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Raising Kids in The City

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Raising Kids in The City

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 106 total)
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  • #548366

    jillg
    Participant

    Oh, and yeah, +1 to Aaron’s post.

    #548367

    joev
    Participant

    Walker said:
    Keep in mind that the boundaries of these neighborhoods don’t overlap 1-to-1 with the school boundaries. The same information disparity exists when evaluating statistics from zip code data. German Village is 43206, but that zip also includes a huge swath of the southeast side all the way over to Driving Park.

    The neighborhood schools in German Village, Merion Village and Schumacher Place universally stink. Siebert Elementary, two blocks from Schiller Park, is one of the worst elementaries in the whole system.

    #548369
    Josh Lapp
    Josh Lapp
    Participant

    lattethunder said:
    These are a little contradictory though. If you see a problem with a school with a high proverty rate versus one that’s mixed income, then wouldn’t you see how what school you go to does matter?

    I can see how you could think that but the comments are really focused on two different subjects:

    For those kids whose parents are active, involved, and of means, no i’m not sure that their children’s ‘success’ in school and in life is going to depend on what school they go to. For those kids who are basically coming from institutional poverty, then yes I think it does matter. Its much like the failed public housing schemes of the last 60 years, concentrated poverty is never a good thing.

    To build on that, check out the big NYT’s expose on where you are more likely to rise out of poverty. Columbus and other midwestern and southern cities tended to rank very low. It also happens that these are places with a stark urban/suburban divides, I’d imagine the reality in the other cities are the same as Columbus in that when the time for kids comes, its either the suburbs or private school.

    #548370

    joev
    Participant

    I don’t really think Columbus has a “stark urban/suburban divide.” Columbus owns a lot of its suburbs (Clintonville) and many inner neighborhoods are affluent. Certainly moreso that the other cities in the state. The only similarity is that our schools aren’t very good.

    #548371

    heresthecasey
    Participant

    joev said:
    The neighborhood schools in German Village, Merion Village and Schumacher Place universally stink. Siebert Elementary, two blocks from Schiller Park, is one of the worst elementaries in the whole system.

    The schools may be physically located in or zoned to serve those neighborhoods, but I don’t think right now that any of them are truly “neighborhood schools.”

    Siebert, like 5th Ave, appears to largely be filled with students not representative of those within its boundaries. According to the ODE database Miriam posted earlier, for 2011-2012 of 211 total students 95% were economically disadvantaged. Meaning that 200 students were, and only 11 were not. That in and of itself has to be contributing to a kind of negative feedback loop with families of means like howatzer was talking about.

    Similarly, of Livingston Elementary’s 337 students all of them are listed as economically disadvantaged, with zero kids who aren’t, in the entire school. I’m willing to bet then that virtually none of those kids are from east of Parsons despite that area being over half of where the school is zoned for.

    #548372

    joev
    Participant

    Yeah, I think you’re right. Siebert has a large proportion of Somali students – and there is not a large Somali population in or near the neighborhood.

    #548373

    fensterbme
    Participant

    Walker said:

    Something really important to keep in mind is that CCS is the largest district IN THE STATE with 118 individual schools within it. Which means that this “sub-par educational system” actually has both some of the best schools in the region *and* some of the worst schools in the region. Simultaneously.

    This isn’t lost on me in the least, and while it’s true that there are *some* of the best schools and *some* of the worst it’s not like the word “some” is equal, I think it’s pretty misleading in fact. The reality is that Columbus Schools has a very small handful of those 118 schools are on par with other top performance schools in other districts, however the large majority of schools lag far behind most other schools in other districts. So yes there is diversity in those numbers and you can point to a few places and say ‘this is great’, but overall those are outliers I think and don’t reflect what the vast majority of kids who enter the doors of a Columbus school experience.

    It’s also true that not every big name suburban school performs well, they don’t. But the vast majority of suburban schools far outpace the performance of schools in Columbus.

    So when I said that Columbus Schools are pretty clearly sub par (based on metrics), I don’t see how one would come to the conclusion that they aren’t? That seems to be what Columbus Schools administrations officials and the mayor are both saying…

    Walker said:

    It sounds like the one school you’ve experienced is shitty, and that sucks, and you certainly should find a better option elsewhere. But it’s also completely unfounded for you to try to label the entire school district as worthless when other schools in the district offer a better experience than what you received.

