White flight: Are parents running to less successful schools?

Many suburbanites on this blog contend that they would never send their children to city of Atlanta or DeKalb schools and that’s why they now live in Forsyth or Cobb.

Here is an interesting response to that common assertion from a reader who looked at test data that suggests the state’s highest achieving white students are in metro systems, including  Atlanta , Decatur, Marietta and DeKalb.

Take a look at this reader’s research:

I have been crunching some numbers from the state DOE report cards and thought I might share with you some interesting results.

In response to the constant attacks on the quality of schooling offered by APS in particular and urban public schools in general, I have often read or heard comments (many by your blog commenters) that they would never consider sending their own children to Atlanta schools and/or that they have moved out of the city to the suburbs rather than do so.

What continues to interest me, particularly when addressing the subject of “white flight” from Atlanta and certain other urban systems, is how little evidentiary basis there is to back up most of these decisions, particularly when made by middle or upper-middle class white parents.

So I decided to try to address the question: “Based on available data, which Georgia school districts provide the best educational results for white students?

I assumed, for purposes of this exercise, that SAT scores provide the best proxy available for “educational end product.” (For obvious reasons, I decided not to use CRCT scores or graduation rates, which many would contend are highly suspect).

If white flight out of Atlanta schools were to make rational sense, would not one expect that SAT scores for white students in suburban systems would greatly outstrip their Atlanta counterparts who are “left behind” in such a failed system?  [Caveat: The state web site makes it impossible to show all individual district subgroup SAT scores at one time, so I have had to go district-by-district and have not looked at every district in the state, but am prepared to do so if you find this topic interesting enough to write about.  Also, the DOE website does not provide a breakdown by family income level, so comparisons of scores on that basis cannot be done.]

My preliminary review shows as follows:

In 2008-09 (the most recent data included at the state website), the Georgia system with the highest average SAT scores (math and verbal) for its white students appears to be Decatur City (1203); second is Atlanta City (1165); third is Marietta City (1150); and fourth is DeKalb County (1145).

For 2007-08, the top four appear to have been (1) Atlanta (1174); (2) Decatur (1166); (3) DeKalb (1136); and (4) Fulton County (1108).  The statewide SAT average for all white students was 1042 in 2008-09 and 1040 in 2007-08

I know from prior discussions with many white parents (especially those whose children do not attend APS schools) that these results will strike some as unbelievable — that white students in Atlanta, Decatur and DeKalb public schools perform better on SATs than white students in Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett, Cherokee, Fayette, Forsyth and possibly (probably?) every other system in the state of Georgia!

Now, this data certainly do not prove that APS, Decatur and DeKalb are doing a “better job” or providing a “better education” to their white students than every other district in the state — far from it.  What is equally or more likely is that other critical demographic factors at play (especially parent education and income levels) are more favorable for white students in those districts than in most others.

Similarly, demographic factors (especially high poverty rates) among its black students probably skews the SAT scores for those APS and DeKalb students in the opposite direction.

What the data do suggest, however, is that middle class parents (white or minority) who conclude – based only on a school’s or a system’s overall test scores – that they should buy their houses in another district or send their kids to private schools rather than APS (or DeKalb or Decatur) may only be fooling themselves about the perceived benefits for their own children.

I do believe that there are some gross misconceptions out there about how well or poorly some systems (especially APS) are doing in educating students, and that your column would be a great place to show that at least some of those misconceptions are not supported by any data.

By Maureen Downey, AJC Get Schooled blog

234 comments Add your comment

you're making up facts

November 19th, 2010
3:40 am

This assertion doesn’t even make sense…the average SAT scores for many suburban schools are 1500 to 1700. I would guess that the white sub group makes up the majority of these high scores. However, when you compare subgroup to subgroup in urban vs. suburban schools, there is not that much of a difference. Let’s focus on the real issue of the effects of poverty on education, not trying to convince white families to stay urban.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Arthur Mills IV, Maureen Downey. Maureen Downey said: White flight: Are parents running to less successful schools? http://bit.ly/aDSkqR [...]

john

November 19th, 2010
5:16 am

SAT scores means nothing, Yea they passed a test, but can they think and reason something our schools do not teach anymore. Running to less successful schools? The state of Georgia ranks 48th or 49th out of 50, give me a break. Then you have to throw the race card in, who cares where white people or matter of fact anyone lives?

