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Dear UrbanBaby community,

Thank you so much for being a valued member of the UrbanBaby community. We wanted to inform you that we are shutting down the site on July 6th. We are grateful for your participation and support that has helped make UrbanBaby such an important resource to parents for many years.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can email us at urbanbaby-support@cbsinteractive.com.

Thanks so much,

UrbanBaby Support

[ - ] i'm planning on contacting an old friend who i haven't spoken to in 10 years. friendship ended b/c of me and i wasn't so nice. i've felt bad about it. how do i start this conversation. tia. 15 Replies [ Reply | Watch | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:11 AM Flag
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contact her, expect anger or no response [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:12 AM Flag
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and don't expect a friendship again. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:13 AM Flag
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then maybe i shouldn't contact? pls be honest. thanks. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:16 AM Flag
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Why do you want to make contact? [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:15 AM Flag
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i don't know. she was such a nice person and i feel bad about how it ended. what do you think - don't contact? [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:17 AM Flag
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If she was such a nice person and you feel bad and think contacting her won't make her feel bad and you want to make a heartfelt apology, then, why not, life is short. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:25 AM Flag
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Dont contact. I just did something similar (though our friendship had reconciled years later but then we lost touch again) and she was an absolute bitch. Dont do it. Preserve yourself and faith in humanity not to be petty. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:25 AM Flag
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wow. two such different perspectives. i guess i'll have to think about this more. thanks for your responses. i really appreciate it. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:28 AM Flag
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why not write a letter first..there you can pour your heart out without her hanging up on you. I'm sure she will read it. Then tell her you would love to contact her and give her your number or email. Let her make the decision [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:30 AM Flag
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maybe i'll try this - is sending an email ok? [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:32 AM Flag
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I don't see why not. I think anything written from the heart will just be that BUT be aware, an email from you could go in to her spam folder or she will not recognize the email address and delete you. I would handwrite a letter [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:36 AM Flag
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ok. i'll do this. thanks so much for your thoughtful response. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:39 AM Flag
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YW. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:45 AM Flag
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Call her - be up front and honest. Tell her you are sorry and want her back in your life. Good luck! [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:48 AM Flag
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thank you. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 06:08 AM Flag
[ - ] how much should i be paying my nanny. she only speaks spanish and works 40 hours per week. she has been getting $520 an hour and just asked for a hundred dollar raise. this seems crazy to me but who knows? am I a cheap bastard? 5 Replies [ Reply | Watch | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:41 AM Flag
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can I work for you? I would take $500 an hour [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:49 AM Flag
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$520 an hour is a very good rate! [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:49 AM Flag
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is this off the books? that's a lot if it is [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:51 AM Flag
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You pay your nanny over a quarter of a million dollars a year? I would say she, most likely, does NOT need a raise. You are NO WHERE NEAR cheap! [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:50 AM Flag
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correction - my trying to do math before 9am....you pay your nanny close to ONE MILLION dollars a year?!?!? Wow, no raise needed there! :) [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:54 AM Flag
[ - ] We've made amazing progress with potty training my 3yo boy. But the past two nights he's wet the bed at 6am and come in my room soaked. do i go back to diapers or what do i do since its when he's sleeping? He has very few in an accidents during the day and hasn't worn a diaper at night for two weeks. Any advice? 2 Replies [ Reply | Watch | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:35 AM Flag
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he may just not be ready for the nightime training. Sounds like it could be just an accident. Does he have liquids before bedtime? I limit liquids one hour before bedtime and when my dd was just potty trained, for the first 2 wks I would bring her to the potty while she was sleeping (before I went to bed) to empty her bladder. She never really woke up but it helped with accidents. GL [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:37 AM Flag