    Actually supposedly our school Westgate Alternative is supposed to be one of the better schools in the system. For us the jury is still out, but up to this point my wife and I have not been impressed. Most of our dealings up to this point have been with administration and registration folks. Some of the teachers and a PTA person were great actually. We are trying to be hopeful, and are looking forward to a meeting at the school here in a few hours.

    I think one of the most frustrating aspect is on the sheer amount of effort required to get movement on things, it’s exhausting and even the other parents we have talked with seem to say that there are individual teachers who are good (which is a big key good thing), but seem to share the frustration around the administration and dealing with the pretty limited constraints they have (which is wildly frustrating when folks take into account how much money Columbus spends per student compared to other systems).

    We are going to watch things in the next few weeks, but are also investigating other options (which hopefully we won’t need). But long term, I don’t know… I’ll be surprised if we don’t move, which is pretty painful as someone who has watched the city core vastly improve in the last two decades. I am a huge Columbus fan, and think there is tons that rightly deserve to be celebrated. I just think that the schools aren’t one of them, and frankly are one of the only really aspect of the city that has a massive short coming.

    Aaron Marshall said:

    First of all, I utterly reject the notion that kids in Columbus Public schools can not get a quality education on par with Dublin/Worthington or wherever.
    I graduated from a Columbus Public school and I graduated with AP credit, top SAT scores, Ivy League school acceptance etc etc. Everything that you would want for your kid.

    It’s totally true that there are students that come out of Columbus Schools and can be very academically successful and go to Ivy League schools. I think it’s also fair to say that these students are very much outliers, and more so that you find in the higher performing suburban and private school systems.

    Aaron Marshall said:

    One key difference is that in Columbus Public you can’t just count on a quality educational experience happening because you got your kid on the school bus and off to school. Sadly, a bunch of Columbus schools are not that good to downright bad (South High being the most obvious example) and you have to investigate the different options and find a good one that fits your kid. It’s hard work.

    And here’s another key point: Your kid will not have the typical suburban experience in Columbus Public. Your kid will likely not go to school with any rich kids, and most of the kids will not be white. You may not be able to relate very well to the parents of the other kids, they will be working people.

    And there will be a few shady characters at the school probably selling drugs, some kids that go to school with your kid will get pregnant, and a few of them will be homeless or sleeping on their aunt’s couch or whatever.
    There will be kids that have real problems, just like in the real world.

    Your child’s school will not be a shelter from the world, it will be an exposure to the world.

    Your kid will probably have to swim upstream a little bit to get that high quality education. There will be kids in school with them that aren’t going to college and maybe aren’t really interested in school. It won’t be as easy for your kid to get a good education as it might be at Worthington/Dublin. But they can get it. That’s the downside.

    The upside is that they will go to school with a whole bunch of different types of people. They will go to school with black kids, Hispanic kids, Asians kids. Some kids will be Muslim, some kids will have families who just immigrated from Mexico and Central America and Africa. It will be a reflection of the world we live in, not a distortion.

    And your kid will leave Columbus Public understanding a whole hell of a lot more about how to relate to different people than the kids in Worthington or Dublin. They will be more prepared for interacting with other human beings.

    So what do you value? That’s what this is really about.

    Well stated…

    These are all very true, and there are non-academic pluses to being in a diverse climate. It’s one of the reasons we have for over fifteen years choose to live downtown or near downtown. We very much value our children being able to see the diversity of life (or at least a good bit of it). I’m totally pro socioeconomic and racial diversity in our schools.

    But if I want that diversity, I shouldn’t have to fight the system at every turn and deal with a bureaucracy that seems to be failing in almost all areas. I should be able to get both a diverse view for my children and a heathy academic culture.

