Tuesday, March 19, 2013

From the Comment Section: The Daily Item

In the March 18th edition of The Daily Item an article about Lynn's potential for to turn the corner and become a thriving city sparked discussion in the comment section about the actual feasibility of this concept. In response to one commenter who noted that people from outside the city avoid Lynn in part because of its poor schools, user RyansTake left the following remark:

"When you're only asking people from out of town who aren't coming in, you're not asking the people from who *are* coming in... which means you're not getting the feedback on the stuff that actually works or is being done well. I'm interested in Lynn because it's a beautiful community with a lot of value, and has a real up-and-coming sense to it.
For a lot of people who 'aren't interested' in Lynn, it's because of things from the past and misconceptions, a lot of them dramatically divorced from reality. Trying to change their minds may be futile, so focus on the people who are interested... and maybe when so many of the convincible people find the great value of the things to do and places to live in Lynn, they'll convince their skeptical friends of its positives. If not, well... as long as Lynn's doing great, who cares what they think? There are always naysayers.
Speaking of misconceptions.... have you seen the schools in New Bedford, Fall River, Lawrence or even Salem? Lynn has plenty of room to improve with its schools, but any family willing and able to put the time into making sure their kid does their homework will have great success with the Lynn school system. I'm not sure the same can be said of, say, Lawrence or New Bedford.
Instead of drumming to the beat of "Lynn's schools suck," let's actually look at the facts.... It's 4 year graduation rate is 20 points higher than New Bedford's [Editor' Note: Lynn's 4 year graduation rate is 18.7 points higher than New Bedford's] and about 7 points lower than Beverly's [Editor's Note: This statement is accurate].
What's that say? There's room for improvement, but clearly Lynn is doing some things right. The bottom line: Families with parents involved in their child's education are graduating their students in Lynn, and a lot of those students are doing very well. It's the (unfortunately) broken families that Lynn isn't reaching, but no school in America is reaching them in great abundance -- not even charters, which force out underperforming students at unbelievably high rates, and unlike public schools, don't have to count them in their 4-year graduation rate.
Lynn just has a lot more of these families than, say, Lynnfield. Aside from that, Lynn's schools are in some ways doing better than they should, given what the socioeconomic data tells us.So, again, there's value here for many young professionals looking for a place to live, even if they have or are thinking of having kids who will need to go to schools."


Are people too quick to point to Lynn's so-called "poor schools" as the reason it remains undesirable to many outside the city? Are some of the perceptions surrounding LPS unwarranted?

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