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I agree with above poster -- make him pee before bed and then take him in his sleep later. DO NOT put him back in diapers! He's figuring it out, since he doesn't like being wet and wakes up. If it's a physical thing (some kids just take longer for night time) then try pull ups. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:56 AM Flag
[ - ] Rec's needed in Manhattan (not uptown) for a dc 4th bday party. Nothing that will cost me 1k please. Tx 6 Replies [ Reply | Watch | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:32 AM Flag
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cma, party in the park (though a ton of work), ymcas, party in apt [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:36 AM Flag
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op: thx. Apt is too small, I'm very pg so don't want a party in the park since I know it's a lot of work. I will look into the Y's [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:39 AM Flag
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and cut back the guest list [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:39 AM Flag
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op: even with a small guest list, apt is still too congested for 8 4yr olds to play. This is the min. we must invite to the party and that's mostly cousins. Good thing her bday is in Aug so many ppl are out of town if not the list would include classmates [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:48 AM Flag
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St. Vartan's playgroup facility. Located in St. Vartan's park, which is located between 35 and 36th St. at First Ave. Costs about $250 and is a fully equipped playspace and it has a kitchen that you can use for the party. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:12 AM Flag
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thx [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:25 AM Flag
[ - ] true! thanks to both 0 Replies [ Reply | Watch | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:32 AM Flag
[ - ] this is terrible to admit , but we are thinking about #2 and i have this fear that if someting goes wrong (lose the baby, disability, etc) it will destroy my whole world. my life with #1 and dh is so happy and i nver imagined life could be so good.i don't want to rock the boat. how do i get over this?? 3 Replies [ Reply | Watch | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:29 AM Flag
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Just have another one. All those terrible things can happen at any time to your DH or #1 as well == you could get hit by a bus tomorrow. Live life. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:30 AM Flag
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if you live your life with what if's then you will be one big paranoid person. If you want another dc go for it. It's great. I'm pg with #3 (wasn't planned) but am so excited to have another member of our family [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:31 AM Flag
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I've had the same feelings but we had #2 and everything went well. Having a dc is an anxious time and things can go wrong but often they don't GL [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:56 AM Flag
[ - ] Anyone taking Anderson and withdrawing from Hunter? Wondering if the boys w/l will move some more. 5 Replies [ Reply | Watch | More ]
NY Schools 06.19.08, 03:36 AM Flag
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It's not likely to happen. No matter how many times you post. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:37 AM Flag
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What number are you? Boys list has been moved so much and I don't think it will move so much any more. Everybody seem to settled. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:44 AM Flag
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ITA- There are only 2 boys left to call (#11 and #12). Best of luck to you! i have a girl on the w/l with a high # too- I know it will not move for us though. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:54 AM Flag
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it is good to have that perspective and move on so that you are open to the school your dd will attend [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:13 AM Flag
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or: ITA. Can't live life counting on the what-if's and maybe's [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:16 AM Flag
[ - ] I think all the people here suddenly attacking anderson are just filled with envy and bitterness. 8 Replies [ Reply | Watch | More ]
NY Schools 06.19.08, 03:28 AM Flag
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ITA. Look back a week ago and people were begging and praying for Anderson. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 03:38 AM Flag
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definitely. there's always been an element like that on ub that emerges in tough times [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:28 AM Flag
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this always happens when letters go out with public and private. The schools that ppl were hoping for all of a sudden because the schools they spit on. Typical UB [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:34 AM Flag
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ITTTTA. it happend when the Hunter lists came out too. People are just very bitter and jealous. really sad, imho. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:57 AM Flag
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people have way too much of their identities invested in their dc's. watching ub, I think the public moms are far worse than the privates too (at least on ub and in the circle of families we know) [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:58 AM Flag
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I've been through both cycles and I disagree. They are equally bad. What about the endless bashing of the different ss girls schools, Dalton and HM bashing, Dwight and Hewitt are for dumb kids, etc?!? [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:08 AM Flag