ScienceTeacher671

November 19th, 2010
6:04 am

These scores are out of 1600 (ignoring the writing portion of the SAT) or out of the total 2400 points?

Chris Sanchez

November 19th, 2010
6:04 am

The first issue with this post is it assumes the government data hasn’t been fudged!

MidGATeacher

November 19th, 2010
6:22 am

Caution!!! Causation analysis required! Could this be a result of the fact that many of the white people who live intown are professionals who are heavily involved in their children’s lives, work hard to get their children into the best schools, and maintain nearly constant communication with their children’s teachers? Just saying…

This isn’t going to be PC, but here is my observation from many years of working in an inner-city school where white parents often enroll and then unenroll their children within a few weeks: They get worn out having to deal with ghetto culture. Their biggest issue isn’t with the school itself, they get sick of the constant disruption of instruction by students who then are not dealt with by the school (suburban schools throw them in alternative school, urban districts send the teacher to diversity training), they get tired of having their children harassed by the same students who should be removed, their sons come home “sagging”, their kids start getting in fights when they never have before, etc. and they realize very QUICKLY that one bad apple might spoil the bunch, but 50% bad apples are sure to ruin nearly everything. They move to the suburban district next door where a majority of parents work and middle-class values are the norm and felons in schools are not and their kids return to normal. This is not rocket science. If you are involved with your child’s education at every step, they will be successful nearly anywhere. If you are like 70-80% (my personal estimate) of parents who send their kids to school and look for progress reports as the primary source of contact, it is VERY easy to lose your kid in a poor urban school. Those parents are making a good choice by moving, in my opinion.

Before you flame me, I fight against this everyday and continue to work in my school for the kids who are truly trying to rise above the disaster around them, but I am also a realist and the honest to God truth is that I would pop a tent in another district before I would send my kids to the school I teach at. The bureacracy and power brokers will not allow the changes that are needed to be made so I do the best I can in a broken system.

n

Chris Murphy, Atlanta, GA

November 19th, 2010
6:26 am

Like others noticed, the scores referred to do not compare with known SAT data. How were these numbers produced?

DeborahinAthens

November 19th, 2010
6:28 am

I graduated from Dacula High in 1968. My sons graduated from there in the 90’s. My grandchildren attend the same (vastly different) school. I think we all received good educations, if economic success is the criteria. I would have said that most parents would be more worried about the safety of their children than the educational differences, but, lo and behold, Gwinnett County schools are among some of the most dangerous in the nation, thanks to the gangs. I think two of the most important ingredients in learning is parental involvement and how much education is valued by the student.

Lynn D

November 19th, 2010
6:28 am

What the data do suggest, however, is that middle class parents (white or minority) who conclude – based only on a school’s or a system’s overall test scores – that they should buy their houses in another district or send their kids to private schools rather than APS (or DeKalb or Decatur) may only be fooling themselves about the perceived benefits for their own children.

In Atlanta or DeKalb, almost no family buys the system, the generally buy an elementary school, and much more rarely a high school. For many of these families, it is about location and they buy knowing that they may move or use private school for the upper grades.

This differs tremendously from Cobb, N. Fulton and Gwinnett, where most buyers seem to be buying by the high school if you look at real estate ads.

This is why redistricting is going to be a nightmare in DeKalb.

Former Urban Parent

November 19th, 2010
6:31 am

There’s more to it than test scores. It saddens me to say so, but many of us refuse to expose our kids to the violent, sociopathic atmosphere found in so many predominantly-minority schools. That’s just not the kind of atmosphere we want our kids to live and go to school in.

allyanaz

November 19th, 2010
6:41 am

You don’t need to be white to do everything you can to get your child a decent education. If the public schools in Atlanta were as decent as everyone here claims, why are they in the news constantly? The school system here is a big mess and an even bigger cover up. But an even bigger problem is parents who want the school to teach their children discipline and control rather than the simple basic – reading, writing, etc. They want them to monitor attitudes, weapons, bullies. Perhaps we need to start holding parents accountable for their childrens’ actions.

sat what?

