Best Deaf School?

Discussion in 'Sign Language & Deaf Education' started by Cousin Vinny, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. Cousin Vinny

    Cousin Vinny New Member

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    I'm curious as to what your opinions are on what would be the best Deaf school in North America? For elementary education? Mainstreamed program? Secondary education? I'll put out some opinions, but admittedly, they are colored by my perceptions and subjective observations in meeting tons of Deaf people from all kinds of educational backgrounds.

    For elementary education, the Best Deaf School would be:
    1) KDES

    For secondary education, the Best Deaf Schools would be:
    1) MSD at Frederick
    2) MSSD
    3) Lexington
    4) CSDF

    As for mainstreamed programs, I really don't know a lot, but I'll put one out anyway;
    1) University H.S. in Orange County

    Any other suggestions? Please put away your personal biases and perceptions about your own Deaf school and try to add in this thread objectively. In interests of disclosure, I'm a FSD alum.
     
  2. Cousin Vinny

    Cousin Vinny New Member

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    Memo to Self: Never unleash a topic on or around popular holidays! :)

    Looks like everyone seems to be in agreement with my opinions? Surely that can't be and I'm guessing laziness/disinterest rears its ugly head once again. :)
     
  3. dkf747

    dkf747 Active Member

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    Actually I have my doubts about MSSD from watching some kids who go there.
     
  4. gnarlydorkette

    gnarlydorkette New Member

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    Well, I apology to oversee this thread but I am not familiar with those abbreviations so prehaps you can un-abbr. these schools for us to understand? :)


    ...
    those abbrs that I DO understand:

    For mainstreamed programs:
    I do agree with mainstreamed program for University High School to be the best but you have to understand the social background of Uni HS-- it is more for those deaf students who grew up using SEE/oral and try to acquire ASL at this delayed stage in their lifetime. It has a large number of CI students so if a CI student wants to avoid prejudice from Deaf militants, this is the best campus to go. There is not much of "Deaf Pride" at that campus (last time I checked, many called themselves "hearing impaired"). And the income of that area will omit Deaf students from the low levels of economic class i.e. Deaf immigrants so it is not wholly fair to claim Uni HS to be the best-- if it is not catered to everybody. The best for the upper-level economic CI/Oral/deaf (not Deaf) students,yes but for the rest? Not so sure.
    I am not to deface Uni HS-- I respect and hold them in a high esteem-- I have been to the campus and it is GORGEOUS. :ily: And I do know some fabulous people from that campus in the deaf community that I grew up with and love 'em.

    As for residental schools:
    --MSSD may create some prodigys but so many are deprived of "street smarts" or "common sense" because all I see MSSD students to be stuck-up and careless about their futures and immature. Prehaps it is the teenage horomones that attack these prodigys, but nonetheless I wouldn't even send my children to MSSD to have them thinking that they are holier than me and everybody else just for little gains in their IQ.
    --CSDF? Hm, well granted Fremont is better than Riverside but I won't rank them against MSSD and whatnot... Fremont is just a notch better than Riverside but I don't see Fremont as the best campus to educate Deaf children. I have seen their statistics but they are still not the best in the *nation* other than being a nice residental school with some educators that believe in the students.

    It depends on what do you define "best"-- as in those that boost students' grades, levels, et cetera... if so-- Uni doesn't boost whole much because many kids were already 'smart' when they were admitted in Uni HS...
    I do measure "best" as those that encourage and IMPROVE the Deaf students. MSSD and that uh Clerc Center at Gally are doing a good job at improving their newly-admitted students... so I will say I concur.

    My husband and I already began to discuss about where schools to send our deaf children. We are even willing to move if it means for our Deaf children's education. We are more leaning toward mainstreamed programs but with a sufficient number of deaf students (say, 30+ deaf students at one campus) to ensure our Deaf child's identity. Residental schools are still hanging by a thread but only if we HAPPEN to live in the same city as the best Residental school then of course we will send our Deaf child there as a day-time student-- never as a boarder. My husband grew up as an only Deaf student at mainstreamed schools so he was biased against mainstreamed and was in favor for residental schools but only until he realized that there ARE mainstreamed schools with a LARGE number of Deaf Students (i.e. University HS in OC, or Madison High School in SD *not the best, but a LARGE number of deaf students*, et cetera.).
    So having a Deaf child to be proud of his/her world and to have the best education is the utmost difficult journey....
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2006
  5. Cousin Vinny

    Cousin Vinny New Member

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    Gnarlydorkette-

    Thank you for your reply. It gave me a little bit better insight into University H.S. as I've never even visited the campus, but have met a couple of its students/alumni.

    For your benefit and everybody else, here's the full wording behind those schools with mysterious acronyms:

    KDES- Kendall Demonstration Elementary School, located on Gallaudet University's campus.

    MSD- Maryland School for the Deaf at Frederick.
    MSSD- Model Secondary School for the Deaf, located on Gallaudet University's campus.
    Lexington- School for the Deaf, located in NYC.
    CSDF- California School for the Deaf, Fremont.

    I also mentioned FSD as in Florida School for the Deaf & Blind in St. Augustine. While I am very proud of my school, I really don't consider it to be in the same caliber as say, MSD.
     