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i agree with you - equally bad - there is no private school action now so the public school parents seem worse [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:12 AM Flag
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ah. voices of reason. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:56 AM Flag
[ - ] Lexus RX350 or Acura RDX? Opinions? 0 Replies [ Reply | Watch | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 03:16 AM Flag
[ - ] Kung Foo Panda...Can I take my 2 1/2 year old? Going to birthday party with 5 year old and younger DS is invited too. 2 Replies [ Reply | Watch | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 03:14 AM Flag
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my 3.5 yr old liked it but she also got bored in some parts. I think 2.5 is young but you know your dc. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 03:39 AM Flag
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please don't [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:53 AM Flag
[ - ] NY Times article on how predominantly minority Districts and schools have been shut out of the G&T process this year. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/19/nyregion/19gifted.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin 66 Replies [ Reply | Watch | More ]
NY Schools 06.19.08, 02:53 AM Flag
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so it sounds like they should do what they did last year. provide scaled scores and fill district programs with the highest scores, regardless of percentile. that would mean gifted programs in all districts would be filled with that districts highest scorers, regardless of national percentile. makes sense to me. if no one in south bronx goes to preschool, then take the best of thodse. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 03:25 AM Flag
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go D3! [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 03:26 AM Flag
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yuck [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:59 AM Flag
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We live in the south Bronx and most parents feel schools like KIPP academy, various charter schools and parochial schools will give their children the best education. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:33 AM Flag
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np: my dh grew up in the south bx and his mom's idea of picking a school was whichever was closest for her to drop them off. Because of his horrible education there, he vowed that public will never be an option for our dc even if he has to work 3 jobs. I'm glad the area now has altern. schools like charter and parochial school. The kids deserve a chance at a good education [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:35 AM Flag
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I'm just pointing out what the parents feel--I'm not sure the quality of the education, but having concerned parents is obviously a big part of a good school. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:49 AM Flag
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sure it is..that was my point too (mil wasn't concerned but only for herself). That's why I'm happy that there are other school altern. in the s. bx [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:52 AM Flag
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^^^ and I'm also saying that I don't think the idea of gifted and talented holds the same cachet for most poorer parents as it does for middle and upper middle class parents. Parents I know here in the Bronx look for well-behaved, respectful kids in uniforms as a sign of a good school. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:53 AM Flag
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very true because many don't know better. I grew up in the LES to a poor family. My parents idea of a good school was a catholic school. When I was older and brought up the idea of a independ. private school or a specialized public, the answer was no. Parents need to be educated on the options but unfortunately many don't know they have a choice or that they could make a difference in their local public if they all get together. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:59 AM Flag
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I think it goes deeper than "knowing better." I think it's a class difference about the place of children [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:08 AM Flag
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I disagree. The diff. in class (i'm talking about financially) has a lot to do with not being exposed to things outside of their box. Many who are raised in the ghetto, only know the ghetto. If they are informed by others who they can relate too and shown that there are better ways outside what they know, things can change. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:47 AM Flag
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I live in the "ghetto" and I have a master's degree and so does my husband. You forget that with rent prices, the "ghetto" is where most of us have to live. I pay $2400 for a three bedroom. Many of my neighbors pay much, much less. But this was the only place I could find an affordable place to live with the space we need. Do not know what we'll do when children are school age. We have to live in certain areas because I work at night and have to take a company car home and are limited to zones--I would have to quit my job. Just saying quit assuming what educational classes live in the south bronx or flatbush or bed stuy or whereever the hell. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 08:02 AM Flag
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np - I know what you mean but you must also know what the above posters mean. And that you don't really fit into this discussion. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 08:06 AM Flag
