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Posted: 11/20/2001 12:23:57 PM EST
Here is the dilemma that I am facing and need some advice and insights on how public schools work. I am about to enroll my son next year in kindergarten at the local public school near my home. Did some research and here are the statistics for that particular elementary school. Academic Performance Index for Asians/White = 863 points average Academic Performance Index for Hispanics/Blacks = 571 points average **Notes** Why they break it down that way beats me. So my question to all the parents who currently have children in public schools is: 1.) Do public schools in general teach to the lowest denominator? Or do they teach kids according to ones level? I am 34 years old so it’s been quite awhile since I had any dealing / contact with public schools. Private schools out of the equation due to financial situation. Personal RANT (not meant to be racist) but why can’t the blacks and mexicans get off their asses and bring their academic scores up? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that hard work equals good grade. Felixcat in Los Angeles
Link Posted: 11/20/2001 1:23:15 PM EST
Altough I don't have kids in public school, I think I am qualified to expound on this a little bit. First of all, my kids go to private school. My daughter is in 3rd grade and my son just started kindergarten. Like you, I live in a state with a huge minority population (Florida). Like CA our schools are overcrowded, underfunded and for the most part pretty poor. IMHO, the teachers care but just do not get the support they deserve and need from the public school system. Private schools (while sometimes expensive) almost always offer a better education. My daughter is in third grade and is doing long division problems in math and is beginning basic algebraic equations. She also reads on a post high school level and I have the SAT scores to prove it. My son is already reading (in kindergarten) and both have been writing in cursive since they began school. I would like to be able to say this is because I am such a great parent or that my kids are geniuses, but the the truth is, private school is what has made them excell academically. My advice to you is to put your kids in private school. Shop around. While some are very pricey, there are always some that are affordable. Even if you have to sacrifice financially it will be worth it in the end. You won't regret it. Best of luck yo you!!!!!
Link Posted: 11/20/2001 1:30:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/20/2001 1:23:16 PM EST by jhasz]
I just noticed that you were from CA... I would echo muzlblast's post. Put your kid in private school. We moved out of CA last year, and as part of that plan we are now home schooling my daughter. She was in private school until 8th gread (it was part of our church) and she simply shone academically. We would have put her into a private H.S., but they want as much per year now as my first year of college cost! We can get a complete curriculumm record keeping and all for $500 or less. One of them that is availalbe uses the H.S. versions of some of the books she used in 6,7, 8th grades. Not knowing your situation - I'd say home school if you can, but it takes time and dedication. Our first year was a bit of a struggle, for both parents and child. We're doing much better this year though. If you don't have that kind of time (and lots of people don't) I'd say go the private school route. Good luck Edited because while my daughter is good at spelling - I'm not...[:D]
Link Posted: 11/20/2001 1:36:02 PM EST
this is really an impossible question to answer...because not all public school (or school systems) are created equally. mine for example was very good. if there was a lack of achievement it was on the students' or the students' parents' heads, not the teachers. on the other hand, there are some horrible public schools out there. the only thing you can do is compare the school system your child(ren) will be enrolled in to YOUR OWN STANDARDS. comparing them to any other public school system is ludicrous if your children can't attend any of the others. besides, it may be the worst school system, but if it fits your standards, then i'd say you're okay. conversely, it may be the absolute best school/school system in the whole U.S. of A., but if it doesn't rise to your standards, why would you waste your time enrolling your children in it. and then there's the issue of academic performance. that's really only a small indication of the kind of education your child will receive. what kind of politics will he come into contact with? and then there's the individual teachers. kindergarten teacher may be right on, but first grade might suck majorly. of course, the same arguments applies to private schools. which is why i'll be homeschooling. [:D]
Link Posted: 11/20/2001 1:36:07 PM EST
I am not a parent, but i live in CA and my mom is a public school teacher. Let me say it all comes down to $$$ (no surprise, right?) Each school district / school is going to be different. LA Unified is awful and though there are a few good schools in the district, the admin is so messed up that it has to be difficult to get a good ed. However, south OC would probably be a different story. Keep looking at the school rankings, and compare the test scores not just in the district, but vs. other nearby districts. I think the races are broken down that way, since Asains are not considered a minority for UC/CSU system (go figure). I guess Asians are too smart to be minorities. Tho i am sure you can figure out the real reason. I am sure that a bunch of people are going to say home schooling is the only way to go, but there are definite advantages to public schools. Such as meeting people of all races, ethnicities and economic levels. I think kids in public schools get a better taste of reality than some private schools. But if your local school sux, then u gotta do what is best. Also, sports/competion levels tend to be better, if they are into that. Good luck.
