Sean emails with a question that's a little bit different -- his family has young children and they're thinking about where to settle. They are, in some sense, free agents looking for the right school district. From his email:
It's one thing to look at graduation statistics, crime statistics, etc and focus on the "bad" for reasons why you wouldn't want to live somewhere and have your kid go to those schools, or even using those stats to justify why your school is better ("my team is better than your team b/c yours sucks"). You also hear all kinds of anecdotes and stereotypes about various school districts, yet those only seem to encapsulate the best-of-the-best or the very worst of the students that pass through.
I'd be most interested in hearing people lobby for what they think is the best school system and associated community, and why. For example:
+ I think Albany schools are the best b/c kids get to experience (socially) what the real world is like. They will academically succeed or fail in any school district more or less the same, but here they are enriched to a degree that you can't get anywhere else in the region. Or...
+ I think Voorheesville schools are the best b/c the school system is small enough that everyone gets to participate in whatever they want - clubs, sports, music. Whether you're destined to become a PRO or are just trying something out, you will have a place on the team / in the group. Or...
+ I think Shen schools are the best because kids are put in a competitive environment where they truly have to earn their accolades, whether athletically or cognitively. The cream will rise to the top, but everyone will benefit from the competition.
In short, we get the feeling Sean is looking for reasons to actively pick a school district rather than reasons to not pick another district.
Of course, this is a complicated question. And the right situation for one family might not be the right situation for another. But if you have some thoughts to offer, please share! Even if you don't have a specific district suggestion, some thoughts on how to think about the decision could also be helpful.
We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.