November 19th, 2010
6:42 am

See parent INVOLVEment makes the difference regardless of socioeconomic status. Had a fantastic parent volunteer to discuss this on yesterday (National Parent Involvement Day) with other parents.

cracker

November 19th, 2010
6:49 am

This is Mrs. Norman Maine

November 19th, 2010
6:51 am

Nice try but they’ll never believe it. Facts do not sway this group.

CultureFlight

November 19th, 2010
6:54 am

Would you lump your kids into an environment with free range kids who have and are raising themselves ? No manners or regard for each other. Clear choice to me private urban schools or non-urban public.

Cobbie

November 19th, 2010
6:55 am

Thanks, you just ruined property values in East Cobb as all the Walton parents are going to be packing up and rushing to relocate to Atlanta. You nutty liberals don’t live in reality.

@ midGAteacher

November 19th, 2010
6:58 am

Sister, you are speaking the truth! That is perhaps the most articulate explaination of the urban school issue I’ve ever read. There are a lot of similarities between schools and the overall race issue. Most people just don’t want to speak bluntly about the sources of our problems. The culture of accepting or even celebrating crime and the gangster lifestyle in much of black society is holding it back much more than the Klan ever could. Moreover, no billion dollar federal program is going to change that. Not PC, but it’s the truth.

Dunwoody Taxpayer

November 19th, 2010
7:01 am

Move to Dunwoody so yo can be in new Milton county. You can leave Dekalb, too. Our new Representative told my Councilor that she promised help us create our own Dunwoody city school system. She is a real parent.

Buzz G

November 19th, 2010
7:09 am

Neil Boortz is right. Sending your kids to government run schools is a form of child abuse. Private schools are the only way to go any more.

Tamika

November 19th, 2010
7:14 am

While it’s possible that those people who spend tens of thousands of dollars and disrupt their lives by moving to a new location so that their kids can go to a better school are living in a mass unjustified delusion, I doubt it. They are not deciding based on SAT scores but on the observations and experiences of friends and family. However your data is interesting, partly becasue it is so rarely examined in that way.

What if

November 19th, 2010
7:23 am

BG, Boortz is a candidate for the Freud factory. Tell that to the parents of kids at most of the Gwinnett schools (there’s a reason for the Broad prize) – The kids who come in to the high schools from your privates (because their parents know full well their kids won’t get into a decent college from the privates) are typically a year or two BEHIND the kids who have come up through the Gwinnett system. Sadly, even Gwinnett can’t make up for eight years of substandard private education. Indeed there ARE good privates out there – but the only kids who can afford them are the ivy league types.

Dr. Tim

November 19th, 2010
7:28 am

The actual fact is that most white stuidents well wherever they go to school. The burning question is “what is to be done to help black males achieve at the same level?” There is NO reason why they cannot and until we answer that question, we have no reason to brag about anybody’s SAT!

Chrome Gouda

November 19th, 2010
7:32 am

I’m horrible at statistics, so someone tell me if my logic is wrong here, but wouldn’t the fact that the white populations in APS, Decatur and probably Marietta are much smaller, in terms of sample size, creating numbers that are skewed?

larry

November 19th, 2010
7:32 am

Detroit,Wasington D.C. ,New Orleans,Philadelphia,Atlanta.
They are all in the same class.
Inner city black culture promotes the gangsta pimping wrapper drug dealing lifestyle.
Hell,my black friends dont’t educate their kids in town.They live in Kennesaw,Cummings,Roswell,Alpharetta,and they don’t intend on sending them to college at Morehouse,Morris Brown or any other segregated all black sub standard environment.Their families have left the ghetto and moved up to a much better quality of life with better educational opportunties for their kids.

Dr. Proud Black Man

November 19th, 2010
7:34 am

mike

November 19th, 2010
7:37 am

Interesting article and conversations here. BTW you goobers do realize that whatever you say and however you feel, Georgia is still near the end of the list when compared to the rest of the states in this country. So while you are debating which school system is better, you may ask the new governor what can be done to elevate Georgia’s status. Since the previous one did nothing for education, except cancel a couple of school days because he thought the school buses would be using too much gas during Katrina.

