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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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stani took the words right from my fingers.

The thought that Jersey City is 13th best for children is close the to most preposterous thing I've heard all month. But the MOST preposterous is that YONKERS is 10th.
Safety, education, employment, parks, cost of living...OY!

I guess the author of this piece of garbage was pressed by a deadline so she threw darts at a map of the U.S.

Is it possible that this was a hysterically funny joke article lifted from THE ONION?

Posted on: 2009/10/23 14:17
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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Jeebus wrote:
Comparing just big cities is like thinking that the Special Olympics winners are on par with the regular Olympics. I don't know how Burlington, VT is a big city but it's telling that a rural college town headed the list. For perspective they should have tossed in a few rural areas or small towns, just as a well informed parent would.

This is similar to how NYC touts their "low" crime rate, which is many times that of most small towns and rural areas.



You'd have a legitimate argument if the point of the article/study was to rank the best place to raise kids in the country (lumping NYC with a 1 square mile town), but since the whole point of the article/survey is to compare ONLY LARGE CITIES, the argument fails.

In your world NYC crime rate should be compared (expected to be comparable) to the crime rate of say Princeton. Crazy! With that kind of logic it would be perfectly o.k. to compare NYC (over 8 million people) to a farming town of 500 people in the middle of nowhere.

Posted on: 2009/10/23 13:39
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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Comparing just big cities is like thinking that the Special Olympics winners are on par with the regular Olympics. I don't know how Burlington, VT is a big city but it's telling that a rural college town headed the list. For perspective they should have tossed in a few rural areas or small towns, just as a well informed parent would.

This is similar to how NYC touts their "low" crime rate, which is many times that of most small towns and rural areas.

Quote:

shakatah wrote:
Article is not saying JC is one of the best places to raise kids, instead it is comparing only large cities. So we shouldn't compare JC to towns, like Princeton, Montclair, etc..

Fact that JC is 13 and Newark 46 may say more about how bad most large cities are when it comes to providing a great environment for raising kids compared to JC, instead of how great JC is compared to all other places, including the plethora of towns in NJ and the country.

I don't think anyone is arguing that all of JC is great to raise kids, but to echo Brewster, the city actually has alot to offer, most of it within walking distance, especially for downtown residents. If the JC public schools were in great shape, JC would be much closer to the top of that list.

Posted on: 2009/10/23 2:47
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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shakatah wrote:
Not hard to understand JCs rank if you look at the criteria used.


Pretty much every "survey" of the "best" places uses pretty pathetic criteria and has no human filter to exclude the obviously bad results. Surveys like this have Buffalo being considered one of the best places to live because of its low cost of living, or rural North Dakota being one of the best places to raise kids because of the low crime rate.

These are uniquely bad though. My favorites from your excerpt:

Quote:

Current expenditures per student
SOURCE: National Center for Education Statistics, 2005-06 (FY 2006)


More corruption means more money spent per student. The only money needed is payroll for teachers. Before the college level books should basically be free. At worst, $150 per student for an ebook reader, $100/month for the entire school for a shared Internet connection, and from there download free ebooks. If a particular subject is seriously lacking material, any teacher for a given subject should be able to clean up a Wikipedia article or an old out-of-copyright textbook. If a teacher can't teach the subject without a book, they aren't competent and probably can't teach with a book either.

Obviously the corruption inherent in the textbook purchasing process (not to mention teacher hiring process) prevents this, but that's because the goal is not education of the students.

Quote:

% of population with Advanced Degrees
SOURCE: 2007 American Community Survey, Census Bureau

% of pop with diploma or GED
SOURCE: 2007 American Community Survey, Census Bureau


These are my favorite because they're so unique to Jersey City. Virtually the entire population of downtown JC comes from somewhere else, and came here because of the high-paying jobs in New York. So we have a highly educated population that does not reflect the local schools.

Quote:

Physical education requirements by state
SOURCE: 2006 Shape of the Nation Report, National Association for Sport and Physical Education


I found the report. http://www.aahperd.org/naspe/publicat ... load/ShapeOfTheNation.pdf

It certainly isn't useful in evaluating how well any state is doing with respect to "physical education" regardless of its definition.

