Choice Criteria: Diversity

One thing that is important to my wife and I is that our child be in a school that values diversity. To us, that means a balance of race, religion, and socioeconomic status. In general, this points towards public school, but not necessarily. If we send our son to our local public elementary school, Jenks, he may likely be the only Jewish child in his class, or only one of a small cohort.  Of course, if we send him to a private Jewish Day School, he may be the only REFORM Jewish kid in his class, so that may be even less desirable. The Friends School system values diversity on paper, but I need to learn more.  I would be surprised if there was a broad socioeconomic diversity at Friends.  One of the things we’ll be looking at when evaluating schools will be the race breakdown–that information is easy to find. Religious and socioeconomic breakdown will be harder to come by, so we will have to make inferences and assumptions based on the neighborhood and what we observe on school visits.

The information expressed in this post about the schools are assumptions only for illustrative purposes.  I still have to back it up with hard data and research.

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6 Responses to “Choice Criteria: Diversity”

  1. What The Heck is a Charter School Anyway? « Philly School Search Says:

    […] like the idea of charter schools because of the inherent diversity, which my family values.  However, as kids could attend a charter from all over the city, our […]

  2. Leona Says:

    This is a great idea for a blog Len. But FYI, if your kids go to a Jewish school (Perelman), they will definitely not be the only Reform kids.

  3. Len Lipkin Says:

    Agreed, that was a gross over generalization, hence the caveat, “The information expressed in this post about the schools are assumptions only for illustrative purposes. I still have to back it up with hard data and research.”

    I was just trying to illustrate a point that my goal for diversity is to find some (admittedly Utopian) middle ground where my kid has peers with similar backgrounds as well as peers with diverse socioeconomic, racial, and religious backgrounds. Looking forward to finding out more about Perelman and others.

  4. Jessica Says:

    I am sure you would be surprised at the diversity offered by city Friends schools. Most offer scholarship money, some of it significant, which makes private school an option for more families of diverse backgrounds. GFS offers a Community Scholars Program, which pays most of the tuition for kids who live nearby school and/or are of minority background. I have heard that Penn Charter has a pretty diverse population as well.
    I’m surprised that you haven’t mentioned Henry School, as it’s considered one of the best public schools in the city (on par or better than Jenks, btw), and is just 5 minutes from Chestnut Hill. My son is one of at least 4 Jewish kids in the current 3rd grade, and the racial and socioeconomic mix has increased each year we’ve been there–it’s much more balanced now than it was when my son started kindergarten.
    Also, you can get a lot of statistical info at http://www.schoolmatters.com

  5. Paradox of School Choice « Philly School Search Says:

    […] I am having trouble applying this philosophy.  I posted earlier about my choice criteria (diversity, community, educational quality) that I am taking into account alongside other non-school factors […]

  6. Philadelphia School Search: Paradox of School Choice | Philly School Search Says:

    […] I am having trouble applying this philosophy.  I posted earlier about my choice criteria (diversity, community, educational quality) that I am taking into account alongside other non-school factors […]


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