ABC

November 19th, 2010
7:41 am

This is not a valid study. Even within the same school district results vary WILDLY among its school. No way you can convince me that Walton High’s SAT scores come even close to the scores of any school in an urban setting. BS.

In fact, I read year after year IN THIS VERY BLOG how Walton High’s results are way higher then anyone’s. As a matter of fact also, YOU have actually called Walton High the “power house of metro Atlanta”

So going district wide means nothing. When you compare a predominantly while school in the suburbs with a predominantly black school in the city, THEN we can talk.

ABC

November 19th, 2010
7:42 am

mike: you got that right too. Even the very very very best schools here in GA are garbage compared to an average school up north. But we live here and we try to make the best of it.

APS Teacher

November 19th, 2010
7:44 am

Most white families with children who live intown are upper middle class professionals who live in Buckhead or the Highlands or Candler Park. I don’t see working class white families in town. In the suburbs (and further out like in Cumming), there are many working class and lower middle class whites, whose test scores are likely lower than those of the upper middle class.

I work for APS; I’d never send my kids to APS.

cracker

November 19th, 2010
7:46 am

PBM……..LAME

BigBird

November 19th, 2010
7:47 am

Dr. Tim, it is a special irony that you have 2 typos:
“The actual fact is that most white STUIDENTS [DO] well wherever they go to school. ”
while claiming racial superiority.
HaHa!

Kevin O

November 19th, 2010
7:55 am

As has already been mentioned here, the APS system is a ghetto culture. My seven year old was learning things like what a “Grill” is, the word “Biatch”, and saying phrases like I’ll put a “Cap in yo ass”, The latter was it for my wife and myself, we found a reasonably priced private school and will not return to the APS system. Oh and in comparisons mentioned the private school has 100% of graduates attend college.We can only hope by then that the Ghetto Culture hasn’t spread

MPS

November 19th, 2010
7:55 am

Important issue – key data that was missing in analysis: what percentage of students in each district actually took the SAT test?
Suburban high schools have a much higher rate of participation which creates a larger pool for the average score. Urban high schools tend to have participation from the college bound students which creates a smaller (high achieving) pool for the average score.

Bewildered

November 19th, 2010
7:58 am

It is sad that so many contributors to this blog believe that what they see on rap videos or the six o clock news is an accurate representation of the black community. That’s like saying that every white woman is just like Sarah Palin (LOL).

Let’s face it. Some of white flight is pushed by Realtors and business people who can buy property cheaper in the burbs than they can in the city. Too many of my white counterparts are “drinking the Kool-Aid” and truly believe that everything is better in the burbs. Watch the trends, blacks and Hispanics of similar economic levels as whites are performing the same on standardized tests.

True, you have some bad schools that service low-income students and those schools struggle. But compare urban schools to rural schools and black “ghetto” schools outperform rural “redneck” schools. Bottom line, money makes a difference. Take your kids to South GA, or North GA mountains and they will get a similar education as a kid in the worst inner city school.

OakhurstDawg

November 19th, 2010
7:59 am

Maureen,

Why rely on a reader to do that kind of research?
Isn’t that the AJC’s job? Or yours?
What data sets is this person using? What methodologies? Who is this person?
There are a lot of questions here.

InHonestTerms

November 19th, 2010
8:04 am

Well ..I have to give it up to @MidGATeacher

A lot of people come out here to simply spew vitriol and racism. I am a Black male. I take no garbage off of anyone, but I am also a realist and an honest person. MidGATeacher said it about as best as it can be said. It’s the “culture” that gets perpetuated by the media. Many have NO IDEA how these record labels and media companies have willfully DESTROYED an entire culture for the sake of corporate executive profit.

Bill

November 19th, 2010
8:05 am

Both of my kids have attended Grady High school in APS. This was a deliberated decision we made over suburban schools. As many of you point out, including Ms. Downey, SAT scores present a limited view. We began with the assumption that a good education may be had by a motivated student at many if not most public schools. We also factored in the benefits of a multicultural experience (increasingly available in the suburbs as well). Grady is about 63% black. My kids have never attended a majority white school, and we are extremely pleased with the education they have received (accomplished would be a better word, since you don’t really receive education).

