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  1. #1
    Goodash is offline Junior Member
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    Default Neighbor offering to "rent" a room in Catchment Area

    MY neighbor approached me about renting a room in my home so that his son can attend the Penn Alexander school. This may not work out for him, if they start asking questions, but what about me? I have a child that is two years away from kindergarten and I have reservations about doing anything that might put her enrollment in danger.

    Is there a chance that (a)the school sniffs this out and (b) blacklists my kid?

  2. #2
    annie's Avatar
    annie is offline Senior Member
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    My understanding is that Penn Alexander does do some kind of check to make sure kids live in the catchment. Not sure if that just consists of a record search or an actual home visit.

    How about not doing it because it would be unethical? PAS is already suffering from its own success with its 1st grade classes numbering at over 30 students.

    Your neighbor would do well to check out the West Philly Coalition for Neighborhood Schools and their efforts to get parents interested in their neighborhood schools. I believe some members have already committed to sending their kids to their non-PAS catchment school kindergarten in the fall.

  3. #3
    FourS is offline Senior Member
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    Unethical? Isn't it unethical for a school district to provide good free public schools to some children and not to others? We all pay taxes but only those who live in a very strategically drawn catchment get the benefits of the Penn Alexander school. The $1000 per student that Penn donates to Penn Alexander is offset by the $500 per student that Penn collects from the Philadelphia School District for the two (terrible) West Philadelphia elementary schools that it helps to administer.

    That said, you might want to think twice before trying to game the system. Penn and many who live in the catchment will fiercely defend their privileges. Unsurprisingly those who can send their kids to this "public" school also have the resources to exclude those who can't.

  4. #4
    Poweltonian is offline Optimist
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    FourS, give me a break. I don't live in the catchment, but why shouldn't a major institution support it's neighboring elementary school after years of turning its back? It's not like there aren't affordable places to rent in the catchment area. Yes, the home purchase prices there are ridiculous, but the majority of the housing stock in the catchment is still occupied by student renters who go to Penn.

  5. #5
    eldondre is online now Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poweltonian View Post
    FourS, give me a break. I don't live in the catchment, but why shouldn't a major institution support it's neighboring elementary school after years of turning its back? It's not like there aren't affordable places to rent in the catchment area. Yes, the home purchase prices there are ridiculous, but the majority of the housing stock in the catchment is still occupied by student renters who go to Penn.
    and why shouldn't a parent do what it takes to get their child a good education? isn't unethical not to? really, what are ethics anyway? it's a pretty common practice and people have been doing it to get their kids in master man for years, PAS is just new to the game. maybe a few more good schools would alleviate the problem or a shorter waiting list for charters.
    "It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past"
    Jonathan Safran Foer

  6. #6
    annie's Avatar
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    I guess our councilwoman isn't the only one here ethic'd out...

    Masterman as a magnet school does not have a catchment. Are you talking about non-Philadelphians faking city residency to get their kid a chance to apply to Masterman?

    Unless the original poster's neighbor is going to sell his nearby house and move his whole family into the poster's room, I think it will be pretty easy for the PAS administrators to figure out what's going on. With the overcrowded early grades, they may guard their catchment very closely.

    I've already pointed towards a group trying to improve the other neighborhood schools in the area. If others want to put all their energies towards scheming for PAS instead, that's up to them.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by eldondre View Post
    and why shouldn't a parent do what it takes to get their child a good education? isn't unethical not to? really, what are ethics anyway? it's a pretty common practice and people have been doing it to get their kids in master man for years, PAS is just new to the game. maybe a few more good schools would alleviate the problem or a shorter waiting list for charters.

    You need good involved parents for good school.

    Penn has that. They limit the people outsde for meaner less ethical reasons.

    It's the limiting that makes it good. Like Masterman or CAPA or Central.

    People aren't equal, sad but true.

    One reason why not too long ago (pre-charter) about half the city went to a catholic school, because they could eject problem students.

    all of this further degrades the remaining schools.

    Tough problem.

    Which causes this problem, ethically.
    I'm not seeing all these supposed bikes in all these million dollar bike lanes.

