U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington > Seattle area
 [Register]
Seattle area Seattle and King County Suburbs
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-15-2008, 03:04 PM
 
9,638 posts, read 25,451,646 times
Reputation: 5341

Advertisements

There's been a lot of discussion here about school districts, and I've blabbed my opinions as much as anybody, but it got me thinking: Are people's definition of what a good school district is all the same?
Some people are going by test scores, what percentage of students pass the WASL tests, and by that measure Mercer Island and the rest of the eastside schools, and Maple Valley, Shoreline and a few others do very well. But what does that indicate about a school district? I really truly don't know the answer. What happens if only 60% of the students pass the WASL tests? Does it mean that the teachers are bad, or does it mean that the students are dunces and more energy and money has to be spend educating the dumb kids, and not enough resources are being allocated to your bright child?
Would a district like Mercer Island put a lot of academic pressure on it's students to excel, and is that a good thing?
Some people also judge districts based on the number of free or reduced lunches and the percentage of students in ESL classes. What's that about? Is it that we don't want our children having immigrants and poor kids as their classmates, or do we feel that to many resources will be expended in that direction, and not on our bright children?
My son went to Seattle public schools. I felt that he was safe in the schools, and had provided to him opportunities to excel and advance and do well in college. Yet I would say as a whole that the Seattle school district is awful, because as a parent you have to research schools thoroughly, there are tons of bad ones, and the administration is incompetent.
Kent, on the other hand, has a pretty bad percentage of students passing the WASL, but has a gifted, advanced student program that is award winning and has a great reputation.
What makes a good school, and what make s a good school district?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-15-2008, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Lowlands
271 posts, read 1,165,377 times
Reputation: 168
Realtors and parents think all school districts are 'award winning'.

If only 60% of student pass tests, it doesn't mean that the school district is bad. It usually means that the parents of the children in that district are bad parents, not the schools themselves. They still have very smart children from those schools.

The more rural the school, the safer the school would be, IMHO.

A good school district to me is one that doesn't put ballot measure to vote taxes increases each and every year, thinking money will fix all the problems.
I also think a school that teaches a single religion of any kind is bad (most private schools?), I was taught about all religions at my public school.

Last edited by jinj; 07-15-2008 at 06:19 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-15-2008, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,871 posts, read 16,208,283 times
Reputation: 2674
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinj View Post
Realtors and parents think all school districts are 'award winning'.
I would be helpful if we could answer the OP's questions. The OP shows he is both a realtor and a parent, and he clearly stated no such opinion.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-15-2008, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
485 posts, read 1,846,282 times
Reputation: 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ira500 View Post
There's been a lot of discussion here about school districts, and I've blabbed my opinions as much as anybody, but it got me thinking: Are people's definition of what a good school district is all the same?
No. But when most people ask which is the best or which is good, I think they usually mean a well-funded, mostly white, upper-middle class school. Maybe that's fine for a lot of kids, but my daughter is special-needs and that type of school might not be best for her. What I have discovered is that as a parent, you must research and interview prospective schools - even public ones. There are huge differences in how schools are run, what they focus on, if the staff is happy there (makes a big difference), how big the school is...etc. Perhaps your child is really into sports...then you might want to focus on a school that has a wide variety and goes to championships. Some schools have great drama depts, some have high academic standards... It's hard to answer the "what schools are good" question because it's so subjective. My "good" is a smaller neighborhood school with a close-knit faculty and parent group, and a good special needs program. Someone else's "good" might be a large school with lots of extra-curricular activities and a high profile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ira500 View Post
Some people are going by test scores, what percentage of students pass the WASL tests.......But what does that indicate about a school district?
Could it mean that the kids are bright on the whole? Or could it mean that the teachers are teaching to the test?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ira500 View Post
Some people also judge districts based on the number of free or reduced lunches and the percentage of students in ESL classes. What's that about? Is it that we don't want our children having immigrants and poor kids as their classmates, or do we feel that to many resources will be expended in that direction, and not on our bright children?
Well, I think I know what that's about. It is assumed - and maybe it's true in some cases - that lower-income families are less committed to being an integral part of their child's education. It's assumed that these children aren't held to a high academic standard by their parents, therefore, the value of the education at the school decreases as a whole. This is not to say that all upper-income families are all involved in their kids' education either, but their kids might be more inclined to follow in their parents' professional footsteps. Think too about the types of teachers who would WANT to teach at an underperforming school or a school with a high percentage of under-privileged kids --- they are either really dedicated to wanting to help this population of kids (and there probably aren't many of those) or they are new teachers who were placed there on their first jobs and at first chance will move onto a more upper-income school (I know some teachers so...).