I does appear that many of the posters here did not read the article carefully. Ms. Downey acknowledges the limitations of the study, and of SAT scores. She also acknowledges the importance of socioeconomic status. She was simply trying to get a glimpse of whether white students can get a decent education in an urban school, and the answer comes back yes. Although her approach ranks several urban schools ahead of prominent suburban schools on the SAT scores of white students, she did not do analysis, not make any claims as to whether these differences were statistically significant.
I believe her point is that white students can do just fine in urban schools, not to argue the superiority of either urban or suburban schools.

Corey

November 19th, 2010
8:08 am

Larry, stop generalizing. There is absolutely nothing substandard about a Morehouse education. There are many overacheiving black males who are in positions of leadership at international companies and in medicine who got their undergraduate education from Morehouse. One of the young men who made a remarkable discovery which will be pataned by UGA involving cloning of pigs recently was a Morehouse graduate. There is a silent, decent black majority. Clowns do get all the attention in the worse way, and the media chase them down.

Bill

November 19th, 2010
8:09 am

I have to take issue with the notion of “white flight”. This was the case from the 1960’s through the 1980’s. In the 1990’s, things began to change. In the last decade, Atlanta has seen more growth in white residents, and many suburbs have seen more growth in minorities. The notion that the city is black and the suburbs are white is increasingly outdated. We all live in the same metropolitan area, and mostly face the same problems. It is a shame we cannot work together to solve them.

Bill

November 19th, 2010
8:12 am

I see many comments on these blogs comparing Atlanta to Detroit, Wasington D.C. , New Orleans, or Philadelphia, as Larry did. What these cities have in common is that they are all majority black. What makes the the Atlanta metropolitan area different from the others is the largest black middle class in the country.

An American Patriot

November 19th, 2010
8:13 am

Folks, you can make statistics say anything you want them to say and someone else, using the same data will probably come up with a different result than the one cited above. Be that as it may, there is a reason families with children are moving to Decatur, and the biggest reason is the School System…….you know why? because the citizens of the City of Decatur care about our children and the kind of schools where they will be educated. We have a Board of Education that cares, we have administrators, teachers, coaches and support personnel that care and we don’t have controversies that aren’t solved to the advantage of our children. We have the greatest little city in the state because of people who take pride in what we have and refuse to be dragged down to the level of say, the DCSS and the APS. In the CSD, emphasis is placed on education…..period. :)

Maureen Downey

November 19th, 2010
8:17 am

@Oakhurst, The AJC has written about SAT scores and which systems do best. I did look at the data that his reader sent and it’s accurate. And it has been reported in the last. But I thought his points were well made and clear,
But I have to emphasize that his chief point is not that these schools are superior in every way. His point is that these schools are not the academic failures that some posters maintain.
I am well aware of intown SAT scores as I live intown. My kids go to Decatur schools, a system we chose because of its achievement history. It consistently has among the state’s top SAT scores. And virtually all of its students, black and white, take the SAT.
The fact in most cases is that a child can get a good education in almost every system in the state if the child gets the strong teachers, has supportive parents who recognize the value of an education and who is made to believe early that education matters. I have met extraordinary scholars from under performing systems. In fact, sometimes these smart kids get more attention and benefits in such systems.

