Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
hmw
Posts: 692
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:44 am

Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by hmw » Tue May 19, 2020 12:18 pm

I am in the process of looking for a new job. Will be going to an on-site interview next week. A real estate agent will take us for a tour of the city and houses for sale. This small city is in Texas with a population of about 100k. County population is about 200k.

I have a 9-year old who is currently in a Montessori school. He will be starting Grade 4 in the fall. There is no Montessori school in the new city.

I have done some research on Zillow. Housing in Texas is affordable compared to the coastal cities. I can easily afford to live in the most expensive neighborhood in the city. However, even the nicest neighborhood is zoned to a middle school what is ranked 4 out 10 by greatschools.org . The elementary school is 7/10 and high school is 6/10.

How concerned should I be with a 4/10 school? I think the middle school draws from a larger geographic area than the elementary school and it includes some poorer neighborhoods. According to greatschools.org, the said middle school has significant achievement gaps for students from low income households as well as from certain racial groups. Students who do not belong to these demographic groups seem to do fine academically.

Should I expect more disciplinary or bullying problems in such school? Should I even consider this school at all? Thoughts?

Thanks

adamthesmythe
Posts: 3399
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by adamthesmythe » Tue May 19, 2020 12:37 pm

I think it would be a very big leap from a Montressori school to a less well rated school in Texas. Can you say culture shock?

Personally- it would take much more than a house in the best part of town to make me live in a small town in Texas. And I don't have kids. Is this a really really good job or your only option??

User avatar
mmmodem
Posts: 2031
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 1:22 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by mmmodem » Tue May 19, 2020 12:55 pm

Here's our experience:

Upon research, we concluded that parents make more of a difference on a child's education than the school. Thus, we moved into a home where the assigned elementary school had a 3 rating. Our plan was to sign up for an interdistrict transfer to a school less than a mile away with an 8 rating. We missed the deadline the first year. The demographics indicated a higher population of children from lower income households at the 3 school. The school turned out fine, we had no issues. I liked their teachers.

The next year we were approved for the transfer to the 8 school. However, we were very disappointed in both our daughters' teachers. The work they received hardly challenged them at all. Their teachers' responses when I asked at a conference lacked enthusiasm and it was clear they didn't care, whereas we as parents were challenged at the curriculum at the 3 school.

Now we've learned that even if the school is an 8, there is no guarantee all teachers there are an 8. I don't claim to know what is best for our children education wise. But when a teacher tells me they are near retirement and they need to slow down because other children can't catch up, I'm going to be concerned. When other parents standing next to me while waiting to pick up their children vex the same concerns, well, that's not what I expect at an 8 school. My coworker with a child in the same school but different teacher also had complaints.

Kagord
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:28 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by Kagord » Tue May 19, 2020 1:06 pm

How tough is your child? I went to a different junior high and high school every year, and have some experience here. Like going from a college prep private school to a public school with metal detectors to enter during anticipated gang fights. I think your kid's going to be tested. If he/she's tough skinned, he/she may fair much better and probably learn some streetwise skills. If not, well, you may want to re-think that.

alfaspider
Posts: 2636
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by alfaspider » Tue May 19, 2020 1:09 pm

I'd dig deeper than just the "greatschools" rating. What's driving that rating? Ask your prospective co-workers met during the interview process about the schools. If they are in comparable roles, they likely have similar standards to you and could probably lend some insight.

As another poster noted, there will be a culture shock going from a coastal Montessori school to small town Texas. Heck, It's a culture shock going from big city Texas to small town Texas. Not necessarily a bad thing, but something to consider. My perception is most small town schools are extremely football centric, which isn't an issue for elementary, but may creep down to middle school. That may or may not be a good thing depending on your interests.