  8. #8
    eldondre is online now Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by annie View Post
    Masterman as a magnet school does not have a catchment. Are you talking about non-Philadelphians faking city residency to get their kid a chance to apply to Masterman?
    yep

    everyone has a different ethical code, let's not be naive.
    "It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past"
    Jonathan Safran Foer

  9. #9
    ACG
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    Quote Originally Posted by eldondre View Post
    and why shouldn't a parent do what it takes to get their child a good education? isn't unethical not to? really, what are ethics anyway? it's a pretty common practice and people have been doing it to get their kids in master man for years, PAS is just new to the game. maybe a few more good schools would alleviate the problem or a shorter waiting list for charters.
    And what education is a parent giving a child by teaching the child by coaching him or her to lie to school teachers/administration/other students about where he/she lives? The child can never have friends over out of fear that the parent dropping a child off will report the fraud. A great lesson of the ends justify the means no matter what the rules are, they don't apply to them if they can lie and cheat to get around them.

  10. #10
    OldMama is online now Senior Member
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    I agree that this parent should look into other West Philly schools. A school gets better when concerned and involved parents send their children there and take an active role in education. Just sending a kid to PAS with no stake in the game is no guarantee of success. Kids have bombed out of magnets because their parents laid everything at the feet of the school. Doesn't work that way, folks.

    Don't know what this neighbor's catchment school is but if it's Powel, I really encourage her to take a look.

  11. #11
    eldondre is online now Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACG View Post
    And what education is a parent giving a child by teaching the child by coaching him or her to lie to school teachers/administration/other students about where he/she lives? The child can never have friends over out of fear that the parent dropping a child off will report the fraud. A great lesson of the ends justify the means no matter what the rules are, they don't apply to them if they can lie and cheat to get around them.
    a good one. don't worry what some self righeous ninny says, what's important is that you're learning something.
    "It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past"
    Jonathan Safran Foer

  12. #12
    ACG
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    Quote Originally Posted by eldondre View Post
    a good one. don't worry what some self righeous ninny says, what's important is that you're learning something.
    It has nothing to do with what other people say or any body being self righteous, it is about teaching a child that the rules don't apply to them as long as they don't get caught.

  13. #13
    eldondre is online now Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACG View Post
    It has nothing to do with what other people say or any body being self righteous, it is about teaching a child that the rules don't apply to them as long as they don't get caught.
    it has everything to do with that. some rules are stupid, obeying rules for the sake of obeying rules is for sheep. I hoep to raise a child intelligent enough to think rather than obey, you may have other goals. this country was founded by people who broke rules...smuggling, the tea party, etc. there's nothing ethical about having only one good school for rich people. the law used to say you could own slaves, but that didn't make it right.
    "It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past"
    Jonathan Safran Foer

  14. #14
    ACG
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    Quote Originally Posted by eldondre View Post
    it has everything to do with that. some rules are stupid, obeying rules for the sake of obeying rules is for sheep. I hoep to raise a child intelligent enough to think rather than obey, you may have other goals. this country was founded by people who broke rules...smuggling, the tea party, etc. there's nothing ethical about having only one good school for rich people. the law used to say you could own slaves, but that didn't make it right.
    So what is stupid about school district lines that help ensure that classes don't get too over crowded to benefit the children's learn experience? I am sure if you were a parent within that district and watching your child's classes becoming over crowded with people gaming the system you'd have a lot to say of the other side. Part of thinking and breaking the rules in a productive way is understanding why the rule is there and why it should be broken - not just randomly braking rules because YOU WANT NOW. That is just childish entitlement. So, what justifies committing a fraud to enroll your child in that school vs moving within school district lines?

  15. #15
    boognish is offline Senior Member
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    Simpsons did it.

