Suburbs - General Topics

Twin Cities Suburbs
WHS
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby WHS » July 28th, 2014, 9:26 am

Poor kids do better in suburban schools than poor kids in urban schools. So do special ed kids, minority kids, ESL kids, and any other cohort you can think of. This can easily be confirmed by examining the data link in my post above.

LakeCharles
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby LakeCharles » July 28th, 2014, 9:30 am

Poor kids do better in suburban schools than poor kids in urban schools. So do special ed kids, minority kids, ESL kids, and any other cohort you can think of. This can easily be confirmed by examining the data link in my post above.
The key here is that some suburban schools are better than some city schools. You can't just say that we should send all low income kids to the suburbs. Two random examples: Central Park Elementary in Roseville has less than 40% proficiency in any subject. 30% of free/reduced lunch students make adequate progress. Crest View Elementary in the Osseo district has less than 15% proficiency in any subject and 20% of free/reduced students make progress. 19% of ELL students make progress, and 19% of special ed students make progress. At the worst schools in Minneapolis 20% of free/reduced students make adequate progress. At the best it's 90%.

mplsjaromir
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby mplsjaromir » July 28th, 2014, 9:33 am

When I compared a central city school with RFP student percentages similar to suburban schools, I could see nothing that would indicate that suburban schools did any better.

LakeCharles
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby LakeCharles » July 28th, 2014, 9:34 am

When I compared a central city school with RFP student percentages similar to suburban schools, I could see nothing that would indicate that suburban schools did any better.
Precisely what I was trying to say, just with a mess of percentages to render it unclear. Haha.

Rich
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby Rich » July 28th, 2014, 9:36 am

Every year hundreds of kids at our suburban high school spend many thousands of hours at inner-city schools helping academically at-risk grade school kids with reading, math and other school work. The school also has numerous student-led community service groups who give tens of thousands of hours doing everything from bringing birthday gifts to kids in homeless shelters, to helping out at food shelves, to befriending senior citizens at nursing homes and more.

So that sort of thing happens too…a lot.

Two of my kids have graduated. One is still in high school. I’ve got a lot of experience as an adult dealing with all aspects of suburban public school life from K to 12. I know many many teachers and parents in the district. I’ve heard all the stories. All I can say is that I couldn’t possibly be more satisfied with both the quality of the schools out here and the quality of the kids I’ve come to know.
Last edited by Rich on July 28th, 2014, 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

WHS
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby WHS » July 28th, 2014, 9:38 am

There are exceptions -- there are hundreds and hundreds of schools, so of course you're going to get outliers -- but finding a handful of high-performing Minneapolis schools or low-performing suburban schools does nothing to reduce the wide gaps in the aggregated numbers. It's distracting at best and disingenuous at worst. It's also worth pointing out that some suburbs do better than others -- namely, those without concentrations of poverty and segregation reminiscent of those in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

WHS
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby WHS » July 28th, 2014, 9:41 am

When I compared a central city school with RFP student percentages similar to suburban schools, I could see nothing that would indicate that suburban schools did any better.
You're literally making my point for me: concentrations of poverty reduce performance, and central city schools suck because they concentrate poverty. If two-thirds of Minnetonka's student body was FRP, Minnetonka's school system would be in dire shape too. This is exactly why moving low-income kids into economically and racially integrated schools ought to be a priority.

mplsjaromir
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby mplsjaromir » July 28th, 2014, 9:47 am

The actual problem is not the schools, it's poverty. If you can find a suburban school district and central city school district with similar levels of RFP students and demonstrate how the suburban school does better, I would like to see that.

I get that certain individuals have their career invested in promoting idea of putting more affordable housing in the suburbs, I think it is counterproductive. I have let my local representation in state legislature know how I feel, I have also contacted my Metropolitan Council member.

WHS
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby WHS » July 28th, 2014, 9:52 am

Since everyone seems to think I'm arguing that suburban schools have some sort of inherent intangible quality that renders them more effective, perhaps as a result of their proximity to white picket fences, let me spell out what I'm saying here in very simple terms:

-When a school is 10% poor kids, the poor kids perform worse than the rich kids, but not too bad overall.

-When a school is 80% poor kids, the poor kids perform abysmally, and everyone else performs worse than they would otherwise.

-The same holds true for all the other groups associated with reduced performance -- racial, special ed, etc.

-The way to minimize the number of poor kids in any given school, and therefore minimize the effect of their poverty on their performance, is deconcentrate poverty as much as possible -- e.g., pursue economic integration.