As a realtor, perhaps when people ask what the "good" schools are, you should ask them to define what they think a good school is. I bet you'd be surprised at the variety of answers you get.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-15-2008, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
485 posts, read 1,846,282 times
Reputation: 135
Did some more research on a site called schooldigger.com and there is a definite correlation between the % of students who get free lunch and low standardized test scores. I was really surprised. Interestingly there were a couple of schools (I was looking at Texas schools) that scored very high AND had almost 100% of students on free lunch. Those are obviously the exceptions, but it proves that low-income students can perform very well as a group too. Most schools in the high scoring areas came from upper-income neighborhoods...so that's probably where all the assumptions come from...there's some data to back them up.

The other thing that was funny was that a lot of low scoring schools have names like XYZ "Academy" and XYZ "School of Excellence".
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-16-2008, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Happiness is found inside your smile :)
3,178 posts, read 13,964,950 times
Reputation: 1286
Supposedly the Seattle school my son is in is good - supposedly it's a feeder school from the Spectrum program.

SUPPOSEDLY.

They haven't taught him more than what he could have learned on his own. They've never challnged him. The principal and her staff are ignorant, and only self serving (and that assistant is cranky!)

I grew up in LA and do not know about those safe school in suburbs (we were in the suburbs but kids were bussed into our schools from bad neighborhoods all over)

And I don't think the "mostly white" statement applies. Our school has alot of of white kids or asian. And I find my son is losing out on diversity. And I can only imagine how bright the white is over in the suburbs!! Their might be sercuirty for kids but when do they learn about accepting of one another - and not supriority?

So what is good to me, an outstanding interactive staff, teachers that know strengths and weakness of whom they teach so they can challenge when the need arrives, keep my child engaged so that he comes to school "looking for more" or hungry for learning, and cultural, so that it's just like life outside school.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-16-2008, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
485 posts, read 1,846,282 times
Reputation: 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by CityGirl72 View Post
And I don't think the "mostly white" statement applies. Our school has alot of of white kids or asian. And I find my son is losing out on diversity. And I can only imagine how bright the white is over in the suburbs!! Their might be sercuirty for kids but when do they learn about accepting of one another - and not supriority?
I agree with you. I'm not personally saying that "mostly white" makes a better school, I'm saying that spoken or unspoken, I believe when most people say they want a "good" school that that's something they are looking for...whether it's right or wrong.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-16-2008, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Happiness is found inside your smile :)
3,178 posts, read 13,964,950 times
Reputation: 1286
Dude could I have MORE typos in my posts - that is what I get for typing fast with a bowl of Cheerios in my lap
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-16-2008, 02:28 PM
 
9,638 posts, read 25,451,646 times
Reputation: 5341
I'm not personally saying that "mostly white" makes a better school, I'm saying that spoken or unspoken, I believe when most people say they want a "good" school that that's something they are looking for...whether it's right or wrong

More than that, I think when many people talk about "good schools" not only do they want "mostly white", they also want "mostly rich or at least mostly upper middle class".
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-16-2008, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Austin 'burbs
3,226 posts, read 13,330,472 times
Reputation: 777
Quote:
I think when many people talk about "good schools" not only do they want "mostly white", they also want "mostly rich or at least mostly upper middle class".
Totally disagree.

I think a "good school district" means different things to different people. Some people only are focused on stats and test scores. Other people want to know what level of parent involvement one could expect, and what time of "extras" the school provides. Some people (like me, with a special needs child) are more concerned about level of funding, bonds that have passed, or recent proposals... and outcome of votes on such, voting history in a specific district.

I have 3 kids. 2 in elementary. I have been in an average school district and now I am in one considered as one of the best. Both were diverse, though the one we are in now is more so because the area as a whole is more diverse than Seattle is. I don't know anyone who doesn't appreciate diversity? Maybe in Alabama or Kentucky....

... as for "mostly rich", I would choose a good district with average incomes over "the best" with higher than average incomes. Besides probably being priced out of the later (which makes my personal choice easy), bored rich kids are problems waiting to happen.

I don't know, I have never once considered % who receive free lunch, nor really cared much about the % of ESL. It's all about funding for me. That's not to say that other people don't care. Maybe those people don't care about funding. Or some care about gifted programs. Or what language is offered. Or... Or... Or...

It's all subjective and specific to each family.

What does this have to do with Washington, or Seattle??
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington > Seattle area
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top