Quote:

State School Foods Report Card score
SOURCE: Center for Science in the Public Interest 2007


Found this too. http://www.cspinet.org/2007schoolreport.pdf

New Jersey gets points for restricting whole milk in favor of skim milk (so extra processing is a good thing! Although whole milk is not forbidden). More points for restricting the fat content of ice cream - inevitably in favor of sugar when I look at commercially available ice creams and the variation in fat/sugar content.. Sugar-water is allowed (as long as there is 100% juice available too, 6 flavors of 100% juice for every 4 flavors of sugar-water). Sparkling water is not allowed.

That's right, New Jersey gets points for prohibiting sparkling water in favor of sugar water (the 1% fruit juice non-bubbly soda, like Snapple, realistically).

Candy is prohibited, despite the fact that a controlled setting like a school is a perfect place to give small amounts of candy as an occasional reward to demonstrate responsible consumption of processed sugar. Of course when encouraging sugar-water over seltzer, teaching responsible consumption of sugar is not a goal.

Posted on: 2009/10/22 21:37
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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With cities becoming more gentrified over time and an influx of people choosing cities over suburban living, the schools should ideally improve.

You mean the pupils and or students not the schools.

Posted on: 2009/10/22 14:11
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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the factors in this survey seem to be comprehensive: it considers income, wealth, health, education, and geography. with the weighting scheme within the categories and across the categories not disclosed and with the scores not shared in the various categories, it is difficult to conclude what led to this determination. we may just discount it as a blip and move to some nicer place in the burbs instead ....

Posted on: 2009/10/21 22:11
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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With cities becoming more gentrified over time and an influx of people choosing cities over suburban living, the schools should ideally improve. While I had a great and ideal childhood growing up in Monmouth County and all it had to offer (good schools, nice houses, parks, beaches, safety, etc.), I much prefer the dynamism of City living.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200803/subprime

Posted on: 2009/10/21 21:50
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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bill wrote:
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tommyc_37 wrote:Can you point me to a city of a quarter-million people that actually DOES have good public schools?

That's the point ... they are comparing CITIES to other CITIES, which by nature do not really have good public schools.


Umm, IRVINE, CA

for laughs, about thelist
http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2009/10 ... es-to-raise-kids#comments


Decent example with Irvine, but if you've ever been to Irvine, you'd know that Irvine is really NOT a city -- it's like a huge suburb. It's a city that was fabricated in the 1960's. Really can't be compared to JC.

Posted on: 2009/10/21 19:27
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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tommyc_37 wrote:Can you point me to a city of a quarter-million people that actually DOES have good public schools?

That's the point ... they are comparing CITIES to other CITIES, which by nature do not really have good public schools.


Umm, IRVINE, CA

for laughs, about thelist
http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2009/10 ... es-to-raise-kids#comments

Posted on: 2009/10/21 19:09
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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Here's my revised list, including only places I've either lived in, or are familiar enough with to form an opinion (un-scientific ranking):

1. San Diego, CA

2. New York, NY

3. Boston, MA

4. San Francisco, CA

5. Washington, DC

6. Jersey City, NJ

7. Yonkers, NY

And, yes, the survey's educational criteria seem pretty weak.

Posted on: 2009/10/21 18:20
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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stani wrote:
It's bad enough that Jersey City is ranked 13th, how about the fact that Yonkers is ranked 10th? Has anyone here been to Yonkers? It makes Jersey City look like a sophisticated, happening place.

I'm guessing that the 30 variables used in this study were equally weighted. I can't think of another explanation for the senseless results.


Call me crazy, but compared to many cities similar in size across the country, Jersey City actually IS a fairly "sophisticated, happening place".

Posted on: 2009/10/21 17:56
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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Not hard to understand JCs rank if you look at the criteria used.

For example education:

Pupil/Teacher Ratio by county
SOURCE: 2007-2007 Common Core of Data, National Center for Education Statistics

Current expenditures per student
SOURCE: National Center for Education Statistics, 2005-06 (FY 2006)

% of population with Advanced Degrees
SOURCE: 2007 American Community Survey, Census Bureau

% of pop with diploma or GED
SOURCE: 2007 American Community Survey, Census Bureau

Physical education requirements by state
SOURCE: 2006 Shape of the Nation Report, National Association for Sport and Physical Education

State School Foods Report Card score
SOURCE: Center for Science in the Public Interest 2007


No graduation rate data, no college going rate data, no testing data. With expenditures per pupil (JC is one of highest in nation), % of pop with diploma or GED or Advanced degrees (JC is most likely very competitive there).