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I teach in pub school in S Bronx and I think you are naive. I think it is not about "showing ppl the light" in so many words, but rather where people are at, and what they value. Many parents don't value education, don't respect teachers themselves. Many DO, but they are not the problem. it only takes a handful of really disrpectful, very troubled, children in every class to bring down the learning environment academic level for all. It's the families. Not the DOE, not the Union, etc. There's a reason why others who can flee these schools. it's the peer group. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 06:53 PM Flag
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I agree that in NYC it seems that concerned, involved parents can impact the success of a school. But what does that mean for a family trying to make ends meet with two parents working, and possibly trying to care for elders at the same time. I hear talk in some neighborhoods families are expected to contribute $500 plus for resources like teaching assistants in the classrooms... sheesh... some families are wondering how they are going to put food on the table - coming up with that kind of dough just isn't feasible. To my mind, when the quality of education your child receives depends on the amount of money the parents are able to contribute, the system is moving into the realm of private education and away from what the core principles of public education. Where else in the world (sincere question ) are parents of publicly educated kids asked to make significant financial contributions to their children's education? [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 07:40 AM Flag
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np. ITTTA. In the public school system where I used to live, donating $ directly to your own dc's school wasn't permitted. Any contributions made by parents were distributed between the schools in the district. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 07:51 AM Flag
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If only NYC DOE were as enlightened - though my guess is that it wouldn't fly here. I just don't get the vibe that when push comes to shove families would be willing to subsidize the education of less advantaged families. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 08:30 AM Flag
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That's only for certain UB, MC/UMC public schools. There are many good to great schools with a mostly poor parent body and they're also good - because they're filled with families who WANT to be there & who care about their kids' education. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 08:07 AM Flag
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So by inference you're suggesting that kids in schools without involved families are just SOL? Isn't that a bit like blaming the victim. It's not like a 4 year old in a family without the resources of free time could empower his parents with the knowledge and perspective that might make a difference in his/her school. Isn't it a social responsibility to provide an equal education to all children in our city? [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 08:33 AM Flag
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I teach and I find this stuff really naive that you are writing. I think it's very important that families value education, value the authority of the grown ups at the school, back up the school, etc.if kids are to follow the rules. Very important in terms of learning environment, which is key to 'equal' education. It is also impossible for kids to get an 'equal' education when there is so much unequality in homes. There is just NO way that an average child in a poor, spanish speaking illiterate household is going to have the same support, and make the same advances educationally, that another child of equal ability will who is from an educated family that speaks english and reads, and makes doing homework, and reading, an important activity to be done in a quiet room before dinner, etc. You just can't even begin to go on about hollow things like "equal" education when there is so much inequality. The education will never be equal. Schools are only PART of where children grow up. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 07:01 PM Flag
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ps: to say that it's about a family who has no time is the least of it@! It's about a family that is in another world entirely from this UB universe, who can't read what we write, who doesn't even understand that there is a problem. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 07:03 PM Flag
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np. The DOE already lowered the cutoff from 95% to 90% Lowering it even more is a bad idea if it's supposed to be about giftedness. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 07:07 AM Flag
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Interesting last sentence, from a group of educators and politicians: “Testing young children for gifted classes most likely will increase inequities,” read the letter, “and undermine educational opportunities for all children.” [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:18 AM Flag
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I tend to agree. And yet I'll try to send my child to a g&t when the time comes. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 07:07 AM Flag
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I don't see how they'll ever find a way to have g&ts without having this problem. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:30 AM Flag
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zoned schools until 4th grade, then introduce citywides and g&t. when you start testing for K, with white umc children in preschool and enrichment vs predominantly poor and minority dc's in universal prek, if any sort of ps, very different results in testing at ages 4-5. if you provide a baseline educ from k-3 for all kids, will have a better chance of getting underrepresented minorities better representation in g&t [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:35 AM Flag
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np: ITTTA. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:38 AM Flag
