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Old 02-12-2014, 09:09 PM   #1
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school choice and lotteries

Anyone else in school choice hell right now? I have 11 open houses this month, plus all the online investigating and applications. I just don't feel like we have any really good choices, and even if I do end up really liking something, they're all lottery to get in, so there are no guarantees. Our neighborhood school has a Spanish immersion program that sounds really cool, and I'm really leaning toward that (since it's our closest school, we get priority in the lottery and are almost guaranteed to get in), but their test scores are horrible. Anything else would require driving, and I have a baby to think of too, and I really don't want to have to drive her around for hours each day to take big sister to school. We're also in a group of parents from dd's preschool trying to get a Montessori school started in our neighborhood, so that's a lot of time and effort, and quite possibly won't ever come to fruition.
Anyway, it's just so much more stressful than I ever imagined! I seriously feel like there should be support groups or something! Anyone else?

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Old 02-12-2014, 09:36 PM   #2
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Re: school choice and lotteries

Are you able to get test scores from kids in the Spanish program at a school vs kids in the same school in the regular program?

I know in our schools, where there is 'choice' type program, the demographic for that program is very different than the rest of the school population. Largely it is due to self selection in that families who decide on something other than the norm are also more often than not families who are more involved with their kids' education.

Having said that.. I don't know about the US but here, school test scores mean pretty much nothing. The correlation is parent education level/income (usually the two are related) to kids test scores. Teachers in richer neighbourhoods are not better, they are just educating a group of kids who have the home supports to learn without distractions of poverty.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:12 PM   #3
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Re: school choice and lotteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by isabelsmummy View Post
Are you able to get test scores from kids in the Spanish program at a school vs kids in the same school in the regular program?

I know in our schools, where there is 'choice' type program, the demographic for that program is very different than the rest of the school population. Largely it is due to self selection in that families who decide on something other than the norm are also more often than not families who are more involved with their kids' education.

Having said that.. I don't know about the US but here, school test scores mean pretty much nothing. The correlation is parent education level/income (usually the two are related) to kids test scores. Teachers in richer neighbourhoods are not better, they are just educating a group of kids who have the home supports to learn without distractions of poverty.
Nope, the scores are all together, but I'm sure you're right that the Spanish program kids score higher. And I really don't value those test scores very highly, as I know there are lots of great teachers and smart kids out and it just doesn't always add up to high scores. Our neighborhood school is 70% hispanic and 90% low income, so it stands to reason that the scores aren't going to be as high as in the suburbs, but it's still sort of disturbing to see them. My dh always reminds me that she'll be fine anywhere, but I just have this crazy obsession with finding the one perfect, right school (even though logically I know that doesn't exist). And realistically, I'm sure a lot of it is dealing with the fact that my baby is going to school, but that's a different story.
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:07 PM   #4
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Re: school choice and lotteries

Last year I was in that position. I was touring many schools and asking questions and wondering where she would get in. She did end up in the charter that was my top choice for her. My son will be in kindergarten next year. I am not sure my oldest's school is the best fit for him. I love the reading program at the school especially because I think he will need a program like the school uses and the kindergarten teacher so I will probably send him to kindergarten at my dd's school and evaluate based on how he is doing.
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Old 02-13-2014, 04:16 AM   #5
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Re: school choice and lotteries

We're starting the process for DS1 soon (pre-k in 2015). Started visiting public's schools last year. We have 8 elementary schools on our shortlist so we'll be taking lots of tours this year.
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