Fact that many of the large cities in NYC metro (NYC, JC, Yonkers, Newark) are represented may make a case for the importance/value of geography.

Posted on: 2009/10/21 17:54
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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It's bad enough that Jersey City is ranked 13th, how about the fact that Yonkers is ranked 10th? Has anyone here been to Yonkers? It makes Jersey City look like a sophisticated, happening place.

I'm guessing that the 30 variables used in this study were equally weighted. I can't think of another explanation for the senseless results.

Posted on: 2009/10/21 17:30
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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Cities of 250,000 people are not really that big. Madison WI is almost that big. Des Moines, IA is ~ 200,000. St. Paul, MN is about 280,000. These are all places where the public school systems function fairly well. People there expect public education to be a quality product and they wouldn't for one minute accept the silliness that goes on in Jersey City or the other urban districts in NJ. They are willing to pay for schools, but they hold people accountable. "Dr." Epps would have been run out of any of those towns long ago and he wouldn't have 26 associate and deputy superintendents standing next to him.

Posted on: 2009/10/21 16:25
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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These lists can be awfully silly and provide good fill when actual news reporting is scarce. A study that compares Lincoln, NE, Cheyenne, WY and Little Rock, AR to Jersey City, Newark and other truly urban northeastern areas is really no more relevant than if you also threw in Budapest, Buenos Aires and Bangkok. There is no comparison between Cheyenne and Newark or Jersey City. They are on different planets.

Posted on: 2009/10/21 15:29
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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shakatah wrote:
Article is not saying JC is one of the best places to raise kids, instead it is comparing only large cities. So we shouldn't compare JC to towns, like Princeton, Montclair, etc..

Fact that JC is 13 and Newark 46 may say more about how bad most large cities are when it comes to providing a great environment for raising kids compared to JC, instead of how great JC is compared to all other places, including the plethora of towns in NJ and the country.

I don't think anyone is arguing that all of JC is great to raise kids, but to echo Brewster, the city actually has alot to offer, most of it within walking distance, especially for downtown residents. If the JC public schools were in great shape, JC would be much closer to the top of that list.


+1 agreed.

Posted on: 2009/10/21 15:08
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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shakatah wrote:
Article is not saying JC is one of the best places to raise kids, instead it is comparing only large cities. So we shouldn't compare JC to towns, like Princeton, Montclair, etc..

Fact that JC is 13 and Newark 46 may say more about how bad most large cities are when it comes to providing a great environment for raising kids compared to JC, instead of how great JC is compared to all other places, including the plethora of towns in NJ and the country.

I don't think anyone is arguing that all of JC is great to raise kids, but to echo Brewster, the city actually has alot to offer, most of it within walking distance, especially for downtown residents. If the JC public schools were in great shape, JC would be much closer to the top of that list.


It's a very strange list. A lot of those "large cities" on the list are big college towns, home to their respective state universities. The student enrollment inflates the overall population of these cities. College towns are great - you have a highly educated population with lots of cultural activities, along with many of the benefits offered by smaller towns (lower violent crime rates, pedestrian friendly, etc.)

Posted on: 2009/10/21 14:33
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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What a lot of you folks don't realize is that there are a lot of people who DID grow up in cities, and prefer to offer that same experience to their kids. People tend to want to raise their kids in a similar manner as they were raised themselves. Plenty of people grow up in areas like NYC, Jersey City, Philly, etc ... and not just poor people, by any means. In many cases it's quite the opposite. These people would be horrified at the notion of their kids growing up spoiled in the suburbs, just like many of you are horrified at the notion of your kids growing up in the city.

Different strokes for different folks. Parents who bring their kids up in an urban environment appreciate what the city life offers their kids -- lots of culture, fast-paced lifestyle, diversity, and quite simply lots of "stuff" to do. Many of these parents live in gentrified urban areas such as most of Manhattan, Hoboken, brownstone Brooklyn, Paulus Hook, Van Vorst, Hamilton Park, etc.

