Often home buyers will tell Great West GMAC Real Estate professionals they believe it is essential to move to a high-income neighborhood in order to facilitate having great schools for their children. However, many of the very best schools in this country are located in communities within moderate home prices, but have parents and residents who put high value on the education of children.
If good schools are high on your priority list when shopping for a home, then these points could prove of value to you:
Put a premium on elementary school education. College is important. But kindergarten through fifth grade can be even more important and cast the die for your children.
Incorporate a visit to schools in your search for a home. Is the head of the school, reluctant to grant you an appointment? It may be a warning sign that parents aren’t welcome at that particular school. Schools that generally have parental involvement can often be superior to those that do not.
Look for clues of quality when you visit a school. Is the paint peeling on the walls, is it well kept? Is there an indication of behavior problems?
Demonstrate some skepticism on “self-reported” school data. There is increasingly high emphasis being placed on test scores, and other educational data, and school administrators are often quite “creative” in their interpretation and “cooking” of the numbers and data.
Look with an especially skeptical eye at the “pupil-to-teacher ratio” statistics and on scores for standardized tests. School systems sometimes attempt to influence test score results by excluding whole categories of students – such as “economically disadvantaged” youngsters, from their averages.
Consider obtaining independent “report cards” on schools or school systems. They track data on both private and public institutions throughout the country.
One such reporting company, SchoolMatch, will often tailor your search of schools to the particular needs of your children. A link to their website follows at the end of this article.
Written for Great West GMAC Real Estate
by: Myrl Jeffcoat
Related Links: www.schoolmatch.com
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