Maureen

MOT

November 19th, 2010
8:17 am

Well I won’t be PC either, but we are not just speculating here, we actually lived it. I was an army brat, raised all over the world, Native American, and did not know about racism (of the black variety-definitely knew it of the Native American type) till as a teen we landed in SC and the busing issue had hit. I have good friends of all ethnic/races. We attend a very diverse church as well. We associate with like-minded folks, so ours was a small group that lived in Dekalb from 1983-1999, trying our best to hold our ground, not do “white” flight. We could not even begin to concern ourselves with the quality of the education when safety was truly THE number one factor. My three oldest went to a high school in what used to be a good school. My oldest first year, he lost a dozen friends b/c parents moved. He was left with one friend who stayed in the area but even his folks put him in a private school. Even as things changed we were thrilled with the diversity offered because our high school was the one that the deaf kids from the deaf school were mainstreamed….those older kids learned sign language, and the refuge kids were mainstreamed through this school, my kids learned a lot about other cultures and as they were paired to escort these kids even learned some of their languages, so we thought it was great. But my third oldest, a girl pulled out in the spring of her senior year, she had enough. Both my girls had long hair, when they would enter the school in the morning certain girls would come up behind them and jerk them by their hair, sometimes bringing them down to the floor. No matter how my girls tried to avoid it it happened. My oldest, a son told me after graduation that getting through those four years was like entering a dark tunnel every day. It was not till a younger brother was getting ready to enter that all the older kids came and begged us to not let him go to that school, he would not make it, he was too sweet and kind and they feared for him. Now we knew it was rough, we kept a hands on as far as we could, but teachers and admin would not could not help. The kids feared for retribution if we got involved. So we set up rules that the kids lived by: some of which were: never go to the bathroom and never be caught in the halls after school is out. The daughter that dropped out finally told us the story of what pushed her to the edge: she was kept after the last class by a teacher to discuss a project. She still needed to run to her locker which was downstairs, she knew the rule but she had to have her books, so she took the chance, ran downstairs, everything deserted, and had almost made it, she heard voices and as she closed her locker there was a group of boys who saw her and headed her direction, and encircled her. They began telling her very graphically what they were going to do to her. She kept her calm and wits and prayed and the thought came to her that she needed to find the boy with the softest eyes she looked through and found the one, she locked her eyes on his and after a few minutes he is the one that said, “Come on lets leave her alone.” And she never went back. We did not know this for a couple of years. As soon as she told us this story I pulled my kids out and homeschooled for a short time, but my kids wanted the high school experience so I went to the county, hoping to use MtoM to let it work for us since we are Native American, I thought surely it can work for us too. We sat in the school district administrators office of one of the most diverse counties in the country and was told by a fine black gentleman in charge of the program, “I’m sorry M’am and Sir, but M to M is for the black kids, it was written specifically for them, but your kids deserve better, lets move them to ____school.” And he made it happen. We bought some time with that move, and then was able to within a year move to Cobb. Even at the new school where they stayed that last year in Dekalb, my kids were exposed to drugs, weapons threats (one son had hot coffee thrown on him, one son had a pencil stabbed in his hand). So at the new Cobb school on the 10th grader’s first day of school at lunch as he tried to juggle his tray of food and books, he sees a Black kid coming towards him, he prepared himself for the tray of food to end up all over him, and then surprised that this dude was coming to help him!!! I cried that my kids had to move to a different part of town to learn that there are good Black people. Our group of friends all got out about a year ahead of us, one had put their kids in the Decatur school system, but found so much trouble in every way they finally moved to Cobb. Another friend whose kids were in school near us pulled out after their son was falsely accused of something another kid did and as they went through all the proper steps and channels it was going to be pinned on him even though he had witnesses that said he did not do it. They pulled out and moved all the way out west. Up till this incident they were always overly giving in and seeing it from the “downtrodden’s” perspective. Other families made similar moves either out of state or out of county. So those parents who are involved and care it is almost like the system does not want you there. Even out of school, the community went from a safe place to be at night and weekends to one of having to be constantly vigilant. In our last year there it was interesting how many times me or my husband were awaken, and there was a sense that we needed to just walk through the house, check on things, turn on lights, look out windows, we would see strange cars drive by (we were in a culdesac) at 2, 3, 4 in the morning, actually had a car broken into and the radio taken, the police helicopter flew over almost every night with the search light on. If you were to ride around anywhere in a 10 + mile radius through the night you would see people out partying, playing, out making trouble, causing commotion, etc. any night of the week into wee hours. We had forgotten what normal life was…when we moved to Cobb, imagine the huge difference as we could go out and feel safe. If we were making a late run to the grocery store or drug store, after midnight: no traffic, empty streets and yards, people in their houses lights off, in bed. Imagine the differences of being able to go out in day light and conduct business at stores etc. and be treated with respect. I have since apologized to our kids who had it so rough, that we did not pull out sooner. They are very generous and tell us that they gained the kind of education that only comes from living in tough places and that they feel they could go anywhere in the world and be ok because of the smarts they learned to survive. That, people, is what kids learn in these schools. Teachers are afraid, so they can’t do anything, kids who are not in gangs are afraid. Through the years my kids have opened up and told me more and more stories of the things they saw and experienced down there….it makes me cry to think my kids were subjected to so much and then they could not even come home and tell us b/c they knew we would take it first to the teachers then to admin, and they had been well schooled in the what happens to the kids (and their family) if you cross those in charge.