    Personally if we eventually do decide to relocate to the burbs of some sort, our children will find themselves volunteering and working along side people who will be socioeconomically disadvantaged as I will want to try to fight all the biases they will be confronted with which could lead them to believe that everyone is a well off, etc.

    jillg said:
    fensterbme & stinkybomb,
    my kid is also starting kindergarten at westgate this year. i had some concerns after the ice cream social as well, but after yesterday (our orientation day) i felt a lot better. i think we’re going to give it some more time before we make up our minds about the school. we have two neighbors that sent their kids there for kindergarten last year and they had a good experience. feel free to message me if either of you would like to talk about it in more detail.

    Glad to hear that… We have our orientation meeting this afternoon, and am very much looking forward to it.

    Yes, I’ve heard some pretty good things generally from other folks about the school and was led to believe that while part of Columbus Schools it was a really healthy school and the teachers were great, etc. So I was a bit surprised when we actually started going through the process… I do think that there is a solid PTA, and that there are some teachers that are great.

    We are trying to be optimistic, and are going to wait a while and see how thing settle out before we would make any movements. Look for a PM from me, curious to know which class your in..

    #548374

    jillg
    Participant

    fensterbme, sorry, i would have sent you a pm but i couldn’t figure out how to do that. (not very cu savvy!)

    #548375

    Graybeak
    Participant

    Walker said:
    That’s an incredibly condescending and insulting thing to ask anyone. It’s a loaded question and a much more complex an issue than that.

    Something really important to keep in mind is that CCS is the largest district IN THE STATE with 118 individual schools within it. Which means that this “sub-par educational system” actually has both some of the best schools in the region *and* some of the worst schools in the region. Simultaneously.

    It sounds like the one school you’ve experienced is shitty, and that sucks, and you certainly should find a better option elsewhere. But it’s also completely unfounded for you to try to label the entire school district as worthless when other schools in the district offer a better experience than what you received.

    Let’s try to keep an open mind about the options out there and not step into the territory of casting judgement on the parenting choices of others.

    Looking at this new grading system, I almost have to disagree with you on this Walker. The grades for the entire Columbus School District are pretty grim. Of course, this says the grades are based upon 2011 findings. So perhaps there has been some improvement since then.

    #548376

    GCrites80s
    Participant

    That new grading system seems to be a lot harder on the “corn schools” out in semi-rural and rural areas than the old one was. So now they’re getting aligned more with the Appalachian counties.

    #548378

    dirtgirl
    Participant

    A couple notes about the new grading system. “Standards met” tells you how kids do on standardized tests, which we already know is a proxy for poverty, so that’s pretty useless as a measure. The value-added scores tell you how well the schools improve those test scores over the course of a school year. And they are now doing value-added scores for different subgroups like gifted kids, disabled kids and bottom-scoring kids. That’s where the suburban schools who formerly got “excellent” ratings are now seeing lots of Fs. They do a great job for the kids in the middle, but horribly for anyone outside the norm. The fact that the state is forcing schools to pay attention to these things is a good thing.

    Another point that struck me (made by a teacher on the Clintonville Education Facebook group) was how significant the number of economically disadvantaged kids in a class can make a difference. She noted that if you have 5 of them, you can focus and really make sure they get what they need. If you have 20, all bets are off.

    Having critical mass of involved parents is going to mean that kids with special needs are identified and get the services they need, kids will get supplemental help at home, and teachers can focus on the kids who need extra help or extra challenges. I hope the Short North parents group succeeds because there is absolutely no reason they can’t see the successes that Clintonville has experienced. I have a hunch we aren’t that much more well-off financially in the 43202.

    #548379

    joev
    Participant

    dirtgirl said:
    A couple notes about the new grading system. “Standards met” tells you how kids do on standardized tests, which we already know is a proxy for poverty, so that’s pretty useless as a measure. The value-added scores tell you how well the schools improve those test scores over the course of a school year. And they are now doing value-added scores for different subgroups like gifted kids, disabled kids and bottom-scoring kids. That’s where the suburban schools who formerly got “excellent” ratings are now seeing lots of Fs. They do a great job for the kids in the middle, but horribly for anyone outside the norm. The fact that the state is forcing schools to pay attention to these things is a good thing.

    Another point that struck me (made by a teacher on the Clintonville Education Facebook group) was how significant the number of economically disadvantaged kids in a class can make a difference. She noted that if you have 5 of them, you can focus and really make sure they get what they need. If you have 20, all bets are off.