  16. #16
    eldondre is online now Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACG View Post
    So what is stupid about school district lines that help ensure that classes don't get too over crowded to benefit the children's learn experience? I am sure if you were a parent within that district and watching your child's classes becoming over crowded with people gaming the system you'd have a lot to say of the other side. Part of thinking and breaking the rules in a productive way is understanding why the rule is there and why it should be broken - not just randomly braking rules because YOU WANT NOW. That is just childish entitlement. So, what justifies committing a fraud to enroll your child in that school vs moving within school district lines?
    it's childish entitlement to want a good education for your children? that's some arrogant thinking you have there. it seems fairly obvious that people are breaking the rules in a productive way. I am a parent in the school district of Philadelphia. perhaps someone should ask why people in neighboring catchments have to get their kid into another catchment for a good education instead of getting all self righteous about some rule. I understand why it's in place and I understand why people feel the need to get around the rules. perhaps you should try understanding yourself.
    "It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past"
    Jonathan Safran Foer

  17. #17
    ACG
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    Quote Originally Posted by eldondre View Post
    it's childish entitlement to want a good education for your children? that's some arrogant thinking you have there. it seems fairly obvious that people are breaking the rules in a productive way. I am a parent in the school district of Philadelphia. perhaps someone should ask why people in neighboring catchments have to get their kid into another catchment for a good education instead of getting all self righteous about some rule. I understand why it's in place and I understand why people feel the need to get around the rules. perhaps you should try understanding yourself.
    Try reading it again, I never said it is childish entitlement to want a good education for your child. I said it was childish entitlement to just break rules, instead of working within them, just because you want something that you are not entitled to based on your location. If you want your child in a certain school district, move within that district - many many people chose where they move based on school districts to legitimately enroll their child in the school of their choice even if it may not be their first choice of location based on other factors. Many even take the time to look at the school district when moving even before they have children, but plan to have them soon (that is what I am doing with my up coming plans to move). Why should you get a shortcut?

    If there were not boundaries to school districts we would slowly destroy every school. Everyone would put there kid in "the best" until it was so over crowded the quality dropped like a stone while other schools sit empty. A better lesson for a child might be seeing their parents involved with the school and working with it to improve the quality for all the students in that area.

  18. #18
    robot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eldondre View Post
    it's childish entitlement to want a good education for your children? that's some arrogant thinking you have there. it seems fairly obvious that people are breaking the rules in a productive way. I am a parent in the school district of Philadelphia. perhaps someone should ask why people in neighboring catchments have to get their kid into another catchment for a good education instead of getting all self righteous about some rule. I understand why it's in place and I understand why people feel the need to get around the rules. perhaps you should try understanding yourself.
    I agree with this. I live a block outside of the catchment for the meredith school. The school is about 6 or seven blocks from my house, yet for some reason my kid will have to go Andrew Jackson which is much farther away. I like my neighborhood and I don't really want to have to move. When my kid is of age I plan to rent an apartment in the catchment just so my kid can go there and we can walk to school together. Luckily I have the means to do so. I don't see anything morally wrong with this since I pay philadelphia school taxes.

  19. #19
    boognish is offline Senior Member
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    It's Jean Valjean in the house.

  20. #20
    FourS is offline Senior Member
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    There's nothing wrong with a parent protecting their children's privileges. Annie referred to the original poster as being unethical for entertaining the idea of helping a neighbor secure a good education for his or her child. I only used the word unethical in response to Annie. It isn't wrong at all for a parent to secure a good education for their child. That goes for the parents trying to sneak their kids in as well as the parents protecting their turf. It kind of reminds me of the school busing struggles in the 1970s or the segregated schools prior (and after) Brown v Topeka. It's just based on thickness of wallet rather than amount of pigment.

    Is it wrong for a very wealthy institution to use public money, as well as its own, in a very poor city to build a protected enclave for itself? I'm actually torn on the issue but in general I think it's a good thing. If Penn actually bucked up the $1000/kid that it pretends to, it would be a different story. It's getting all that money back from the school district. In other words, in exchange for some administrative help a 2 other schools the school district pays for Penn Alexander.

    Have any of you ever looked at the catchment map and wondered why it is a ***saw puzzle? Why didn't they draw a line a half mile from the school in every direction, for example? Why are some blocks that are geographically very close to the school not included when some rather distant blocks are squeezed in? The school was built for a certain demographic, which is fine. The problem I have is that it is a publicly funded school in a very poor school district.

 

 

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