-As long as the richest schools are in the suburbs, this requires suburban integration. The reverse situation -- poor kids in the suburbs and the cities as a bastion of wealth -- is totally conceivable, and if it were the case, I'd want to find ways to move lower incomes the other direction! It's just not the reality of the Twin Cities right now.
Last edited by WHS on July 28th, 2014, 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

WHS
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby WHS » July 28th, 2014, 9:54 am

The actual problem is not the schools, it's poverty. If you can find a suburban school district and central city school district with similar levels of RFP students and demonstrate how the suburban school does better, I would like to see that.

I get that certain individuals have their career invested in promoting idea of putting more affordable housing in the suburbs, I think it is counterproductive. I have let my local representation in state legislature know how I feel, I have also contacted my Metropolitan Council member.
Again, by continually pointing out that schools with large numbers of poor kids perform the same regardless of where they're located, you're just demonstrating how thin a grasp you have on my argument.

LakeCharles
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby LakeCharles » July 28th, 2014, 9:57 am

WHS, you posted a link and said suburban schools are demonstrably superior to city schools. Now that you've walked back to say that high-poverty schools perform worse than low-poverty schools, I can certainly agree. You could have just said that from the start, but you didn't and so we pushed back.

WHS
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby WHS » July 28th, 2014, 10:00 am

I mean, fair enough -- I guess I thought it was obvious I wasn't saying that suburban schools are magically and inexplicably superior regardless of their actual characteristics. Suburban schools ARE demonstrably superior -- because of those characteristics.

mplsjaromir
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby mplsjaromir » July 28th, 2014, 10:01 am

You have stated several times without any caveats that suburbans schools are far superior to central city schools.

LakeCharles
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby LakeCharles » July 28th, 2014, 10:03 am

I mean, fair enough -- I guess I thought it was obvious I wasn't saying that suburban schools are magically and inexplicably superior regardless of their actual characteristics. Suburban schools ARE demonstrably superior -- because of those characteristics.
Unfortunately it is not obvious. Many people think that is true, that there is something inherently inferior about city schools. And I like to push back against those assumptions.

David Greene
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby David Greene » July 28th, 2014, 10:08 am

It's bizarre that I keep having to point this out, but it's incredibly easy to find comparative information about the performance of city and suburban schools, and the data leaves no question about which is superior: http://rc.education.state.mn.us/
That doesn't mean shit. Again, Minneapolis has to deal with stuff most suburban districts do not. Comparing raw test scores is completely meaningless.

WHS
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby WHS » July 28th, 2014, 10:08 am

You have stated several times without any caveats that suburbans schools are far superior to central city schools.
...which they are. This is all derived from a discussion of affordable housing placement, and root causes notwithstanding, for the purposes of that discussion, the relevant fact is that kids in the suburbs get to go to better schools than kids in the cities.
Unfortunately it is not obvious. Many people think that is true, that there is something inherently inferior about city schools. And I like to push back against those assumptions.
Again, fair enough. Most suburban reactionary types aren't exactly arguing for integration of any kind, so I wasn't expecting to be mistaken for one. But I guess it's the internet and you never know.

David Greene
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby David Greene » July 28th, 2014, 10:10 am

Two of my kids have graduated. One is still in high school. I’ve got a lot of experience as an adult dealing with all aspects of suburban public school life from K to 12. I know many many teachers and parents in the district. I’ve heard all the stories. All I can say is that I couldn’t possibly be more satisfied with both the quality of the schools out here and the quality of the kids I’ve come to know.
That's great! Just don't go dumping on urban schools when you don't understand the context.

David Greene
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby David Greene » July 28th, 2014, 10:13 am

This is exactly why moving low-income kids into economically and racially integrated schools ought to be a priority.
You absolutely right. Concentrated poverty is a hug problem for schools anywhere. But you miss a crucial aspect. Integrated schools also help *white* students do better. Numerous studies have demonstrated this. Not only that, those white kids will get valuable real-world social and interpersonal skills. The whole fight in Eden Prairie exposed just how ignorant people are about education.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby David Greene » July 28th, 2014, 10:15 am

WHS, you posted a link and said suburban schools are demonstrably superior to city schools. Now that you've walked back to say that high-poverty schools perform worse than low-poverty schools, I can certainly agree. You could have just said that from the start, but you didn't and so we pushed back.
Yep. I totally agree with WHS's expanded analysis. His initial post sent exactly the opposite message.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby WHS » July 28th, 2014, 10:24 am

WHS, you posted a link and said suburban schools are demonstrably superior to city schools. Now that you've walked back to say that high-poverty schools perform worse than low-poverty schools, I can certainly agree. You could have just said that from the start, but you didn't and so we pushed back.
Yep. I totally agree with WHS's expanded analysis. His initial post sent exactly the opposite message.
Yep, sorry -- out of context it's easy to see how it sounds like I might be arguing in favor of abandoning the cities to the wolves.


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