  6. CoolieFroggie

    CoolieFroggie New Member

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    from my understanding and im not here to bray or compare which is better but in the common that i already know that MSSD had a best education for the deaf but again im not gonna to compare which is better and best..

    i had graduate from Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf and i think this school had a better eviroment, beautiful designs, education i haven't look at this but im not here to compare it
     
  7. HiBluE01

    HiBluE01 New Member

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    In my opinion that MSSD is good education and good social developement. I think that it is not important about comparing different schools, as a long as have good education.
     
  8. deafdyke

    deafdyke Well-Known Member

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    What about Kansas School for the Deaf? One of my friends sent her daughter to KSD, and also mainstreamed her. Katie said that Remy's experiance at KSD was even better then her mainstream sitution.
    I thought that Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind was supposed to be good, as well as Western Pennsylvania school for the Deaf. Also Austine School for the Deaf.
     
  9. Fly Free

    Fly Free New Member

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    Over the years as i was growing up, historically it seemed that BOTH MSD in Frederick, MD and MSSD to be on the list of the top 10 deaf schools nationwide over the years and educational standards may have shifted along with enrollment since the surge of mainstreamed kids

    Fremont is definately better than Riverside if comparing the 2 deaf schools in CA -- i agree with u Gnarlydorkette!

    Eyeth -- so if u wanted to find out the best residental schools nationwide, there should be some sort of set categories u are looking at -- for example: educational standards, social development, location of the schools and etc etc and i :dunno: how u are coming up with the ideas that MSSD, MSD, KDES and CSD-Fremont and Lexington are the top best
     
  10. Cousin Vinny

    Cousin Vinny New Member

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    I've heard about it, too! Apparently, they underwent a recent expansion and really added quality personnel. I know a couple of people working there and I hold them to be of high caliber.
    You won't get an argument from me about those schools. :) However, I'm curious as to what's the general consensus about what constitutes the BEST school there is. Inevitably, this invites comparisons between schools, and some posters in this thread are already uncomfortable with the idea.

    Comparing FSD, to say, MSD, would show that MSD would be a better school. But comparing FSD, to say, GSD (Georgia), would show that FSD is a better school. Again, this is pretty much based on subjective perceptions I've observed in meeting with various alumni from those schools, the quantity of those alumni I've met, etc.

    This is already happening in the form of Academic Bowls being hosted by Gallaudet. Various schools compete, and in turn, prods underperforming schools to do better the next time, and rewards performing schools with recognition. For more information about the Academic Bowl, visit their website.

    A quick glance shows that MSD is the current champion, and FSD did win the whole enchilada in 2002. (List of Nat'l Champions) That all said, the Academic Bowl really isn't an accurate assessment as to the strength of their respective schools' educational foundations. One school could get 'lucky' and somehow land a highly-educated student and win the whole thing, for example.

    If anything, it's AllDeaf fodder for discussion, that's for sure! :)
     
  11. Cousin Vinny

    Cousin Vinny New Member

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    That is a good point. Unfortunately, I'm not an educator (I'm trying to join the teaching ranks again soon!) and feel I'm not qualified to do a formal study in comparing Deaf Schools/Mainstreamed Programs all over North America according to a strict set of objective criteria. I'm sure if a study was done, it will be very revealing.

    As to how I came up with the names, it is all based on my personal and subjective perception after interacting with various Deaf people from various Deaf Schools/Mainstreamed Programs. When I was at Gally, I met a lot of extremely smart people who came from MSSD. I also had visited MSSD several times and came away with the general impression that MSSD is a superior school. Ditto for Lexington, as I met a ton of Deaf people coming from that school and were of high caliber.

    Based on individual and personal subjective observations, inevitably the inclusion of schools named as 'Best' Deaf schools, would be flawed and subject to further scrutiny, like what you are doing now, questioning my choices. :)
     
  12. gnarlydorkette

    gnarlydorkette New Member

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    :) Thank you for saying that. I did participate in DAB for four years straight to represent my high school, but you have to admit that the DAB is pro-residental schools with people being hard on the mainstreamed students. Every competition I go to, there are always two sides splitting-- one side being the "Deaf Schools" and another being the mainstreamed schools. I always feel that I am perceived as a traitor for attending a local mainstreamed school instead of going 3 hours north just to attend a Deaf residental school (Riverside). The kids would ask which school you are from the first thing-- because whatever the answer you give will make their judgment of who you are. They go with the stereotypical image of a person just based on their education background.
    It was really sad, but nonetheless I did meet many wonderful people at DAB in my "side" of mainstreamed programs (hence the reason I mentioned Uni. High School). There are some people who are on the "fence" between both sides, e.g. those who did go to mainstreamed elementary but ended up in residental in their high school years, because they are helping build the bridge between both sides by introducing each other. So I did meet some nice "residental" students. I liked NMSD and CSBD kids. They were SUPER-NICE... WSSD and ASBD had attitude problems from 1999 to 2003. Some states' deaf schools are very oral, ie Wyoming State, Montana (or maybe just those kids that we met as the represnatives of their schools).