Link Posted: 11/20/2001 1:49:17 PM EST
Originally Posted By CalGat: I am sure that a bunch of people are going to say home schooling is the only way to go, but there are definite advantages to public schools. Such as meeting people of all races, ethnicities and economic levels. I think kids in public schools get a better taste of reality than some private schools.
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not to pick on you or flame, but is this based on your personal real life experience with both kinds of education? or is it based on a stereotype or vague notion you have about the differences between public schools and private schools/homeschooling? [b](remember not a flame, so please don't get angry. i'm curious about this exxagerated generalization, that is all.)[/b] i've always wondered why so many people think that homeschooling or private schools are like caves when it comes to children and social interaction. i spent my first years of education (up to 5th grade) at a private school. from 6th grade on i was in the public school system. the only difference i saw was that the public school kids were cruder, had less positive parental involvement, and less ambition/desire to succeed, IN GENERAL. other than that, discounting the religious aspect of the private school since there's no comparable in the public school), the social interaction i got, the [i]reality[/i] i got was the same. seems to me that parents who invest both the time and the money for homeschooling and/or private schools are certainly not going to let their children's social education fall by the wayside. why can't a homeschooled or private school student get to meet as diverse a group as a public school student? of course they may not get that diversity [i]in the school system[/i], but that is not the only place children interact with other people. school is for ACADEMIC EDUCATION, that is, readin', writin', and 'rithmetic. any other benefits accrued from attendance are merely icing on the cake. i think our society is becoming too dependent on our schools (public or private) to do the things that parents should be doing.
Link Posted: 11/20/2001 2:15:09 PM EST
My daughter, now graduated, attended public school. She made excellent (inflated) grades and made out OK. Graduated HS with honors while attending vocational school and obtaining her cosmetology license. She took advantage of a program here in OHio that gave her dual HS and college credit for same college classes and the school system paid the bills!! (Boy did they HATE it!) Her local HS really pissed and moaned when she earned honors but had never set foot in the HS district she graduated from. Tried all kinds of dodges to avoid giving her what she earned by hard work!! Dad made LOUD noises and she got her just deserts! It embarrassed her when dad went to school and insisted the teachers do right. I am sure a couple times many of the kids heard the voices in the office! Teachers knew who I was and that I wanted my kid to do well, no matter what. I was not an ass with them but was rather uncompromising. Most respected my committment. She thanked me a few years out of school for insisting she have the basic tools to make her way in the world. She is now in RN school and dad is most proud of her!!