Bill

November 19th, 2010
8:18 am

It may be of interest to note that in national surveys, the vast majority of people think that overall, schools are terrible. The vast majority also think that the schools their children attend are pretty good.

John

November 19th, 2010
8:18 am

This is typical flawed logic by another guilty white liberal. Why did youcompare urban blacks against suburban blacks? You can’t compare whites against whites to prove this point. That simply makes no sense because everyone knows that education success is based largely upon the individual student and parental involvement. Suburban students are more likely to come from a 2 parent family with strong parental support and involvement as compared to urban students. If you’re trying to argue that perception does not match reality, you’re out of your mind.

Why We Left

November 19th, 2010
8:18 am

There are reasons other than SAT scores for leaving. We were the racial minority in one of the “high achieving” districts cited in this “study”. I sent my daughter off to college early, and my son to a private school, because of the classroom disruptions and physical/verbal harrassment of my children by their black peers, theft of personal property, and vandalism to my duaghter’s car. Both of my children felt –with justification– that they were under attack, and neither felt safe. In both the high school and the middle school the administrators were either unable or unwilling to control extrememly disruptive students in the classroom, and they refused to punish or otherwise discipline the attackers we were able to identify. My children wanted to learn but the environment made it impossible. THAT’S why we left.

Dr. King was right when he said that we should not judge others by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I’m sure that he would be appalled if he knew how the beneficiaries of his work and sacrifice were squandering his legacy.

iRun

November 19th, 2010
8:18 am

@ APS Teacher -

If you taught in schools serving Buckhead, VaHI, or Candler Park would you still say you wouldn’t send your kids there?

I say this as a Candler Park resident with a child in APS (Mary Lin ES). As you mentioned, most of the white people, most of ALL the people, who live in these areas are upper middle class professionals. Most of us also send our children to APS. So, it stands to reason these schools are very good. Anytime a school is populated by relatively affluent educated families it will do well. And you’re a lucky teacher to teach at Mary Lin because of PTA involvement. They give tons of grants to teachers for programs. Heck, they bought Promethean boards for EVERY single classroom.

Anyway, I understand the mindset of the suburbanites. In some cases it’s justified. But with everything, put away your broad brush. A few others on here have it right…it’s not the fate of middle and upper middle class whites in urban schools that need attention. They will do well wherever they are because they’re the product of an upper middle class home. It’s the fate of poor kids of all races that needs attention.

Don’t believe me? Then why is it the Mary Lin ES and Morningside ES grew so large they had to build Springdale Park ES (ie, SPARK)? And why is it that Mary Lin had to bring in trailers to house the 4th and 5th grade and are now planning to renovate the entire school to add new classrooms? It’s certainly NOT because of white flight.

Put the paint brush down.

Dr NO

November 19th, 2010
8:18 am

Anyone with a little common sense can make numbers appear to represent their perspective so this “book report” is pretty much meaningless.

PS…Morehouse is nothing more than a diploma mill.

John

November 19th, 2010
8:19 am

This is typical flawed logic by another guilty white liberal. Why did you not compare urban blacks against suburban blacks? You can’t compare whites against whites to prove this point. That simply makes no sense because everyone knows that education success is based largely upon the individual student and parental involvement. Suburban students are more likely to come from a 2 parent family with strong parental support and involvement as compared to urban students. If you’re trying to argue that perception does not match reality, you’re out of your mind.

HS Public Teacher

November 19th, 2010
8:19 am

Studies like this are such BS.

The overwhelming factor for education is the parents/home life. This is true in any school system – APS, DeKalb, Fulton, whatever. This is also true for any race – black, white, asian, whatever.

Another “explanation” of this data is that the white students remaining in the city school systems are those that KNOW their child will be successful BECAUSE the parents will INSIST upon it – with tutoring, ensuring study time, etc.

As a parent, I think the same way. The only thing I keep a watch for is if my child gets a notoriously ‘bad’ teacher (not just a rumor but one that EVERYONE is aware of). Then, I simply request to the school administration for a change and they have always accommodated.