That's so classy

IMAGE(http://www.universalhub.com/files/photos/bps.png?1364229442)The first round of lottery assignments for students in Boston Public Schools went out last week. Some parents were overjoyed that their children would be going to the schools they preferred; others (probably, including the lady whose child didn't get into his first 9 choices) were faced with disappointment.

But, worry not, parents! You have another option - Simply move!

The online version of Boston Magazine has a column by Steve Poftak about a Westwood Realtor(TM!) who has come up with a novel way of getting more business.

Did your child not get into the school of their choice?

Every school is a GREAT CHOICE in WESTWOOD!

The best decision I made 10 years ago was moving to Westwood with one of the best schools in the state and not having to worry about school placement and entrance exams.

Clever marketing? Or, rudest thing you've ever heard of?

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    When Westwood cracks the top 10, it's time to brag

    By on

    I just looked at Boston Magazine's rankings for 2012, presumably where this real estate agent got her information and Westwood is number 13. Thirteen! Not even the Top 10!

    If you're going to move all the way out to the forest to protect your children from the horrors of public education in Boston, spend a little more and move to Dover. Now that's a school system worth bragging about.

    http://www.bostonmagazine.com/best-schools-boston-...

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    Bonus points

    By on

    If your kids aren't lily white, they will be able to write a book about "stupid shit isolated people say" by the end of their first semester!

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    Top 10?

    To be fair, I think it's safe to say that there is no discernable difference between the top 20 or so. They're all excellent schools. Other polls could have the top 25 in a totally different order. Regardless, Westwood has excellent schools that a lot of people, even Boston residents, would love to get their kids into.

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    The best decision he made 10

    By on

    The best decision he made 10 years before that was to get on a career track that would pay him enough money to be able to afford a house in Westwood.

    In his defense, though, Boston Magazine's readership probably does skew toward higher-income households.

    Also

    By on

    You get wonderful neighbors like this guy!

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    It's part of the great

    By on

    West Roxbury migration to Westwood, so people can congratulate themselves on avoiding BPS. See ya later!

    west roxbury

    By on

    already has some of the best/most sought after schools in all of BPS - and the new lottery system all but assures those kids a spot at those schools.

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    What's the matter - afraid of

    What's the matter - afraid of some competition? What does rudeness have to do with it? People have been moving out of the city for better schools for decades. And the type of parent who is obsessive about education may just have the money to move to Westwood.

    It's not like real estate agents are shy about drumming up business. And it's not like this one is telling people to get out before the black people move in. Schools are a prime driver of residential location choice.

    I'd worry more about the quality of Boston schools, and less about suburban real estate weasels.

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    Come on, this is pretty

    By on

    Come on, this is pretty obvious, isn't it?

    Boston offers certain things that the nice suburbs don't: clubs, bars, city life, a chance to find someone of the opposite sex if you're in your 20s. For someone in their 20s, the choice where to live is clear.

    But let's not be naive: Once you've gotten your partying out and settle down, you'd be a hopelessly magical-thinking leftie to pretend that your kids will get as good an education going to Boston public schools as in the suburbs ... unless, of course, you've got the money to send your children to private school.

    The fact is that you can't encourage sanctuary cities, the migration of illegal immigrants who are some of the world's least-educated people, etc., into big cities, and then pretend that there are no consequences whatsoever. One such consequence is the decline of living standards, including education quality, in inner cities: Oaxacan landscapers living in Dorchester are on a totally different plane from American (or immigrant) tech workers and engineers who tend to live in the suburbs. Those demographics mean that Boston schools are simply not going to allow the child of educated Americans (or educated immigrants) to get the level of learning they would in Westwood or elsewhere.

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    Huh?

    By on

    I know that threads like this are an open invitation for anyone with a beef to get up on their soapbox, but...illegal immigrants and their myriad children are ruining the BPS? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Seriously. Anyone who has ever set foot inside a school in Boston, from Dorchester to Eastie to Brighton can tell you that this is not the case. Not remotely. The only "illegal immigrants" that I ever encountered during my many years in the BPS were in fact shy, quiet, and incredibly smart--total assets to their school and hardly the ruthless gangbangers that Anon is imagining. But hey--maybe Anon knows something we don't...like where the packs of Oaxacan landscapers are hanging out in Dorchester these days...?

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    Isn't this guy's claim fairly obvious - and noncontroversial?

    By on

    Come on, this is pretty obvious, isn't it?

    Boston offers certain things that the nice suburbs don't: clubs, bars, city life, a chance to find someone of the opposite sex if you're in your 20s. For someone in their 20s, the choice where to live is clear.