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or: I think you are spot on here. Unfortunately, it's never going to happen. The G&Ts were created as a way to bring IN the UMC white families--and it worked too well. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:43 AM Flag
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maybe the foibles of the last 2 yrs were meant to change people's minds. frankly, I can't believe the g&t admin staff at the doe still has jobs [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 04:51 AM Flag
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I wish they would implement a system like this. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:53 AM Flag
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np. ITD. If you look at the stats, the disparities in dc's school performance along socioeconomic lines only gets wider as they get older. You'll have even less minority representation if you wait until 3rd grade to test. Think about it: That's 4 more years those low-SES dc are spending in sub-par schools, in community and family environments where education tends to be devalued. The more time passes, the more they fall behind. If anything, the DOE should be testing these dc earlier than they do now. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 07:15 AM Flag
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ITA. I don't know what the posters above are thinking of. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 07:53 AM Flag
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I teach all grade levels and would say that kids feel like they can do anything until around the 4th grade. That's the point when they start realizing that they have limitations (black kids, stupid kids, or kids in our neighborhood can't do x, and that is when they start to underachieve. In all economic areas, third graders are behaving generally the same (for me) re: education--the big difference until that age isnt' in cognitive skils or in attitude but in language--who comes to school speaking English and who has heard lots of words at home. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 08:08 AM Flag
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And it's important to reach these kid earlier rather than later. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 08:09 AM Flag
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It has nothing to do with the dc feeling like they can do anything or not. It's an established fact that black and white dc's IQ scores diverge as they get older. So if we're talking about getting the maximum number of minority dc into G&T programs, where they have to qualify on IQ tests for admission, then it's imperative to test them as early as possible. The longer you wait, the bigger the gap gets. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 08:16 AM Flag
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Third grade isn't that late. Third grade gives them the opportunity to catch up on the formal learning that the wealthier kids have already received. Attitude has TONS to do with how people score on IQ and acheivement tests. If you think you shouldn't do well, you don't--for many reasons. I see that happening starting in the 3rd grade. It's observational, not statistical. I'm also a big beliver that there should be citywides for the top scorers (and I mean very top--no lotteries) and then the district spots should go to the top scorers in area, regardless of overall percentile, with G&T seats equally distributed based on entrollment. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 12:38 PM Flag
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Third grade IS too late. The majority of the dc we're talking about WILL NOT catch up. It's not even debatable. There are mountains of data to show this is the reality. Find me even one study that shows the school achievement and IQ gaps between affluent dc and poor minority dc getting smaller between K and 3rd grade. If the dc you've encountered in your own teaching are exceptions to the rule, I'm truly happy for them. But you must realize your personal experience is anecdotal, and these policies need to be made based on actual data, not one person's experience. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 02:19 PM Flag
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things won't change until more parents in the poor areas want better for their kids. It won't change until they don't care how far they have to travel to bring their dc to school. It won't change until more sahms or dads in this area take the time to want to take classes with their small child, will want better for them. I grew up in the ghetto, still live there and when I did these things with my kids (the classes, ect) I was called wannabe white. Many ppl couldn't understand why I was spending money to bring my dc to local classes at the Y or why I was applying for private preschools where I may be the only minority. This mentality is still there (unfortunately) and things won't change in the system until more parents care more about their dc education than their own convenience [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:04 AM Flag
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^^their kids [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:05 AM Flag
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I see parents here in the Bronx on early morning trains taking their kids to charter schools in Harlem. I posted above--I think the idea of what is best for a child varies with class. People I know here don't want their children to speak out of turn. They want to see respectful children in school uniforms. SAHM is not a term I've heard here, by the way. Unemployed perhaps. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:15 AM Flag
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yes there are parents who take their kids by train to better schools and this is great. Unfort. this isnt' the norm. I would love to see more parents want this, to see more parents who want change and seek it out [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:50 AM Flag
