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Topic: help me form opinions about public schools (Read 178 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • el jefe
  • asleep till 2020 or 2024
help me form opinions about public schools
until now, I haven't bothered learning enough about public education to know what to look for in public schools.  but, now that I am a father and may be moving in the near future, I want to know what to think of the whole topic.  looking especially for opinions of parents and any educators here.

I don't even have a clear sense of what good education is.  (though I do know there's no consensus on it).  I know there are a few things I want to avoid:  obviously no veiled creationism or "climate skeptic" propaganda, and no christian sermons during sex ed.  also, obviously, I don't want a school where the teachers are idiots who don't understand their own subject matter and/or can't explain things to save their lives.  ....  I think I want schools that are "ranked" or "rated" highly, though I'm not sure, because I don't know what any ratings or rankings are based on and whether it really makes sense to go by all that.

what should I look for in a public school?

what constitutes "good" education?

what metrics or resources are good to rely on for judging schools?  and why?

are there any rude awakenings or surprise issues that come with choosing schools that you wish you were warned about ahead of time?

are private schools better?  are they worth the cost?  what about montessori schools?

is there any merit to the whole charter school thing?  or is it just politically - inspired garbage? (i.e., the latest gimmick for creationists to teach their pseudoscience with public money, and/or conservative market worship)


any help is appreciated.

Re: help me form opinions about public schools
Reply #1
The most important thing is how much parent involvement there is and how much opportunity for it there is. You've got a couple years to think about it so I'll wait till I'm done with my vacation to get into more depth.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

Re: help me form opinions about public schools
Reply #2
Charter schools are mostly worse options but I guess it depends which one.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • VoxRat
  • wtactualf
Re: help me form opinions about public schools
Reply #3
You need to home-school the kid(s).
"I understand Donald Trump better than many people because I really am a lot like him." - Dave Hawkins

  • MikeS
Re: help me form opinions about public schools
Reply #4
I'll put in my two cents.
until now, I haven't bothered learning enough about public education to know what to look for in public schools.  but, now that I am a father and may be moving in the near future, I want to know what to think of the whole topic.  looking especially for opinions of parents and any educators here.

I don't even have a clear sense of what good education is.  (though I do know there's no consensus on it).  I know there are a few things I want to avoid:  obviously no veiled creationism or "climate skeptic" propaganda, and no christian sermons during sex ed.  also, obviously, I don't want a school where the teachers are idiots who don't understand their own subject matter and/or can't explain things to save their lives.  ....  I think I want schools that are "ranked" or "rated" highly, though I'm not sure, because I don't know what any ratings or rankings are based on and whether it really makes sense to go by all that.

what should I look for in a public school?
Community involvement.  Tough to measure but observe whether the school is holding events outside of the school grounds to connect to the local community.  This is more middle or high school but I've seen some elementary schools go beyond their school boundaries.

Quote
what constitutes "good" education?
That's really up to you and your involvement.  Most public schools have a bell curve of students so to shift your child into the upper level requires some personal involvement.
Also the reliance upon standard texts versus class curriculum. The more a class branches out and away from prepared texts (where the teacher is teaching the book instead of the subject) the broader the learning in that subject.  Like students, most schools have a bell curve of teacher skill and prowess.

Quote
what metrics or resources are good to rely on for judging schools?  and why?
don't use dollars/student as a guide.  A small school district with only 5 schools will have a higher $/pupil number than one with 30 schools.  Except the 30 school district has more variety, maybe specialty classes and schools, and less overall overhead for administration.

Also, look at graduation rates per grade.  A district that holds back a certain percentage of students per year is probably more learning critical than one that graduates 99% of their students.

Quote
are there any rude awakenings or surprise issues that come with choosing schools that you wish you were warned about of time?
I found the larger schools were actually less connected to the students and more connected to procedure.  Look at average class sizes and overall school size.  Smaller is sometimes better on both counts.

Quote
are private schools better?  are they worth the cost?
My Opinion; it doesn't matter unless you are angling for a military career.  Again its about your involvement as an influence.  Private schools probably have better success at the high school level rather than younger unless you go private the entire student life of your child.  Then the one advantage could be early graduation and enrollment in college, which isn't always a bonus.

Quote
what about montessori schools?
Don't know.

Quote
is there any merit to the whole charter school thing?  or is it just politically - inspired garbage? (i.e., the latest gimmick for creationists to teach their pseudoscience with public money, and/or conservative market worship)


any help is appreciated.
Charter Schools are the conservative answer to "accountability" for the teachers.  Their performance has been mixed and the general results are typically no different than public schools.  I would evaluate them on other factors above rather than on just being a Charter School.

Re: help me form opinions about public schools
Reply #5
Not the black ones

  • ksen
Re: help me form opinions about public schools
Reply #6
Send them to an english boarding school.

Here's a list.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_boarding_schools_in_the_United_Kingdom

Re: help me form opinions about public schools
Reply #7
Mostly what MikeS said. I do have a few friends/family who are educators, mostly in the primary school level (k-6). One is part time, and mostly special ed, which your kid hopefully won't need. 

Some private schools are fantastic. They are the ones that are 1) expensive, and 2) usually have a 3-5 year waitlist to get in. I don't know how widespread it is, but one of the few things that is being done in AZ (at least the Tucson area) is what they call magnet schools. Each school within the district will have some specialty (usually arts, STEM, Engineering, trades like auto or aircraft mechanic, etc.) and it isn't too hard to get into the magnet school if you're already in the district.

Parent involvement is key, though. This is based on studies, and also my limited experience working as a private tutor for many years. Also, don't be afraid to hire a private tutor on occasion if you feel there's a need. I was tutoring a high school student in physics, and both his parents were PhDs in different fields, but the combination of lack of time, and not having done physics for quite a few years made them go with the 'expert'.  :)

Re: help me form opinions about public schools
Reply #8
cool, have you visited the cart thread?

  • ksen
Re: help me form opinions about public schools
Reply #9
it's a trap!

  • ToThePoint
  • search & destroy
Re: help me form opinions about public schools
Reply #10
cool, have you visited the cart thread?
One does not "visit" the cart thread.
One gets sucked into the cart thread.
"This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time."

  • tysixtus
  • TITS GUNS
Re: help me form opinions about public schools
Reply #11
If you're moving, move to a wealthy area.  They have better public schools, generally.  If you're staying in NOVA then you know the areas.

  • Bilirubin
  • Ain't nothing ta fuck wit'
Re: help me form opinions about public schools
Reply #12
Put them in Chinese immersion school. Get them ready for success with our future colonial masters

Re: help me form opinions about public schools
Reply #13
your public school district should aspire to have the right amount of Jews, which is no less than 20% and no more than 25%

Haredi neighborhoods are a no-go, but too many WASPs lead to a less-than-satisfactory school experience.