WS1
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:45 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by WS1 » Tue May 19, 2020 1:26 pm

Dig deep because this is complicated. This link is for the blog of teacher in an affluent suburb of Springfield, MA that chose to raise his family an old urban core neighborhood for a laundry list of reasons. The important part he tries to hammer home in his school posts is that ratings are super murky and not to sacrifice everything on the alter of the 9/10 rating

http://rationalurbanism.com/its-the-schools-stupid/

as9
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:26 am

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by as9 » Tue May 19, 2020 1:29 pm

You need to dig beneath the rating: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WC3ZPgg0nds

dukeblue219
Posts: 574
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:40 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by dukeblue219 » Tue May 19, 2020 1:32 pm

Great schools is garbage when picking the school that will educate your child best. Don't panic. Ask neighbors if you can, or look for deeper metrics like teacher retention and morale if publicly available. Otherwise it's basically just a ranking of the richest student bodies.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 19280
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by Watty » Tue May 19, 2020 2:21 pm

I once did a corporate relocation while I had a kid in middle school so we were mainly looking selecting which high school he would go to.

We were mainly looking in a huge school district that had about 15 very large high schools. The high schools ranked from about 4 to 10 in a 1 to 10 scale.

In visiting the schools we were talking about the differences in the ranking with a school counselor and it turns out that for the most part all the high schools in the huge school district had the same programs and resources and if anything the lower ranked schools got some additional resources. The difference in the rankings was because of the demographics of the students and for the most part the more economically well off the area was the better the school ranked because of the student population.

This is very complex but one big factor in predicting a schools ranking is the educational level of the parents that are sending kids to the school. This varies a lot and the more affluent areas had parents with better education. Schools with fewer discipline problems may also attract better teachers so that can also be a consideration when looking at a low ranked school. There are lots of other factors too so I don't want to make it sound overly simplistic. Some of the high schools in the more affluent areas also that their own problems with cliques of "rich kids" that had their own problems.

It would have been a stretch for us to buy a house in the most affluent areas so we ended up buying a nice but reasonably priced house in an area with schools that ranked about 8.

I would not worry about the elementary school just because it is ranked 7. The middle school that is ranked a 4 would be a concern to me since there could be lots of problems with drugs and discipline, or it could just have lots of other problems.

By the time the kid is ready for middle school you will have lived there for a while and you will know a lot more about what to expect from that middle school. If I was in your situation then I would likely wait to decide about the middle school until your kid is ready to go there but I would want to budget for private school if that is needed and there is a good private middle school available.

The high school may have changed for the better or worse by the time your kid is ready to start high school so it may be too soon to make a good judgement about that.

A big question is if good private middle and high schools are available. Many private schools are not all that good and in a small town in Texas they may be religion based and may not tech things like evolution.
hmw wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 12:18 pm
I am in the process of looking for a new job. Will be going to an on-site interview next week. A real estate agent will take us for a tour of the city and houses for sale. This small city is in Texas with a population of about 100k. County population is about 200k.
In normal times it would be good to visit the schools to get a better feel about what they are like.

That was very important to us when we were relocating and each school had a distinct feel to it which is was easy to pick up on but hard to describe. When we went to one well rated school it turned out that they had at least a dozen temporary classrooms(basically mobile homes) to handle the extra students since it was way overcrowded. That did not show up in the school rankings. At an affluent high school we happened to drive through the student parking lot and there were a noticeable number of BMW's and Mercedes and even a late model Corvette. Even if you can easily afford it who in their right mind would give a 17 year old a Corvette? Anyway visiting the schools allowed us to rule out both of those schools.

I would assume that the schools are closed there so I am not sure just what you can do but it would be good to at least stop buy the schools to see what you can see. You may be able to call them up and at least talk with a counselor or administrator about the school.

Topic Author
hmw
Posts: 692
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:44 am

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by hmw » Tue May 19, 2020 6:02 pm

WS1 wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 1:26 pm
Dig deep because this is complicated. This link is for the blog of teacher in an affluent suburb of Springfield, MA that chose to raise his family an old urban core neighborhood for a laundry list of reasons. The important part he tries to hammer home in his school posts is that ratings are super murky and not to sacrifice everything on the alter of the 9/10 rating

http://rationalurbanism.com/its-the-schools-stupid/
Thanks for the link. I know Springfield MA reasonably well, having lived in one of the more affluent suburbs myself. Honestly I would never have considered putting my kid into the public schools of Springfield MA.