    Having critical mass of involved parents is going to mean that kids with special needs are identified and get the services they need, kids will get supplemental help at home, and teachers can focus on the kids who need extra help or extra challenges. I hope the Short North parents group succeeds because there is absolutely no reason they can’t see the successes that Clintonville has experienced. I have a hunch we aren’t that much more well-off financially in the 43202.

    Maybe busing to mix students of different backgrounds within the district could help? Parental involvement is the real variable, more than wealth, though they are somewhat linked.

    #548380

    Aaron Marshall
    Participant

    joev said:
    Maybe busing to mix students of different backgrounds within the district could help? Parental involvement is the real variable, more than wealth, though they are somewhat linked.

    That’s why the white people left to start with.

    #548381
    Chris Sunami
    Chris Sunami
    Participant

    fensterbme said:
    I think the last decade the city has improved a ton and has successfully drawn a lot of people to it (lots of them younger professionals, etc.), the question is as they these people get older, get married and have children if they will continue to live downtown or if they will then move back out to the suburbs to get a quality education for their kids.

    You have to factor generational change into this. Once there is a critical mass of highly involved parents in the urban area, the urban schools will improve. There isn’t anything intrinsically better about schools in suburban areas. The teachers aren’t even better there, they just have more resources and more involved parents. Moving to the suburbs because the schools there are “better” is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    for a lot of upper income younger downtown residents they won’t hesitate to move back out to the burbs for good schools.

    I don’t know if your definition of “good” includes racism, class consciousness and entitlement, but that’s part of the hidden curriculum in many a suburban school. It’s not necessarily less problems out there, just different ones. And whoever it was that said there are just as much drugs in the suburban schools as the urban ones was absolutely correct.

    Aaron Marshall
    First of all, I utterly reject the notion that kids in Columbus Public schools can not get a quality education on par with Dublin/Worthington or wherever.
    I graduated from a Columbus Public school and I graduated with AP credit, top SAT scores, Ivy League school acceptance etc etc. Everything that you would want for your kid.

    You and I both graduated from the same, nationally recognized, award-winning Columbus Public high school. But to be fair, the number of students who get into CAHS are only a small fraction of the school system as a whole. I wouldn’t have any hesitations about sending my own child to most of the CCS magnet schools, but if I’m being honest, the neighborhood schools are a different story. When we didn’t get into Indianola this year, we elected to go with a charter.

    With that said, between the magnets, the private schools, the charters and the religious schools, there’s no reason anyone with the resources to move to the suburbs couldn’t get the same caliber of education without leaving the urban area.

    #548382

    Aaron Marshall
    Participant

    ChrisSunami said:
    You have to factor generational change into this. Once there is a critical mass of highly involved parents in the urban area, the urban schools will improve. There isn’t anything intrinsically better about schools in suburban areas. The teachers aren’t even better there, they just have more resources and more involved parents. Moving to the suburbs because the schools there are “better” is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    I don’t know if your definition of “good” includes racism, class consciousness and entitlement, but that’s part of the hidden curriculum in many a suburban school. It’s not necessarily less problems out there, just different ones. And whoever it was that said there are just as much drugs in the suburban schools as the urban ones was absolutely correct.

    You and I both graduated from the same, nationally recognized, award-winning Columbus Public high school. But to be fair, the number of students who get into CAHS are only a small fraction of the school system as a whole. I wouldn’t have any hesitations about sending my own child to most of the CCS magnet schools, but if I’m being honest, the neighborhood schools are a different story. When we didn’t get into Indianola this year, we elected to go with a charter.

    With that said, between the magnets, the private schools, the charters and the religious schools, there’s no reason anyone with the resources to move to the suburbs couldn’t get the same caliber of education without leaving the urban area.

    I think there is more drugs in suburban high schools honestly. Drugs cost money except for weed.

    Fort Hayes, Columbus International, Metro, Centennial…there’s some good high schools in the Columbus system beyond CAHS. (Which I’ve heard has slipped a bit but who knows…)

    You behind me a couple grades at CAHS?

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