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  • #61
    We decided on public school, but also live in an area (and chose a house) based on this. I myself went to private school, and my husband is from another country, so we can't compare his experience. In the area where I grew up, we could have easily gone to public schools and done well, but a parochial education was important to my parents. I don't think it really made a difference for me, and there was certainly a lot less socioeconomic diversity where I went to school.

    Having had quite a few "out of the box" experiences as an adult, including living in several impoverished areas for long periods of time, it is more important to me that my children get a diverse upbringing. Granted, we again live in an area where public schools are great. We certainly have more upper-middle class families, but there are also plenty of low-income families as well. In addition, we are fortunate to live in an area where I would argue we have more racial diversity than any other place I've lived in. This was important to us as well, as our children are mixed-race.

    This all being said, I do think that smart children can succeed in nearly any setting. My children are both smart, but each has their different talents. I would much rather pay for a tutor than pay for private school when I feel I can get them a similar education in a public school setting.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by StarTrekDoc View Post
      Since OP is open to discuss beyond the initial post - here we go again!

      Kamban - this IS the challenge of private schools and specifically the reason I pointed out prep schools with large endowments. They have gone through the growing pains of what you're trying to accomplish -- building an endowment to meet the stated goals - small class size, diversity of culture and SES, and great teaching core. Kudos to you to lead that charge.

      US news - yes, the champion of beauty contest surveys and reports. They tell a story that's skin deep. Like the VA system with 127 instances, if you've seen one VA, you've seen on VA. Each system is unique to its own local dynamics. So are private schools.

      Here's some specific data points to reflect highly rated public schools and city demographics from which they draw and their local prep schools:

      San Diego, CA: zip code 92130
      https://www.city-data.com/zips/92130.html
      -0.8% black
      -3% hispanic
      -Income $197k

      https://www.niche.com/k12/francis-pa...o-ca/students/
      -3% black
      -8% hispanic
      -Endowment:


      Palo Alto, CA
      http://www.city-data.com/city/Palo-Alto-California.html
      -1.8 Black
      -5.5 hispanic
      Income: 160k

      https://www.niche.com/k12/castilleja...o-ca/students/
      -5.3 black
      -8.8 hispanic



      Bloomfield Hills, MI
      https://www.city-data.com/city/Bloom...-Michigan.html
      -3.6% black
      -0.8 hispanic

      https://www.niche.com/k12/cranbrook-...ield-hills-mi/
      -5.2% black
      -1.4 hispanic


      The selection bias of public schools in highly rated school districts is much a filter as most of these established college prep schools have well funded endowments to support financial aid students. The large school systems with charter/magnet schools really would be the best of worlds for diversity AND education and if your child can test and succeed into those situations.

      OP - as you can see - a very wide range of opinions on this -- the best answer -- don't have kids!
      This may be too narrow of a view of diversity. There are plenty of East Asian, South Asian, Russian, Persian, Armenian, etc. kids (often amongst the highest ranked academically) in Carmel Valley and likely Bloomfield Hills as well. Cranbrook is a great school. I would have preferred to go there instead of my smallish public high school.

      But I don’t think it’s a clear cut case that Francis Parker, La Jolla Country Day, Cathedral, or The Bishop’s School would be that much better than Torrey Pines HS or Canyon Crest. The difference in Stanford or Ivy League admissions could come down to legacy admissions and parental ability to pay full freight as much as anything else.

      If you didn’t go to an Ivy, you very well could spend $40K or $50K per year for one of these private schools and find out that your kid doesn’t get the extra points on admission since he or she isn’t a legacy and doesn’t add the sort of diversity that the admissions committee wants.

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      • #63
        We were both public school grads and remain public school advocates. This is despite their shortcomings/limitations and my decidedly mixed views about teachers unions.

        We definitely shopped jobs and communities in finding the ‘perfect’ public school system for us. Culturally this was non-negotiable for us and more important than the house we could buy, the fancy gated community we could live in, or the job I could find. We were not seeking a Palo Alto High or similarly ultra selective (by virtue of SES sorting) or ultra competitive (by virtue of culture) school experience. I loved growing up in a midwestern University town where, it seemed, nearly everyone we knew valued education and knowledge beyond what they could buy you (an income, status, a certain job). Unfortunately that wasn’t available in any of the places we wanted to live, so we had to make a few compromises. We ultimately found a great system for us: kids in immersion foreign language from K through 12th grade; good IB and AP availability; but smallish high school (1200 students), 70% white so relatively mixed SES and no really “wealthy” areas feeding into it. We are certainly among the highest income folks in the school, but there is zero pressure to dress a certain way, drive a certain vehicle, vacation in a certain place. This community is really down to earth and it reflects in the students and their experiences. If anything the schools could stand to push the kids a little harder but ultimately I think kids are going to make of themselves what they will, and my kids are doing well enough (probably looking at state flagship U, maybe outside chance at a small private like the Seven Sisters or something if that’s even worth it).

        When I think of $40k x 13 years tuition or more per child, I get pretty nauseated. We’re prepared to pay for college; but instead of that $500k-$600k for K-12 I’d rather give each of my kids $25k and tell them to go get a job and explore the world for a year or two before settling into college. For us, it would be a much better investment.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by Hank View Post

          This may be too narrow of a view of diversity. There are plenty of East Asian, South Asian, Russian, Persian, Armenian, etc. kids (often amongst the highest ranked academically) in Carmel Valley and likely Bloomfield Hills as well. Cranbrook is a great school. I would have preferred to go there instead of my smallish public high school.