    But let's not be naive: Once you've gotten your partying out and settle down, you'd be a hopelessly magical-thinking leftie to pretend that your kids will get as good an education going to Boston public schools as in the suburbs ... unless, of course, you've got the money to send your children to private school.

    The fact is that you can't encourage sanctuary cities, the migration of illegal immigrants who are some of the world's least-educated people, etc., into big cities, and then pretend that there are no consequences whatsoever. One such consequence is the decline of living standards, including education quality, in inner cities: Oaxacan landscapers living in Dorchester are on a totally different plane from American (or immigrant) tech workers and engineers who tend to live in the suburbs. Those demographics mean that Boston schools are simply not going to allow the child of educated Americans (or educated immigrants) to get the level of learning they would in Westwood or elsewhere.

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    Oh, hi, 1985, love the leg warmers!

    By on

    There are kids getting very good educations in the BPS system. My daughter, for example.

    Is every school good? No. Is it a frustrating system that makes being a BPS parent a lot harder than being a parent in a neighboring rich suburb? Yes. Do I know people who just gave up and fled to the suburbs? You bet.

    But just because your racial views are stuck in the last century, along with your knowledge of public schools in Boston doesn't mean that other people should make the same mistake.

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    I'm glad I bought a house in Weston....

    By on

    I admire Adam to the max, but I have a strong feeling his kid is getting a great education from his dad (nature and nurture) and family, and the fact that Adam knows how to navigate BPS.

    But for 600K, I bought a house in Weston that guarantees a good school for less than a duplex in Back Bay or South End, and I don't even have to know or pay off the Mayor to 'win' a lottery. Town Hall meetings are fascinating, there is no way the corruption and waste in this city would pass muster with those long involved citizens who 'gasp' get to ask questions of their elected officials and get answers about budgets, etc. Enlightened parents won't have any problem bringing their kids into the city to enjoy all the great things offered here.

    Either way, in the city or the burbs, parental involvement is the number one indicator of success, and why do we have to point fingers as if one place or the other is better. Don't we have freedom of choice in this country?

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    As always...

    By on

    I love this notion that there's some kind of secret handshake that Adam or anyone in Boston uses to "game the system"--one that's somehow eluded the unfortunate folk who had to move to Weston. If there is, can someone please tell me, along with the location of the Curley desk?

    No magic handshakes, but ...

    By on

    The current system - which allegedly goes away for the 2014/15 school year - can take considerable time, if not skill, to navigate, and that's something that's a lot easier if you have parents who are no already working to death.

    Before we played the lottery (and won - we got the school we wanted), we joined a group of parents in our assignment zone, which had weekly meetings where we compared school-visit notes (a must, given how uneven BPS schools are in not just test scores but other qualities you might find important) and about best strategies for listing schools on your lottery form (other years, I heard, parents discussed "taking over" a school by all making it their top choice).

    All fine and good, if yet another example of how you really have to work to be a BPS parent, but the thing that always struck me as kind of odd was how white the group was, in a system that, at the time was only 15% white (the number is a bit lower now).

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    Freedom of choice

    By on

    "Freedom of choice" is an interesting phrase to use, because it highlights the fact that you did, in fact, have a choice. There isn't - and shouldn't be - anything preventing you from exercising that choice, but moving to Weston is a something that most families in the Boston schools could never afford. And every time a savvy family opts out, the schools are worse off for it, and I don't mean that those kids' test scores would bring up the city average. The demographics of our schools no longer resemble the city's demographics at all. This reduces the political will to actually solve the problems in our schools, since they now serve a smaller and less politically powerful segment of the population.

    Now, I don't mean to criticize any individual's choice when it comes to schools. I realize that I was lucky to have done well in the lottery and don't know what I would have done if I hadn't been. I also realize that the city needs to do a better job of attracting families. But I worry that we're caught in a cycle where quality goes down, causing families with options to leave, which in turn causes a disinvestment in the schools. I suspect that reversing that cycle could do wonders for the schools, but how to do it?

    Absolutely right. All those

    By on

    Absolutely right. All those poor people whose kids are being raked over the coals in terrible Boston schools should just suck it up and pony up $600K for a house in a wealthy white suburb. I can't imagine what's stopping them from doing it.

    But, Adam ...

    By on

    It's all fun and games until your daughter takes up with the soiled spawn of an illiterate Oxacan landscaper! (faints)

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    Striving immigrant culture

    I'd like to thank those immigrants who lack education but are damn well driving their kids to take full advantage. I really appreciate their kids busting my older son's arse into gear! Medford has plenty of immigrants - working class immigrants - and it seems like most of them value education and push their kids. The honor roll reads like a UN distribution list.