So to those who are naysaying growing up in a city -- FYI, kids who grow up in a city are more times than not horrified at the idea of growing up in a boring suburb. What would we do? they would ask. How boring! I'll tell you what...I think suburban kids play outside far less than city kids. And I bet the suburban kids play far more video games and spend far more time surfing the web on a beautiful summer day. I can almost guarantee it.

I have friends who grew up in Manhattan who are now adults, who are DISGUSTED by the idea of suburbs. They will surely be raising their kids in the city.

As for me ... I grew up partially in NYC, but mostly in the NJ suburbs (Cranford), a white picket-fence kind of town (15 miles from NYC). Therefore, if and when I crank out some kids, I will likely relocate them to a similar type of suburb. Although, that is not certain. I am actually liking the idea of raising kids in an urban area more and more...

Posted on: 2009/10/21 14:31
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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Article is not saying JC is one of the best places to raise kids, instead it is comparing only large cities. So we shouldn't compare JC to towns, like Princeton, Montclair, etc..

Fact that JC is 13 and Newark 46 may say more about how bad most large cities are when it comes to providing a great environment for raising kids compared to JC, instead of how great JC is compared to all other places, including the plethora of towns in NJ and the country.

I don't think anyone is arguing that all of JC is great to raise kids, but to echo Brewster, the city actually has alot to offer, most of it within walking distance, especially for downtown residents. If the JC public schools were in great shape, JC would be much closer to the top of that list.

Posted on: 2009/10/21 14:19
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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13. Jersey City, NJ


Can't. Stop. Laughing.

Posted on: 2009/10/21 12:53
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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susiederkins wrote:
Quote:
Next time I buy a house, I'll be sure the schools have a low percentage of students on the assisted lunch program. Easy.


You're probably being sarcastic here, but I would do exactly what you suggest. I would also, of course, investigate whether the local schools have a high percentage of kids that go on to 4-year colleges and universities, many AP or IB course offerings, and high SAT scores. But, as you probably know, there is a negative correlation between a high percentage of kids on assisted lunches and all of these measures of academic achievement so looking for not much of one probably will also lead to a lot of of the other.


No sarcasm at all. I've been checking the reduced lunch programs in all the towns we're considering moving to.

Posted on: 2009/10/21 12:48
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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Next time I buy a house, I'll be sure the schools have a low percentage of students on the assisted lunch program. Easy.


You're probably being sarcastic here, but I would do exactly what you suggest. I would also, of course, investigate whether the local schools have a high percentage of kids that go on to 4-year colleges and universities, many AP or IB course offerings, and high SAT scores. But, as you probably know, there is a negative correlation between a high percentage of kids on assisted lunches and all of these measures of academic achievement so looking for not much of one probably will also lead to a lot of of the other.

Posted on: 2009/10/21 12:42
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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brewster said:
Quote:

Sad to say, but your (and my) idyllic recollections of childhood are obsolete. Kids don't walk home from school anymore, ESPECIALLY in the burbs!


That statement/opinion may be true here in JC, and surrounding areas, but that is simply not the case in other parts of the country. In fact, quite the opposite is the norm for most of the country. I have lived in many places in the US, and it is simply depressing to see how kids grow up in this town and area. I am no hippie, or old fart looking through rose-colored glasses, but kids in this area (NYC metro area) have zero innocence and grow up way too fast. It's a shame...

I would NEVER raise a kid in this town. Even if that kid was attending private school, and even if you live in a "nice" neighborhood, the overall environment is very lacking and it is not what I would want my kid to be exposed to on a regular basis.

Posted on: 2009/10/21 11:31
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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Ok, even I find it a bit hard to believe but ... Jersey City does comes in at number 13 of MSNBC's 100 best places to raise kids ( above San Francisco and New York City ) and it was also mentioned on the TODAY?s Show - Al Roker talked to Stephen Perrine from Children?s Health magazine about some of the best U.S. cities to raise a family.