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There's some truth to this, but I think your own experience only goes so far in explaining the dynamics of families in public inner city schools. First of all, these days many of them are here illegally and do not speak English. Second, there's the poverty issue (parents working 2-3 jobs just to keep food in the house). Third, there are the family issues (broken families, addiction, chronic health problems). I can go on & on. My point is that your experience doesn't really address the whole issue. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:41 AM Flag
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I didn't say my experience addressed the whole issue. Your points are very true and valid. My experience has to do with those I know from my hood, my dh hood and just my experience from trying to get local moms to join me at classes with their small kids. It excites me when I see local parents take advantage of these baby classes or the available AID in private schools and camps. Like I said I grew up poor, family had their issues BUT no matter what we went through, parents always wanted better for us than what they had. I just hope that more ppl will feel this way. If many had that dream and took advantage of the opportunities, their kids future will be brighter and better. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:54 AM Flag
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I just posted this to the Inside Schools blog, but I think another big factor in growing the gap was prepping by UMC families who had the access and means to tutoring, prep kits and in some cases the tests themselves. In addition, some private preschools ran practice OLSAT classes for their kids where the kids learned how to take the test--a big leg up. While not all kids are willing to be prepped (my own child refused to even do the practice test with me) I certainly would have prepped if he would have let me--and then I am certain his 98 would have been a 99. Next year the gap will grow larger as more UMC decide they simply have to prep to get their children into the best programs. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 05:58 AM Flag
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If increased prepping leads to greater numbers of high scores, the DOE needs to allow the citywides and even District programs to bring back the onsite interviews. The onsites created an opportunity (imperfect as it was) to identify & select a child who might not otherwise have gotten the opportunity. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 06:16 AM Flag
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We're an UMC, didn't prep at all, and dc got a 99. There is some painfully obvious, but very unsavory aspect to all of this, and that is heredity. DCs whose parents also tested very very well when they were young are probably going to test very well. Parents that tested very well are more likely to have gone into fields which, all else equal, pay more, and allow their families to afford to live in better parts of the city. This is very sad, but I don't know how you get around this. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 07:21 AM Flag
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Poster who started the prepping part of the thread here: I agree with you that heredity also plays a role, but it is exacerbated by those who prepped or even those who simply prepared their kids for the test situation as well. Smart kids have bad days or are hesitant in new situations-- parents who prepared their kids for that in any way are giving them a leg up.Also those kids who were coming out of private pre-k were brought to test sites by parents and told what to expect. Public pre-K kids were tested at schools and may not have had their expectations set the same way by parents. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 07:26 AM Flag
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I think you're responding to me - and I totally agree. I think the pre-K advantage is the big bad one here. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 07:31 AM Flag
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Prepping might get their dc into G&T but won't help them keep up in the group. I went to a school where entrance test was given at the age of 4. At around 5th grade, kids started dropping out because they just could not keep up, not to mention the pressure. I did not prep my ds for the reason of not wanting him to feel inferior among his classmates if he isn't truely gifted. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 07:42 AM Flag
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I am not talking about prepping a natural 85 or 90 up to a 99. I am talking about taking a child that would still score pretty well based on genetics (mid 90s or higher), pre-school advantage and turning him/her into a 99 because that is the only score that will get citywide. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 08:15 AM Flag
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What would prepping have to do with the few numbers of kids getting 90 and above in certain areas? [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 07:45 AM Flag
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np. I think the claim is that in those areas the numbers were low because so few parents prepped their dc, while in areas where the most dc got high scores it's because so many of them were prepped. I think this is wishful thinking, but there you have it. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 07:53 AM Flag
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But the only upshot from no prepping would be fewer kids from D2 & D3 getting 90 and above. How would it effect the poorer kids? [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 07:56 AM Flag
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^^^^Aargh - I can't believe I did it - I mean "affect". [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 07:56 AM Flag
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I think you're confused about what the OR is saying. She's claiming the reason so many more dc qualified in D2 and D3 is because so many of them DID prep. And the reason so few dc in poor districts qualified is because they didn't prep. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 08:02 AM Flag