    He calls them his friends and has learned a hell of a lot more from them and their families and their struggles and their low regard for slacking and mediocrity than he would ever have learned had we moved to Winchester (yes, we can afford that). He's been learning a hell of a lot more about the world and life and hard work, too.

    Immigrants tend to be the best and the brightest from where they hail from, educated or not, and most push their kids harder than US-born parents ever will. As a soccer coach I got to meet a lot of them - and, even if they were illiterate in English and nearly so in Spanish/Portuguese, they were making sure their kids took advantage of EVERY opportunity.

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    The awareness of hardworking

    By on

    The awareness of hardworking immigrants is not a novelty for most residents of urban and sub-urban areas in the Northeast. I'm glad your family is embracing what many of us whose families are descended from immigrants are well familiar with already though.

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    Point Well Missed

    By on

    Did you even bother to read the post I responded to? The one where immigrants were the death of schools because of their purportedly uneducated parents? Or were you too obsessed with finding a way to attack me personally to bother following the thread?

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    Have you ever seen the BPS valedictorians?

    Every year, the Globe (ya, I know, you all love to hate on the Globe) lists all the valedictorians of the BPS high schools along with pics of each one. A safe estimate would be that at least 2/3 of them are names (I'm going to tread carefully here) that one would not normally associate with being "American".

    There are also endless stories (and I am a total sucker for these) of families coming over, knowing no English, their kid(s) gets plopped into a class having no idea of what's going on, and the kid ends up being tops in the class within a year. Love it.

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    I'm a BPS parent. I really

    By on

    I'm a BPS parent. I really happen to like where I live so I'll fight to make it work. FYI - there are some really great schools in the city.

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    I hesitated & waited to post

    By on

    I hesitated & waited to post here because I do not have kids, & have no pony in this race. I did work in urban and suburban public school libraries, though not in Massachusetts. From what I saw one is not better than the other, although suburban districts are usually better funded. The biggest positive effect on schools that I saw was in how involved parents are in the school (and in the kids, for that matter). Involved parents=good school, good students. In DC, the amazing Ethiopian families who donated books and had parents come in to the library after classes to tutor kids in algebra blew me away. Similarly, I saw some of the upper middle class suburban parents on the outskirts of Virginia Beach park their kids at a school and assume that the school will take care of everything, including inculcating basic ethics and social graces.

    Obviously most people cannot afford to move to Weston. They do have an excellent high school. However, it is little different than any private prep school in eastern MA, inasmuch as it has good academics, good facilities, a low teacher:student ratio, and is overwhelmingly upper middle-class+ and white. Not only, but definitely overwhelmingly. Instead of paying tuition, the parents pay for the house and the real estate taxes. This is not criticism-- every parent wants to make good choices for their kids-- but Weston, which has a median family income of over $200,000, is the wealthiest town in Massachusetts and regularly show up on magazine lists as one of the most expensive suburbs in the country isn't exactly the median, typical suburb. Weston isn't Braintree, or Malden, or Milton or Quincy or Framingham.

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    Yeah but there are plenty of

    By on

    Yeah but there are plenty of suburbs that aren't Weston who have more reasonable median family incomes and real estate prices, where you don't have to put a Herculean effort in to HOPEFULLY get your kid into a good school -- and then be stuck with few options if they don't (which happens all the time).

    For the vast majority of people reading and commenting on this forum, this ultimately comes down to a lifestyle decision about where they want to live, so having a superiority complex about (and those seem to flow both ways on this one for some reason) is supremely idiotic.

    Money is no different than time and the time to navigate all the bullshit Adam described to ensure a good BPS experience is, for a lot of people, a much bigger luxury than having the funds to move out of the city into a solid school district (which again, is not limited to Weston or other tony towns).

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    You're right - it's a choice

    By on

    I don't want to get into the whole suburb-vs.-city thing, but, yes, there are people who want to live in a city and who think being in the city is worth the extra work that sometimes entails for things such as schools.

    I'll admit my wife and I discussed whether to move out of the city if we didn't get our daughter into one of the schools we wanted. Fortunately, we never had to seriously consider it since we did get lucky in the lottery.

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    If you didn't know better,

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    If you didn't know better, you could read thru the comments on these types of threads and come away thinking that the city has inexpensive real estate or something.

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    Compared to Milton, Brookline or Newton, yes, it does

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    There's more to Boston than $1,700 closets in Fort Point and $2-million condos in the South End.

