PM
 
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I realize college might not be on your radar screen now, but looking down the road, it's better to pay in-state tuition in PA. There are fewer NJ public colleges and I think they are all more expensive then our PA public colleges. We looked into schools in both states when we first relocated to PA and it was my cousins suggestion to choose PA. She's a teacher in New Jersey.
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:58 AM
 
1,983 posts, read 6,842,474 times
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I'd research the blue ribbon school districts in PA and NJ and find out where the kids are going to college. Lots of kids in NJ go out of state. Duke is AKA the University of NJ at Durham. I think it really depends on the type of students the OP has and what the ultimate goal is - frankly, if I had a gifted student and wanted her to go to an IVY or equivalent or attend school of her choice on scholarship, I would not consider PA. And to avoid the inevitable argument, I know kids from PA go to top schools from some of PA's better districts, especially in Bucks County, but there's no way they go as frequently or have the reputation of Moorestown, Haddonfield or Princeton that have a very long history as feeder schools. No sense in trying to convince me either, it won't work.

Moorestown's class of 2009 just graduated 1 of 3 Presidential Scholars in the entire state of NJ. That's how competitive the district is and there is pressure to succeed. If the OP just wants the kids to attend a state school and doesn't seek a high level of competitiveness or want the pressure, it doesn't matter what school system she attends in PA or NJ and 'good' school will do.

As far as cheaper college costs in PA, that might be true, but NJ has low cost public school options the problem is admissions can be very difficult because the number of apps - like Rutgers and TCNJ, the latter being a huge bargain for in-staters if you can get in. Contrast that to Penn State or Temple.

Last edited by MoorestownResident; 06-30-2009 at 06:42 AM..
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Montco PA
2,065 posts, read 4,289,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoorestownResident View Post
As far as cheaper college costs in PA, that might be true, but NJ has low cost public school options the problem is admissions can be very difficult because the number of apps - like Rutgers and TCNJ, the latter being a huge bargain for in-staters if you can get in. Contrast that to Penn State or Temple.
Penn State is a huge school system, like the SUNY system in New York. You see, big states with long histories of educating kids have state-run systems. Such systems are generally considered assets of states like PA and NY. NJ, which historically has been a large bedroom community, does not have a significantly-developed state school system.

Temple serves suburban kids, and kids from other states and countries, sure, but it's there to serve city kids. I for one am glad it's there, and it's an asset to both PA and Philadelphia.

What's interesting is that even though NJ doesn't have a developed state school system, it also doesn't have a significant number of "good" or "great" colleges. (Just saying something is good because you live there doesn't count). Princeton is magnificent. Rutgers is good/great, and there are some others. However, PA has a whole realm of schools such as Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, Lehigh, Carnegie-Mellon, etc (the list goes on and on) to which NJ has no such counterparts. Nothing you say to demean PA will ever change this.

As a % more kids in NJ are going to Ivies (I don't know this for a fact but I'll assume it's true), but remember that when comparing all of NJ to all of PA, NJ is much more suburbanized and college-educated. There are huge swaths of PA that are rural with scattered small towns. For you to say you wouldn't choose PA (especially southeastern PA) to live with kids because there isn't pressure to do well in schools is ridiculous, and proof that you are a homer.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:56 AM
 
1,983 posts, read 6,842,474 times
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NJ is a small bedroom community state without a major city of its own. Colleges tend to gravitate around cities. There are fewer colleges in NJ but the options are still there. After Princeton which has no competition in Philly or PA, you have Drew, TCNJ as similar to the private liberal arts colleges in PA and others like Nova; Rider, Seton Hall are smaller versions of Drexel, Temple; NJIT has some engineering and science comparisons to Lehigh, etc. Rutgers and Penn State. Montclair and schools like West Chester. The Lehigh's, the Carnegie Mellon's, Penn, Swarthmore, etc. have a ton of kids from NJ, to a certain extent, NJ public schools have fed the competitive nature of these schools for decades.

If I had a high achieving child I would choose a NJ system over PA for competitiveness and overall reputation. NJ was just ranked #1 in the country for % kids attending a 4 year college. It's more competitive than PA. It's that simple. PA has some quality schools. No need to make it a pissing match.

Last edited by MoorestownResident; 06-30-2009 at 08:25 AM..
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:17 AM
 
2,783 posts, read 6,520,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoorestownResident View Post
After Princeton which has no competition in Philly or PA

If I had a high achieving child I would choose a NJ system over PA for competitiveness and overall reputation. NJ was just ranked #1 in the country for % kids attending a 4 year college. It's more competitive than PA. It's that simple. PA has some quality schools. No need to make it a pissing match.
God, you are such a troll, it's incredible. As far as making it a pissing match, speak for yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoorestownResident View Post
frankly, if I had a gifted student and wanted her to go to an IVY or equivalent or attend school of her choice on scholarship, I would not consider PA. And to avoid the inevitable argument, I know kids from PA go to top schools from some of PA's better districts, especially in Bucks County, but there's no way they go as frequently or have the reputation of Moorestown, Haddonfield or Princeton that have a very long history as feeder schools. No sense in trying to convince me either, it won't work.
My graduating class in Montco had 20+ kids get into Penn, amongst other great schools. What a joke of a post...
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