    My high school won third place in our first year in the DAB (which was VERY impressive) but that doesn't make us the BEST school in the nation-- in my opinion it is the WORST school for the Deaf mainstreamed students just because of the poor morale among the faculty and poor educational goals for the Deaf students, period. If you know who you are, are proud of who you are, wouldn't mind to party a bit, and meet a LOT of Deaf people from many different backgrounds, then it is the place to go.

    My husband and I wouldn't mind putting our Deaf child/ren in that high school-- just for me to grab the chance as a PTA parent to appeal against these faculty members and change their curriculum for the Deaf students but only under one condition-- that my child/ren would be FULLY mainstreamed so they won't be vulnerable to those atrocious faculty members that cater to Deaf students.
    ***

    What are the criterias one should look at when ranking a school to be the best for Deaf students to attend?

    It could be varied from: the extent and degree of ASL being used, what % of faculty that know ASL on-campus, the level of education to be equivalent to the hearing peers at other schools, the opportunity to improve their education background, the opportunity to have a good job or find a college that one will be accepted, the smooth transition a Deaf student will have if going to a hearing university/college, the Deaf-Pride amibence, the positive goals for Deaf students, and so on....
    Which is MORE important? Each has their own opinions.

    For me-- it is very important for my Deaf child/ren to have the SAME level of education as hearing peers and, AT SAME TIME, keep their Deaf-Pride atmosphere where they can attend a campus with Deaf classmates (not just five-- but like thirty or more Deaf students). A school that provides and respect each necessary while encouraging the educational background to flourish would rank the BEST on my list.
     
  13. Ox Red xO

    Ox Red xO New Member

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    i dont know which is best deaf school.. as long u get your educations.. i graduated from FSD..
     
  14. deafdyke

    deafdyke Well-Known Member

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    Yes.....I would NEVER EVER totally mainstream my dhh kids.....I remmy how lonely it was, I remmy thinking I was the only dhh kid in the world!
     
  15. CoolieFroggie

    CoolieFroggie New Member

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    well.. well.. my ex never went to a deaf school as student and he grew up all his life to mainstream with couples of deaf kids, he come out and smart.... in our years, our kids's school will grow with alot of deaf program inculded. also it will not gonna to be a lonely deaf kid in no deaf program. it's too much for the interpreter to sign allday for full 8 hrs.
     
  16. deafdyke

    deafdyke Well-Known Member

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    Well me, I would do a split placement thing initally. Deaf school/formal program (not just regular school with handful of dhh kids) and a mainstream program. If there was a good Deaf school nearby, they'd go to a Deaf school. Everyone raves about mainstreaming, but it's only really good if you're a SuperDeaf who has parents who are practicaly education law/disabilty rights lawyers!
     
  17. DeafSCUBA98

    DeafSCUBA98 Active Member

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    i believe some schools are best for this.. and other schools best for other things. its just depend on the issues. and the kids.

    here in minnesota they have day deaf school programs for example.. metro deaf school its a school full of deaf/hh kids. and they go home with parents everyday after schools done. those schools are showing huge amount of improvements compare to MSAD itself. (minnesota state acemedy for the deaf) so there's nothing to compare. whils MSAD have 24 hours of social life... MDS have school social live .. and social live with family.. i believe being with family is also important.
     
  18. sequoias

    sequoias Active Member Premium Member

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    I graduated from CSDF and their education isn't that bad, but could use a little help in some areas. It's because that some levels are too low for some people or not educating them hard enough. I don't know about now, that was back in 1996 when I graduated. At least, I have a fairly good English skills. The community college helped me more into the English skills, though.
     
  19. deafdyke

    deafdyke Well-Known Member

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    Oh agreed! I definitly don't think that families should just dump their dhh offspring off at a school for the deaf, and forget about them. Yet at the same time, I think that the value of "family" can be overrated, at least in some cases. We're all taught to think that everyone comes from a stable middle class loving family........but not everyone gets those benifits from being part of a family! Like I remmy reading Train Go Sorry, about James Taylor. Initally he lived at home and comutted to school. He had a very turbulent family life that inhibited his scholastic progress. He was then put in a dorm, and then made HUGE, HUGE strides academicly.
    I'm just totally against total and complete mainstreaming......it just seems like too many public schools think that dhh kids can do really well with minmal accomondations!
     
  20. web730

    web730 New Member

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    You must have overlooked Indiana School for the Deaf. Count them!

    ISD has had been one of best 5 deaf schools for a very long time .. believe that it still is. I meant Indiana, not Iowa or Illinois, ha.

    The Gally students from other states recognized that ISD as a real good school from knowing ISD graduates there. That was a fact in our time and before so. I was a Gally and NTID student so I did know lot of them from different schools.

    By the way I do agree with your opinions in your thread about the best deaf schools. Only that you just counted 4 schools .. but do count Indiana as top 5, definitely! Yes, Kendall is the top elementary school.

    MSSD .. good education probably but at their worst in morals, you should know. Don't send your kids there lol.

    Wisconsin, Texas, and Kansas Deaf schools should be in the top 10 .. I would say. Colorado maybe?!
     

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