    Not everybody needs or wants to live right downtown, despite what the media, developers and the BRA would want you to believe.

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    What neighborhoods have

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    What neighborhoods have affordable real estate? Parts of Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan and Roxbury? I certainly wouldn't call JP inexpensive. Roslindale might be a little cheaper but a historic type home there, even one that requires a lot of elbow grease, is still expensive in my opinion. Charlestown? Not inexpensive. Certainly none of the downtown neighborhoods...

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    Historic type homes?

    By on

    Yeah, sure, if you're talking about some big ol' Victorian Pondside in JP, it's going to cost you.

    Just like South End condos, not everybody needs one of those. Plenty of Capes and small Colonials that will suit some families just fine. Are they cheap compared to what you could get in, oh, Indiana? No. Compared to Milton or Brookline. You betcha.

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    Fair enough. That said, if a

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    Fair enough. That said, if a Boston property is within easy walking distance to reliable transport it will cost bank. Regardless of the builiding type/dwelling. But it appears that it helps to stabilize the value as well.

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    There are some nice sections

    By on

    There are some nice sections of Hyde Park with incredibly affordable real estate and great commuter rail access.

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    reliable transport doesn't mean that much either though......

    Moss Hill has probably the worst public transportation options in the city, with some of the nicest homes.

    West Roxbury doesn't have the easiest access to Downtown Boston either.

    It is actually probably the opposite. The more public transportation around, the cheaper the housing usually is. Wealthier people rely less on public transportation.

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    Sumner Hill has nicer homes

    By on

    Sumner Hill has nicer homes that Moss Hill and is very close to the T. Anyone looking for a more urban experience would pay more to be closer to the T. Imagine the real estate listing - "Enjoy the city life, pay premium price, no subway accessible, must own car(s)"

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    Yea I wasn't really talking about enjoying "city life"....

    You can do that in Brookline as much as you can in Jamaica Plain. (You can also do that in the projects near Ruggles)

    My point was more about being closer to transportation being equal to higher priced homes. I doubt you can find a correlation between the two.

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    I bet that you can. Imagine

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    I bet that you can. Imagine looking at a map of Boston and the housing costs per unit superimposed over a map of the T. I'm pretty certain that overall the highest housing costs will be close to the subway lines, trolley, silver line, and major bus routes (i.e., buses that used to be trolleys, ie, 39, 57, etc).

    I'm not so sure....

    Well if you look at just the city itself, you would be hard pressed to find anywhere that isn't 1 mile from a bus route, so that would be hard anyway.

    But do the same thing with the poorest areas, and you will find that most of these areas are flooded with transportation options as well.

    There have been many articles

    By on

    There have been many articles written on the subject transit discrimination and disinvestment and it's impact on poorer neighborhoods in our city and others. For example, there might be bus service in, say, the Talbot Ave corridor but I'm sure that the service isn't what it could or should be compared to other wealthier areas with the same density and similar transit requirements. I'm sure that telling people from certain poorer areas that their neighborhoods are flooded with transport options would not go over well.

    For the purposes of this conversation, we can focus on subways, trolleys and articulated buses that follow historic yet now deceased trolley/elevated train routes.

    Choose a city neighborhood with 2 identical triple deckers, one being walking distance to a bus that takes you to the subway and the other being on the subway. The latter will be more desirable and more expensive as either a rental or a condo buy.

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    It still depends.

    There are triple deckers in Brookline next to the Brookline Village T Station, and there are triple deckers in Forest Hills, and there are triple deckers next to Jackson Square, and there are triple deckers on Mission Hill (E Line), and there are triple deckers in Egelston Square (Orange Line), Orient Heights (Maverick/Orient Heights).......

    There are triple deckers in every section of this city, many in bad or good places, many next to transportation and many are not.

    Plus many of these tracks have been layed 100+ years ago, there isn't much you can do about that.

    And is Sumner Hill a nicer neibhborhood than Moss Hill? I know some of the houses are bigger and nicer, but what is the crime rate like? (Different "city" experience, I know)

    And I'm going to label the commuter rail as inneffecient transportation in terms of getting someone into the city at convenient times and hours, that would exclude much of West Roxbury and Hyde Park (and Moss Hill)

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    I'm talking triple deckers

    By on

    I'm talking triple deckers within a specific neighborhood within Boston. So, within the same sub neighborhood of say a larger neighborhood. Forest Hills, like you mention, is a good example.

    I would say that Sumner Hill has more important architecure and provides for an actual urban lifestyle. Walkability is really the key. Perhaps there' more crime but that is a trade off I guess.

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