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  1. #1

    Default "Good" Schools and "Bad" Schools

    I've been looking at a lot of "Moving to Detroit" threads on DetroitYes and other forums and I'm noticing that the perception of what are "good schools" doesn't line up with mine.

    For example, everything in Wayne County is off-limits except Plymouth-Canton, Northville, GP, GI, and MAYBE Livonia IF you can get into the Stevenson High area. Franklin and Churchill are "bad" schools. Even GP South is supposedly "in decline" and GP North should be avoided if possible.

    Every single thread will recommend Novi, Rochester, Berkley, Bloomfield, Birmingham, Walled Lake, Utica, and Farmington.

    What's hilarious to me are the supposed "bad" schools that we're supposed to avoid, and the reasons behind them. Warren Con is strictly off-limits, as is anything in SCS. Everything in Downriver except GI is full of blue-collar trash. It doesn't matter that Allen Park High School has an average SAT score 33 points higher than Walled Lake Western, nope, because Allen Park is a "bad" school.

    Remember, if your child goes to Ferndale, Dearborn, or Livonia Franklin there's no chance they'll get into U of M. Or State. Or any school of quality for that matter. Better start looking into Divine Child or U of D if you really care about your child's education.

    But what is a "good" school, really? Is it a race thing? Obviously DPSCD and Southfield are to be avoided at all costs to these parents, but Wyandotte Roosevelt and Lakeview are lily-white and are to be avoided. For right now ol' Wylie E. Groves is a "good" school being 24% black-but once that figure hits 30% you better think about moving into the Seaholm attendance area.

    Truly, it is a desire for richer parents to send their children to schools with other wealthier children. Schools that have a significant proportion of students on free/reduced lunch are "bad," and homogeneous schools where everyone lives on a nice 4 bedroom colonial with a well-kept lawn are "good". One must look at the number of kids coming from apartments and trailer parks to decide whether a school is "good" or "bad".

    We are witnessing a boxing of the upper echelons of society into exclusive public schools, walled off to everyone else by iron-clad attendance zones, skyrocketing home prices, and limited school-of-choice options. Part of it has been fueled by realtors, making "good" schools a selling point and destroying Westland, Southgate, Warren, and SCS in the eyes of young homebuyers seeking to start a family, and part of it has been fueled by parents terrified of their child being educated alongside a child living in a rented apartment or relying on SNAP.

    With public schools like these, who needs private schools?

    Thanks,
    MicrosoftFan

  2. #2

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    MicrosoftFan...You started your post off by mentioning "Moving to Detroit" threads. Yet you completely eliminated all DPS? Why?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Former_Detroiter View Post
    MicrosoftFan...You started your post off by mentioning "Moving to Detroit" threads. Yet you completely eliminated all DPS? Why?
    The threads I’m mentioning are mostly ones for families moving to Metro Detroit through job relocation looking for a place to live with good schools. DPSCD is hardly mentioned as an option for these kinds of families as they are immediately directed towards Novi, Birmingham, etc.

  4. #4

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    In other words your post has nothing to do with the city of Detroit?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Former_Detroiter View Post
    In other words your post has nothing to do with the city of Detroit?
    It does seem that way, doesn't it?

  6. #6

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    My opinion is that there are different tiers of schools, which can meet the needs of different families depending on what kind of academic outcome they envision for their children. (Setting aside the social and developmental aspects, since this is where kids will spend their childhood)

    If all you want your kid to do is be able to get into a typical program at a typical university, then most suburban schools and even many schools in Detroit will be fine. How well a kid does in school mostly has to do with the kid having a stable homelife with parents who set the example as people who value education and taking pride in their work. And to get into college, you just need unremarkable grades, unremarkable test scores, and some extracurriculars. WSU, MSU, EMU, etc. aren't very selective. You also need money to get into college, and imo money is more of a barrier than academic performance, which is why Detroit schools, with the free college program, is worth taking a look at.

    If you want your kid to get into a competitive program, or a prestigious university, then the school starts mattering more. But a school being slightly better than average instead of being below average isn't enough to boost the school into being in a tier that matters. You need to go to a school where going to a prestigious university is part of the culture, where all the teachers and students are all on the same page on those academic goals, and where the classes and the programs and the extracurriculars are all oriented towards that goal. The overwhelming majority of suburban schools are just not set up to get kids into Harvard Law.