          But I don’t think it’s a clear cut case that Francis Parker, La Jolla Country Day, Cathedral, or The Bishop’s School would be that much better than Torrey Pines HS or Canyon Crest. The difference in Stanford or Ivy League admissions could come down to legacy admissions and parental ability to pay full freight as much as anything else.

          If you didn’t go to an Ivy, you very well could spend $40K or $50K per year for one of these private schools and find out that your kid doesn’t get the extra points on admission since he or she isn’t a legacy and doesn’t add the sort of diversity that the admissions committee wants.
          So true on the admissions. The examples were specific counterpoint examples to the assertation that public schools in highly regarded public school districts are more diversified than private college prep colleges. They are not.

          Academics at all those San Diego/Carmel Valley schools are mostly a push (supporters from each would protest otherwise). Each have their individual strengths too that clearly outperform the others and can spend a better part of a day comparing them for best utilization for their specific child -- which comes down to the individual child. -- first world problems if you're trying to choose between them.

          Again, financially worth it? Nope. Is a Tesla X or Range Rover or Maserati? Nope either. Luxury spend is just that. Some choose to spend it on luxury items or fancy vacations. others choose to spend on their children's education or donate to charitable causes or just FIRE. I do wonder of all those folk making calculations on saving in public over private education really give that money to their kids to startup or travel the world instead vs some other luxury spend.

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by FIREshrink View Post
            We were both public school grads and remain public school advocates. This is despite their shortcomings/limitations and my decidedly mixed views about teachers unions.

            We definitely shopped jobs and communities in finding the ‘perfect’ public school system for us. Culturally this was non-negotiable for us and more important than the house we could buy, the fancy gated community we could live in, or the job I could find. We were not seeking a Palo Alto High or similarly ultra selective (by virtue of SES sorting) or ultra competitive (by virtue of culture) school experience. I loved growing up in a midwestern University town where, it seemed, nearly everyone we knew valued education and knowledge beyond what they could buy you (an income, status, a certain job). Unfortunately that wasn’t available in any of the places we wanted to live, so we had to make a few compromises. We ultimately found a great system for us: kids in immersion foreign language from K through 12th grade; good IB and AP availability; but smallish high school (1200 students), 70% white so relatively mixed SES and no really “wealthy” areas feeding into it. We are certainly among the highest income folks in the school, but there is zero pressure to dress a certain way, drive a certain vehicle, vacation in a certain place. This community is really down to earth and it reflects in the students and their experiences. If anything the schools could stand to push the kids a little harder but ultimately I think kids are going to make of themselves what they will, and my kids are doing well enough (probably looking at state flagship U, maybe outside chance at a small private like the Seven Sisters or something if that’s even worth it).

            When I think of $40k x 13 years tuition or more per child, I get pretty nauseated. We’re prepared to pay for college; but instead of that $500k-$600k for K-12 I’d rather give each of my kids $25k and tell them to go get a job and explore the world for a year or two before settling into college. For us, it would be a much better investment.
            agree with this perspective. made a similar choice. i think education should primarily be about personal development, and not attaining a certain caliber of college or career.
            “. . . And the LORD spake, saying “First shalt thou take out the Holy 401k. Then shalt thou save to 20%, no more, no less. 20% shall be the number thou shalt save, and the number of the saving shall be 20%. 25% shalt thou not save, neither save thou 15%, excepting that thou then proceed to 20%. 30% is right out . . .””

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            • #66
              The classic response to someone proving you’re wrong is to provide handpicked anecdotal examples as a rebuttal. Sorry, but that is not rooted in evidence and a physician of all people should know better. The fact is that overall private schools are less diverse. To say otherwise is to be intentionally ignorant of facts and statistics. Quite sad really. But this is the world we live in where confirmation bias reins supreme.

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              • #67
                Originally posted by medicoFIRE View Post
                The classic response to someone proving you’re wrong is to provide handpicked anecdotal examples as a rebuttal. Sorry, but that is not rooted in evidence and a physician of all people should know better. The fact is that overall private schools are less diverse. To say otherwise is to be intentionally ignorant of facts and statistics. Quite sad really. But this is the world we live in where confirmation bias reins supreme.
                Strong keyboard warrior shaming. Nice. - Welcome to the forum.

                -Used specific examples from reputable sources to show that demographics aren't as stark as claimed

                Yet, taking The US News survey that uses the entire US population to compare the diversity of private schools to it. Do that for top colleges and universities. Will you see the same lack of diversity?

                Here's the source and they even give a listing for best school districts:
                https://www.niche.com/k12/search/best-school-districts/ -
                --take a look at the respective demographics of these top school districts demographics. How do they stack up to the general US population in diversity and compare to the local population -- a very telling picture of have's and haves nots.

                Compare apples to apples is my point. Top public school districts have their own selection bias in economics and hardly a reflection of America as a whole.

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                • #68
                  Hey mod’s- ok to close discussion if you think it’s time. I got what I was hoping for out of our financial discourse.

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                  • #69
                    Thread closed per original poster’s request.

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