Link Posted: 11/20/2001 2:15:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/20/2001 2:18:17 PM EST by MickeyMouse]
CONTINUED Your kids can get about as good an education as you DEMAND that they get! Minority kids perform poorly for many reasons and most of those are not the fault of the schools. Funding has been proved to have little to do with it either. Course work is dumbed down and there are few demands that the kids perform. This is where you come in!! Review all your kids work and add to it as you think needed. Look over their homework - daily. Get a tutor if needed even though the school is likely to oppose it. NEVER miss a parent teacher conference and make it clear that YOU expect YOUR child to behave and perform at their peak (of their ability). Anything less, correct the problem with your kid and determine if you need a one on one with their teacher. Not with a chip on your shoulder, just concern and an insistance on excellence. If the teacher does not demonstrate adequate motivation confer with administration and be FIRM. Not every teacher or class will meet your expectations but most kids can survive one or two duds; most of us have. Squeaking wheel gets the grease! All schools have something called "the course of study" or similar title. It is an outline of each grade's goals in each subject. It is a public record. Teachers and administrators DO NOT want you to see it. Buy a copy and go over it carefully. Convince yourself your kid meets the goals each semester. If not, find out why. Hold the schools feet to the fire as well as your kid's. Review what they are taught and overcome any feel good, self esteem BS the school promotes. Remember ALL public schools inflate grades to make themselves look better. One way this is done is a different interpretation of % vs letter grades. Example, A used to be 95 to 100%, now as low as 85% in some areas! Many other sneaky methods used to accomplish the same goal - watch them. Many schools use "whole language" approach to failure. Fight it!! Phonics works, whole language does not. Period. Buy a private phonics course and USE it! There are several. Do this BEFORE your kid begins school! (For proof of need just look at the spelling on this or any other board!) Do not be misled by the BS of the school not wanting you to teach your kid anything at home!! Determine what the school is teaching and reinforce it - repeatedly. They no longer want to damage some kids self esteem by making him stand up and do spelling bees or flash cards. Crappola!!! You, on the other hand, can and should do better! Be active, demand excellence, reward your childs good performance with generous praise. Motivate them. Motivate their teacher. Donate a few bucks toward special supplies if you can (nearly all teachers buy such stuff), whatever shows your interest and dedication. Be ACTIVE in their school. Attend events. Attend board meetings and make yourself heard. A better public education, one based on high standards and difficult course work, benefits us all. Do not get caught up in the sports and other activities that so often overshadow academics. Be aware of and limit how much your kid is involved in and make sure they understand that academics is very high on your scale of priorities! Be a responsible parent, it REALLY helps!
Link Posted: 11/20/2001 2:20:39 PM EST
Originally Posted By felixcat: Here is the dilemma that I am facing and need some advice and insights on how public schools work. I am about to enroll my son next year in kindergarten at the local public school near my home. Did some research and here are the statistics for that particular elementary school. Academic Performance Index for Asians/White = 863 points average Academic Performance Index for Hispanics/Blacks = 571 points average **Notes** Why they break it down that way beats me. So my question to all the parents who currently have children in public schools is: 1.) Do public schools in general teach to the lowest denominator? Or do they teach kids according to ones level? I am 34 years old so it’s been quite awhile since I had any dealing / contact with public schools. Private schools out of the equation due to financial situation. Personal RANT (not meant to be racist) but why can’t the blacks and mexicans get off their asses and bring their academic scores up? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that hard work equals good grade. Felixcat in Los Angeles
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They teach to the lowest denominator and this takes up all of their time. If I was your age, middle class, and lived in LA I'd move. This is our last year of busing in Charlotte, NC as it just hasn't worked for anyone. We go to neighborhood schools next fall and that isn't fair to the poor. I'm not a liberal--far from it--I'm just stating a fact. We do have magnet schools through a lottery system and these are specialized schools such as: Montessori, Arts, Sciences, Math, Etc. The parents are involved and kids of all races and cultures do equally well because the parents are involved. The majority of kids will only do well if their parents can and will help them with their homework. I know it's very difficult to move and I feel sorry for you. Work more and pay for private school, move to another school district, or know that you're going to have to force your kids to reach beyond what they are taught. I sincerely hope things work out for your kids.
Link Posted: 11/20/2001 2:24:33 PM EST
ARLady, i did generalize, but i wasn't necessarily putting down home schooling. Just the stereotypical isolationist/cave living/wacko-religious/political extreme that some people tend to take it to. If homeschooling is the best option in your area, then so be it. I think we both agree that the districts/schools/teachers vary a lot, so it can be hard to compare. To me, its usually the one-on-one teacher/student relationship that is the most important to getting a good education. (Next to the parent/child relationship, of course) However, i believe that varity is the spice of life, and even if the kid is taught by some crazy lib, at least they get exposed to other ideas. Of course there is the danger of indoctrination. But that should mainly be up to the parent to monitor and correct. I also think that being well rounded is important. In my area the private schools attract the wealthy and elitists for the most part. I think that learning the 3R's is important, but there is also a lot to be said about comomn sense. It is not just icing on the cake. We all know people who are book smart, but real-world ignorant. And kids spend 6+ hours a day at school, so that is where the majority of interaction with their peers is going to occur. Again i think we tend to agree that every situation is different and hard to compare. If the best option is private school, the i say go for it. But if the public schools are at or near the same level of quality education, then i would advise his child go to the public school. If they are bad, then there is nothing wrong with private schooling or other options. But living in SoCal he should have a wide varity of public schools to take a good look at first.