    Just anecdotally, my slightly better than average suburban high school had guidance counselors who had never been to college, didn't know anything about which colleges had what programs and which ones were good or bad, and had no idea what kinds of things colleges are looking for on applications. They didn't even know very much about carers in general because they were unworldly office ladies. None of the AP classes gave college credits, they were all vacation blowoff classes for the "good" students who were already adequate. Extacurriculars were either weak or non-existent. About a third of the teachers should have been fired on the spot for either incompetence or youtube-worthy unprofessionalism. And yet it was good enough that anyone who wanted to go to college and had the money for it could.


    Additionally, part of the problem with these kinds of discussions and decisions is that we as students only go to a small number of schools, and by the time we have school-aged children, we haven't been to those schools in 10+ years, so we don't really have much personal experience to go by. Even parents with kids in schools don't really have a good idea about the school because their kids are the ones experiencing it, not them, and a lot of parents are very biased observers. And then on top of that, things are all relative. Grosse Pointers have been complaining about how North is bad, going downhill, and all that stuff, from the first day that it opened. It's worse than South (and Ligget), but it's still one of the best high schools in the region.


    But despite all this, unlike in the past, today we have objective statistics about the schools available online. Including straight up test scores, but also including things like how well the schools handle low income students (in other words, ratings which control for socioeconomic status).

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by MicrosoftFan View Post
    I've been looking at a lot of "Moving to Detroit" threads on DetroitYes and other forums and I'm noticing that the perception of what are "good schools" doesn't line up with mine.

    Truly, it is a desire for richer parents to send their children to schools with other wealthier children. Schools that have a significant proportion of students on free/reduced lunch are "bad," and homogeneous schools where everyone lives on a nice 4 bedroom colonial with a well-kept lawn are "good". One must look at the number of kids coming from apartments and trailer parks to decide whether a school is "good" or "bad".

    We are witnessing a boxing of the upper echelons of society into exclusive public schools, walled off to everyone else by iron-clad attendance zones, skyrocketing home prices, and limited school-of-choice options. Part of it has been fueled by realtors, making "good" schools a selling point and destroying Westland, Southgate, Warren, and SCS in the eyes of young homebuyers seeking to start a family, and part of it has been fueled by parents terrified of their child being educated alongside a child living in a rented apartment or relying on SNAP.

    With public schools like these, who needs private schools?

    Thanks,
    MicrosoftFan
    there it is, in a nutshell. Regardless of political ideology, plenty of parents blanch at the notion of their kids sharing space with too many "others": non-Asian racial minorities, lower-income kids of "any" race, etc.

  8. #8

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    School districts are still used as a tool for class/race segregation and that's what people really mean when they say a school is good or bad. Parents need to be aware that by far the most important factor for their child's success is the home life. NOT the school district and they need to take the time to look at the schools for themselves and know what is offered. But most don't do that because they're not really driven by what's best for their child it's all about segregating. Reject the narrative entirely. If you want to raise a child in the city there are plenty of DPS schools that will teach them just fine.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypestyles View Post
    there it is, in a nutshell. Regardless of political ideology, plenty of parents blanch at the notion of their kids sharing space with too many "others": non-Asian racial minorities, lower-income kids of "any" race, etc.
    I would think it has more to do with the learning environment.

    A school that has students cussing and hitting teachers would To most be considered disruptive,school letting out and the students are fighting in the parking lot would be considered a bad school.

    When the parents are also fighting in the parking lot it can be considered a horrible school.

    I do not think it has anything to do with realtors,most parents want the best for thier children and it is thier responsibility to provide it to the best of thier abilities,if it takes moving in relation to a good school that is what they will do.

    They were just kidding when they told us to go play in the highway,they would not send us to a school of disrespect anymore then they would send us to play in the highway.

    It is always easier to just say it is race based,it is based on what is tolerated from one school to another.

    Growing up in Mlps late 60s I had an friend whose father was in the family buisness,he purposely sent his 3 sons to a all black inner city school to toughen them up,they got thier ass beat every day for the first week,then they got smart and started carrying a leaded stick in thier pant leg.

    That was like 5th and 6th grade.

    I went through 11 years of suburban schools and probably saw 3 fights at best.
    Last edited by Richard; September-29-19 at 04:59 PM.