I assume you want to be in the top third - the bottom third are the worst places to raise a family

Thanks for posting (here is a longer excerpt)

========================================
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33385798/ ... day-parenting_and_family/

The 100 best (and worst) places to raise kids

Looking to move? Best places for families

MSNBC
By Jaclyn Colletti

From the moment she finds out she's expecting, a new parent's mind begins to construct a fantasy of the perfect place to build a nest: a community that's safe, nurturing, stimulating, and economically sound. A neighborhood where parents reflect your values ? education, health and fitness, concern for the environment ? and raise their children the same way. The kind of place where a child can slip on her rubber boots, grab her colorful umbrella, and play on the quiet, tree-lined street outside her home without worry.

The editors of Children's Health wanted to find where in America such places existed and how we can make the communities we live in today more like that ideal, so we embarked on a comprehensive statistical analysis to rank 100 noteworthy American cities scattered across the country. We considered more than 30 factors that parents deem vitally important, including crime and safety, education, economics, housing, cultural attractions, and health. (See the criteria used.) When we crunched the numbers, these were the cities that best complemented family life.

1. Burlington, VT
Living on Lake Champlain rewards you with more than scenic views and colorful fall foliage. The schools' per-pupil spending and graduation rates rank near the top of the country, as does the percentage of the population with advanced degrees and the median family income. And, as is often the case, wealth leads to health ? there's less obesity here than anywhere else in the country, possibly because the city also has the fewest fast-food restaurants per capita.

2. Madison, WI

3. Fargo, ND

4. Lincoln, NE

5. Fremont, CA

6. Lexington, KY

7. Honolulu, HI

8. Cheyenne, WY

9. Omaha, NE

10. Yonkers, NY

11. Austin, TX

12. St. Paul, MN

13. Jersey City, NJ

14. San Francisco, CA

15. New York, NY

16. Little Rock, AR

17. Washington, DC

18. Minneapolis, MN

19. Colorado Springs, CO

20. Billings, MT

21. Boston, MA

22. Seattle, WA

23. Sioux Falls, SD

24. Pittsburgh, PA

25. Bangor, ME

26. San Diego, CA

27. Albuquerque, NM

28. Raleigh, NC

29. Portland, OR

(See list for middle third and also for lowest third)

See:
76. Philadelphia, PA

And at the bottom is
100. Detroit, MI

Posted on: 2009/10/21 8:50
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Next time I buy a house, I'll be sure the schools have a low percentage of students on the assisted lunch program. Easy.

Posted on: 2009/10/21 3:22
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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jennymayla wrote:
it's cities, not towns, so there's that.

the fact that we are above san francisco is mind-boggling.


SF is VERY expensive, and they account for affordability in the index. It's nice to see them focus on actual cities instead of little "hothouse flower" towns. Not that Burlington is much of a city, it's the size of Hoboken.

Posted on: 2009/10/21 3:11
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
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it's cities, not towns, so there's that.

the fact that we are above san francisco is mind-boggling.

Posted on: 2009/10/21 2:25
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How the hell did they manage to put together such a horrible list? Alot of these cities are also in the top 50 for most crime. Maybe they all have really good private schools??

Posted on: 2009/10/21 2:19
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
#7
Home away from home
Home away from home


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I WANT this to be the best place to raise kids more than anyone, but saying we're already there is beyond imagination. I think there are some pockets that are "ok" to raise kids (e.g. Pavonia/Newport and Paulus Hook) but even in those areas the schools need a serious overhaul and the parks are limited...

Posted on: 2009/10/21 1:45
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Re: MSNBC List of best cities to raise kids
#6
Home away from home
Home away from home


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From Hamilton Park
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Quote:

susiederkins wrote:
Quote:
I'm sorry, I know I live here and I love it. BUT-I would not raise kids here. No way, no how!!


Agreed. Kids need a safe place to run around, ride bikes, and play street hockey. They shouldn't have to worry about stray bullets or homeless drug addicts when they're walking home from school.


Sad to say, but your (and my) idyllic recollections of childhood are obsolete. Kids don't walk home from school anymore, ESPECIALLY in the burbs! Middle class and up kids everywhere simply don't get the autonomy & unsupervised time that was normal 40 years ago.

And if you're not parents, you may not realize how dense and high quality the resources for raising kids are here. My son fences, we have a seriously world class fencing academy here on 16th street, minutes away. The same goes for dance, art and many other enrichments.

Posted on: 2009/10/21 1:20
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