Link Posted: 11/20/2001 2:31:10 PM EST
Originally Posted By ARlady: i spent my first years of education (up to 5th grade) at a private school. from 6th grade on i was in the public school system. the only difference i saw was that the public school kids were cruder, had less positive parental involvement, and less ambition/desire to succeed, IN GENERAL. other than that, discounting the religious aspect of the private school since there's no comparable in the public school), the social interaction i got, the [i]reality[/i] i got was the same.
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I was the opposite, Public schools from K-8 then a private High School. I'll have to disagree, all the people in my high school made judgements, saying all the public school systems are racist, and all this liberal crap. They based this on the articles handed out by the socialist teachers.(Definately unbiased right???). I would tell them my EXPERIANCes in the public schools, and they would say it can't be right, because that's not what the "article" (really op-ed pieces) said. They had no basis of reality, most of them had never been in school with anybody but a bunch of pasty white people, their experiance of race was in Spanish class, "celebrating" Dia de Los Muertos o Cinco de Mayo. I tihnk private schools offer alot socially, but if you enroll your child in one, teach him how to fight, and how to stand up for himself, my parents didn't do that(they spouted the line: "Tell a teacher" even though everytime I did, I got in trouble) and I had to learn it by myself to survive.
Link Posted: 11/20/2001 2:40:29 PM EST
Oh boy. OK, here's my $0.02. In [i]some[/i] (probably more rural, probably less urban) public schools it is possible for your children to get a good education. However, they have to [i]want[/i] it and work for it, because the system is so busy dealing with the kids who aren't that they don't make getting a good education easy, just possible. There are those schools so far gone that getting even a mediocre education is essentially not possible. With private schools there is much better control over the student population, and overall the quality of teaching can be better because the teachers don't have to spend so much of their time on discipline and paperwork. This does not guarantee a good education, though. The child still has to work at it. It's up to you to determine if the school is one of those beyond hope, and it's up to you to help motivate your child if he or she isn't the self-motivating type. And it's up to you whether or not you can afford to put your kid through private school. If you can, I would - it gives them a better chance to do well later in life.
Link Posted: 11/20/2001 2:42:54 PM EST
oh, i didn't mean to imply that i got the impression you were putting them down. but the phrasing you used in your original post did imply, to my reading, that public schools were the only avenue to getting those other things. i agree that exposure to vareity, diversity, etc. make a child well-rounded. and being well-rounded is good. you're right. we do agree there. but i want to know why the general consensus is that kids that are in a private school or those that are homeschooled do NOT get that kind of exposure. [i]that[/i] is all i meant in my question.
I think that learning the 3R's is important, but there is also a lot to be said about comomn sense. It is not just icing on the cake. We all know people who are book smart, but real-world ignorant. And kids spend 6+ hours a day at school, so that is where the majority of interaction with their peers is going to occur.