  10. #10

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    The state has plenty of metrics of quality in their Index grading system of schools and their parent dashboard.
    https://www.mischooldata.org/

    Yes, you can pick and choose what you want to look at. Quality in education is certainly subjective.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypestyles View Post
    plenty of parents blanch at the notion of their kids sharing space with too many "others": non-Asian racial minorities, lower-income kids of "any" race, etc.
    That's an interesting delineation. Why do you think Asian racial minorities are considered to be OK?

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by MicrosoftFan View Post
    For example, everything in Wayne County is off-limits except Plymouth-Canton, Northville, GP, GI, and MAYBE Livonia IF you can get into the Stevenson High area. Franklin and Churchill are "bad" schools.
    Funny you should mention this. I've owned a home in Livonia for nearly 15 years and am a product of Livonia schools (graduated from Churchill). I live in part of the district within the "bad" area you mention, and I have to laugh. Not at you - but at those who have this perception. I've certainly seen it discussed before. Do I live on the blue collar side of town? Sure, without a doubt. We do our own yard work and car maintenance in the driveway here. But do I have an concerns over the education my kids are receiving? Not at all. In fact, we're completely satisfied, honestly. Just this weekend I was giving my oldest a math quiz (believe it or not, for fun) - and it astounded me how well they did. My youngest is, without a doubt, on a path to be an engineer (and I couldn't be prouder). I love that my neighborhood school is surrounded by parents and siblings, many of whom walked there, just before the end-of-day bell. There is a major sense of community.

    On the flip side, I have had neighbors move - the usual destination is South Lyon - seeking something (but I have yet to figure out what exactly). Sure, a little more space would be nice. Poorly built new suburban construction - less nice (my 50's era home is as solid as it gets). But they often cite "the schools" (educators in my family would dispute that this is actually the case, despite "rankings"). I don't get it. I would think that half a century later, people would realize that moving further out from the core isn't the right way to do it (as there is a certain irony to what I am saying).

    Interestingly enough, my Livonia graduate peers consist of doctors, engineers, attorneys, etc. Many of them grew up in the "bad" part of town (hah), which honestly now isn't too much different than it was when we were growing up. So, anecdotal evidence worth what it is, I'd say that whatever people are saying about the "bad" area isn't really worth much. But, that is just my opinion.
    Last edited by wazootyman; September-29-19 at 06:30 PM.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBMcB View Post
    That's an interesting delineation. Why do you think Asian racial minorities are considered to be OK?
    My guess would be the stereotypical notion that all Asians are brilliant.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBMcB View Post
    That's an interesting delineation. Why do you think Asian racial minorities are considered to be OK?
    They're wealthier, on average. On the flip side, however, some parents, especially in districts with high Asian concentrations like Novi, Walled Lake, and Troy feel like it's "unfair" that their child (who they believe is intelligent) is deemed a bit above average compared to their Asian peers. I've known a few families to pull their kids out of WL and Novi and send their kids to catholic schools for this reason. They want their kids to be in the top 10 and don't think its possible with the (in their view) "smart Asians" at the top.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    WSU, MSU, EMU, etc. aren't very selective. You also need money to get into college, and imo money is more of a barrier than academic performance, which is why Detroit schools, with the free college program, is worth taking a look at.
    This isn't accurate. MSU is nowhere near the same tier as the other schools you mentioned. It’s actually moderately difficult to get into and the “safety school” to the Ivy-like Michigan. It’s been that way for many years now and continues to accelerate in selectivity and ranking.

    Also, academic and extracurricular performance matters now more than ever while financial issues can usually be overcome through grants, loans, work study, scholarships, etc.

    Two of the biggest problems with Detroit Public Schools are being underprepared to do college level work as well as lack of exposure to the larger world.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Towne Cluber View Post
    This isn't accurate. MSU is nowhere near the same tier as the other schools you mentioned.
    Jason's claim is accurate: as per the USNews report:

    Fall 2018 MSU Acceptance rate: 78%
    Fall 2018 WSU Acceptance rate: 72%
    Fall 2018 EMU Acceptance rate: 76%

    https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/

    By comparison, UM-Ann Arbor had a Fall 2018 acceptance rate of 23%. We can all agree that UM is more selective, but the other three are most definitely in the same tier in terms of selectivity.