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No, I get it. My (unclear) point is that it's not "the gap" that matters IMO as much as the fact that the kids in the poorer neighborhoods are not qualifying for the G&T programs and the programs are closing. They should go by district standards and not by citywide standards. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 08:16 AM Flag
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Ah! Now I see what you mean. Thanks for clarifying. I've been thinking about this ever since they first announced the 95% cutoff and then lowers it to 90%. I still don't know what I think about using local norms vs. national norms. I can see the argument for and against it. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 08:26 AM Flag
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The issue with that is if you say the top x% of each district should have G&T, you offer more opportunities to lower scoring districts but you limit them in higher scoring ones. For instance in D3 or D2 I can see the 97 or even perhaps the 98 percentile delineating the top 10% whereas it might be 85% in other areas. Then what happens to kids under 98% in D3? [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 08:31 AM Flag
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Exactly. It's too complicated to say, well, THIS is the ideal solution. So maybe the best we can hope for is the lesser evil approach, which I think must be for the G&T programs to be more inclusive. Don't you think? Better to include dc who might not truly belong in the program than the alternative. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 10:32 AM Flag
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It depends. If you have a genuinely smart kid who scores low on the test because he's not prepped, or doesn't have the family/community background whatever and put him in a gifted program, he could thrive from the exposure and that's great. (A la that calculus movie with Edward James Olmos). Or you can have a terrible situation in which the kid doesn't score as well simply because he's not gifted, then you throw him into a gifted program, he doesn't do well, and then he thinks he's dumb (worse yet, he thinks he's dumb because he's a minority) and now he's damaged. It's tough. I am black and grew up MC with parents who stressed the importance of education and so I feel that you have to be very careful when lowering the threshold of performance for a certain group because you are then saying, "you can't reach this bar, so we're lowering it for you, while we're keeping it higher for these people because they are more capable. I have always resented that and think it can do more harm than good. YET, I do acknowledge that some kids have to be given a break because of their circumstances. I don't have the answers, but isn't there a way in which you can quantify another one of their strengths so as to say that "hey, you didn't do as well on this test, but we see that you are excellent at this and therefore we see you have the same potential as this other person who scored higher than you, but may not have the ability you have in terms of creativity or something like that? Also, lowering the bar breeds such ugly, nasty resentment among people who feel their place was taken by someone less qualified. It's complicated all the way around. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 12:37 PM Flag
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If we put this bar out based on economics regardless of race, I think things would be different. I know from my own experience trying to ace these tests that my kid needs to know patterns--star, circle, star, circle. What's next? Or to be able to respond to three sets of instructions so I teach her go put the yellow star in the bucket then bring me the bucket, then take the blue square out. Voila, test prep at age one! So my kid scores high, but not because of heredity or giftedness, but because I was raised MC in the US, I know what is on the tests, and I have time to teach the skills. So make my kid have to score higher, not than you--different race, similar parents, but than those who are poorer and might not naturally be doing these "brain games" prior to formal education. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 12:51 PM Flag
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np: What does it mean to be "gifted" anyway. What standard do you use to measure? At what age? How can that standard be fair and equal across class and race lines? Everyone wants to think their child is special (and, let's face it, they all are) but not everyone is gifted, some children maybe "left behind" and if the mean is 50% - only 50% can even be "above average". People don't like standardized tests but feel it is unfair to have any kind of subjective input. Unsolvable. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 08:50 AM Flag
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This is what many of us said would happen when ACORN was agitating for this (plus a lottery system for gen eds). [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 07:54 AM Flag
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Yep, writing was on the call from day one. They just did not see it. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 12:47 PM Flag
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I think they should scrap G&T for young kids and start with older grades, like 4th. I imagine they could actually devise a test to measure intelligence with 4th graders rather than the ridiculousness of testing 4 yr olds. That doesn't help the economic gap, just my 2 cents with regards to G&T. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 11:26 AM Flag
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Sorry but this is absurd. 4th grade is huge in terms of getting the scores you need for MS admission and changing schools that year would be hugely disruptive, and not worth it for 2 years only. [ Reply | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 12:48 PM Flag
[ - ] anyone on? i need to talk 0 Replies [ Reply | Watch | More ]
General Topics 06.19.08, 02:09 AM Flag
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