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yes, there is a lot to be said for common sense. but i think you misunderstood my comment regarding icing on the cake. school has but one function: to educate. not to socialize or make a child a better person. if i wanted somebody else to rear my children, i'd send them off to daycare or let someone else adopt them. it is [b]MY[/b] responsibility to see that they learn how to think for themselves, that they learn to think logically and use common sense. it is NOT the responsibility of the schools or the teachers. if, however, the child also learns these things from his education, [i]that[/i] is icing on the cake. having those skills is not icing on the cake. you're right. they are necessity. but i did not say that having them was icing on the cake. i said it was icing on the cake when school experiences reinforce what i'm teaching my child at home. but this in no way means that it is the school's responsibility to teach my children these things. kids only spend so much time at school because that is the way the system is handled. is it not possible that homeschooled children can get just as much exposure to other kids, adults, etc in a non-school setting? in fact, if a child is homeschooled, he can move at his own pace, often times faster than the class room. (after all, in a school, you can only move as fast as the slowest kid). in a homeschooled environment, cannot the child be exposed to so much more than is possible in a classroom? outings with mother, fieldtrips to museums, parks, forests, shooting ranges, libraries, monuments,etc. these are all things i plan to use in my children's education. to what extent to children in schools get to use these resources [i]extensively[/i] to supplement their book learning? i guess my whole point is that i fail to see where schools, public in particular, but also private to some extent, can surpass the [i]ptoential[/i] of a homeschooled environment. in my mind, there are too many limitations on the things that can be done, given the logistics of classrooms with 30+ kids. i'm not knocking schools for this. but it is a distinct disadvantage.
Link Posted: 11/20/2001 2:49:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/20/2001 2:42:53 PM EST by ARlady]
Originally Posted By KL2001:
Originally Posted By ARlady: i spent my first years of education (up to 5th grade) at a private school. from 6th grade on i was in the public school system. the only difference i saw was that the public school kids were cruder, had less positive parental involvement, and less ambition/desire to succeed, IN GENERAL. other than that, discounting the religious aspect of the private school since there's no comparable in the public school), the social interaction i got, the [i]reality[/i] i got was the same.
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I was the opposite, Public schools from K-8 then a private High School. I'll have to disagree, all the people in my high school made judgements, saying all the public school systems are racist, and all this liberal crap. They based this on the articles handed out by the socialist teachers.(Definately unbiased right???). I would tell them my EXPERIANCes in the public schools, and they would say it can't be right, because that's not what the "article" (really op-ed pieces) said. They had no basis of reality, most of them had never been in school with anybody but a bunch of pasty white people, their experiance of race was in Spanish class, "celebrating" Dia de Los Muertos o Cinco de Mayo.
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i know my experience is not typical. [:)] neither is it indicative of anything other than my experience. however, the students of which you speak in the private school are not that way because they are in private schools. they are that way because of the parents that raised them.
I tihnk private schools offer alot socially, but if you enroll your child in one, teach him how to fight, and how to stand up for himself, my parents didn't do that(they spouted the line: "Tell a teacher" even though everytime I did, I got in trouble) and I had to learn it by myself to survive.
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this is a prime example of what i was speaking of above. that you had trouble in school was not the fault of being in a private school. it was the fault of your parents. (no offense meant, though.) why wouldn't you have to teach your children to stand up for themselves and what they think is right in a public school. or why wouldn't homeschooled children need to know these skills and practice them. what you have described is not a problem with schools, regardless of the type, at all. it is a problem with the responsibilities to the child and whether they are taken by the parents, as they should be IMO, or delegated over to the school. and i ask ya, how can a teacher teach 30 kids the three R and then teach them all how to be good citizens? she can't. and she (or he!) shouldn't have to. this is why i say these things are not the realm of schools, but the realm of parents. and why it is unfair to judge any school on these conditions. edited to add: can ya tell i feel strongly about this issue? i'll hush up now.
Link Posted: 11/20/2001 5:20:01 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/20/2001 6:22:00 PM EST
You can't afford private school but you would/could afford a risk to your child's education. As an overachiever myself I could never understand what all the fuss was about public school cause for me it was a cake walk. I needed no help and whizzed through. Well when I came up with a daughter who needed a little bit of help I re-thought my public school attitude. An A/B student would get A/Bs if the teachers did not even show up. A C/D heading for F child is on thier own and no help available. The public school system is just not set up to do anything as far as help the teachers are just a bunch of Union employees putting in thier time and getting a paycheck. Put you kid in a Catholic Parish school even if you are not Catholic the costs are deferred by the Parish. The cost to me are $2600/yr for one studend in 9th grade. They were less for elementry. Do it now before it's too late. Once your kid's stupid he's stupid for life.
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