    I don't usually comment on this forum, but having worked for 10+ years in higher ed I wholeheartedly agree with Jason that you can actually go very far in life with a basic high school education and a useful degree from a school like WSU, EMU, or MSU. Given the relatively lower cost of these schools, and the excellent quality of the education you get access to, they will always represent better value for most kids.

    What really separates kids in my experience is work ethic, motivation, and ambition, and that's not something that we can teach in class. So I would worry about teaching these values to my kids, rather than poring over metrics and arbitrary perceptions of what makes a school 'good'.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBMcB View Post
    That's an interesting delineation. Why do you think Asian racial minorities are considered to be OK?
    You don't think that their whooping our asses at Science Fairs has anything to do with it? And guess who seems to win all the local, regional and national Spelling Bees?

  18. #18

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    There is now a trend of wealthy families sending their children to adjacent under-performing districts where their child will be a shining academic star, thus all but guaranteeing free college education to an elite school.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by hybridy View Post
    There is now a trend of wealthy families sending their children to adjacent under-performing districts where their child will be a shining academic star, thus all but guaranteeing free college education to an elite school.
    Ha! Excellent!

    So the equity chorus requires set asides for under-performing districts... and then the 1% finds a way to 'game' the system.

    I'm sure Elizabeth Warren has a plan for that. When market interventions fail, the best reaction is always more market interventions! How else can the 1% stay ahead.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gistok View Post
    You don't think that their whooping our asses at Science Fairs has anything to do with it? And guess who seems to win all the local, regional and national Spelling Bees?
    So the public likes Asian-Americans because they are successful. But the elites discriminate against them in college admissions. We are screwed up bunch of racists, aren't we.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by hybridy View Post
    There is now a trend of wealthy families sending their children to adjacent under-performing districts where their child will be a shining academic star, thus all but guaranteeing free college education to an elite school.
    Well that is a new one, never heard of it. Diabolical.

  22. #22

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    ^ back in the late seventies I was a product of the suburban schools outside of MLPS,I never made it past the 11th grade.

    I moved to Albuquerque at age 17 to escape the cold,when I entered the service my test scores were based on the local average,I tested in the top 10% so I had my pick of duties,I doubt that would have been the case if I had tested in the Great Lakes region.

  23. #23

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    Asians tend to take to classroom discipline and don't try to fight the teacher's authority. Even if they are not at the top academically, they are still the "model minority".

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by hybridy View Post
    There is now a trend of wealthy families sending their children to adjacent under-performing districts where their child will be a shining academic star, thus all but guaranteeing free college education to an elite school.
    Wealthy, education-status obsessed families will go to excessive lengths to get their kid into a high-status university. Witness the recent Rick Singer admissions scandal where families were making six-figure "donations" and fabricating athletic profiles for their children. But what exactly is the objection with enrolling one's high achieving child in a low achievement school district? Especially if the family lives in the district. Should there only be an objection if a wealthy family does this? If the child, wealthy or not, achieves at a level adequate for the elite university, why shouldn't he/she get the benefit of coming from an under-resourced school and an under privileged community? Kind of seems like a good idea. There's lots of kids from Northville with 3.8 GPA and a 30 ACT getting rejected from Yale, Northwestern and U of M. It's the exact opposite for Detroit kids from DPCSD, even the rare white kids.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley Mouch View Post
    Ha! Excellent!

    So the equity chorus requires set asides for under-performing districts... and then the 1% finds a way to 'game' the system.

    I'm sure Elizabeth Warren has a plan for that. When market interventions fail, the best reaction is always more market interventions! How else can the 1% stay ahead.
    Here's a great example of how they get it completely wrong and all in the name of forced diversity and social justice. The talented kids lose and eventually, the country loses. The only other alternative is scholarships to private schools but it's only a matter of time until the bureaucrats f*#k that plan up.

    https://trendingpress.com/desegregat...s-in-new-york/

    "A group of selective schools and programs geared to students labeled gifted and talented is filled mostly with white and Asian children. The rest of the system is open to all students and is predominantly black and Hispanic.
    Now, a high-level panel appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio is recommending that the city do away with most of these programs in an effort to desegregate the system, which has 1.1 million students and is by far the largest in the country.

    .........

    The panel recommended that the city replace gifted and screened schools with new magnet schools — which have been used in other cities to attract a diverse group of students interested in a particular subject matter — along with enrichment programs that are open to students with varying academic abilities"

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