Topic Author
hmw
Posts: 692
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:44 am

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by hmw » Tue May 19, 2020 6:19 pm

OP here. Thanks for all the replies.

My son was born on the east coast but has lived in Texas since he was 3. So probably not going to be much of culture shock to him.

I agree with many posters here that the outcome of a student is largely determined by himself/herself and the parents. Data clearly shows that it is highly correlated with parental income/education level. I went to a very average high school myself but my parental expectations were high. Both my parents had advanced degrees in physical sciences.

My concern is mostly about potential disciplinary problems/bullying maybe even drug problems when there is a large percentage of student body coming from a disadvantaged background. I am not sure there is an easy way to find out. Recruiters always tell me how great the schools are. :) Maybe the real estate agent can provide some information. Can I just call the school district and ask? Anyone has done that?

I agree with Watty that my son can go to the elementary school for a few years. If the middle school is really bad, will look into private school options. There is little information on private school options on the internet other than their names and religious affiliations.

Thanks

srt7
Posts: 418
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:19 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by srt7 » Tue May 19, 2020 6:23 pm

GreatSchools.org ratings should be taken with a grain of salt. But a 4/10 in Texas is a no-no for me. GreatSchools ratings are heavily weighed on state test scores and Texas does a fantastic job of bumping up the numbers with STAAR. So even with all that bump if it's a 4/10 then it's more like a 1/10. Sometimes the feeder or upcoming schools are better but it doesn't seem so in your case.

Small town Texas isn't big on private schooling but I wonder if there are any good ones around. If not, education is not a priority in that city. But it is for you. So why do you want to live out there? Is it possible for you to take up a longer commute and live in a city/neighborhood where education is a higher priority?
I can't think of anything more luxurious than owning my time. - remomnyc

health teacher
Posts: 342
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:27 am

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by health teacher » Tue May 19, 2020 7:28 pm

hmw wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:19 pm

My concern is mostly about potential disciplinary problems/bullying maybe even drug problems when there is a large percentage of student body coming from a disadvantaged background. I am not sure there is an easy way to find out.
I work at a 2/10 great school rated high school. We still have future doctors, lawyers, and such graduate every year. These kids faction together and mostly avoid the disadvantaged students through AP classes, but still get exposed to the disadvantaged kids hardships which I believe builds compassionate adults. If it were an urban area, it'd be different.

Drugs use starts the same no matter socioeconomic status. 7-8th grade it starts with experimental nicotine. Juuling is the fad right now. Then it progresses to more frequent use and then they'll dabble with alcohol and more commonly nowadays marijuana. The kids that have drug problems miss a ton of school, are hurting mentally and aren't exactly the greatest of influencers so most kids who have any parental support are able to decipher who they should avoid. Throughout HS, the friend group narrows down and if you support your child he/she will make the right decisions even if there are mistakes along the way.

As for bullying... 5th-8th are pretty brutal regardless. You just have to communicate with your child to help navigate them through those rough few years. I worked with a Spanish teacher who taught at an affluent middle school. Kids were made fun of and called poor because they only had one vacation home.

Education is so, so, so complex. You'll waste alot of time if you try to make the perfect decision. Make your choice, be confident, and hold on for dear life :)

randomguy
Posts: 8925
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by randomguy » Tue May 19, 2020 8:22 pm

I bet if you look at the schools. in detail, you will see a break down along the lines of

9+ for white/asian students who aren't receiving government program aid
2-4 for ESL students, disadvantaged househoulds

for pretty much every school (ignoring magnets and like) in the state. If a school is an 9 or a 4 depends on the the demographic breakdown. If your kid goes to the school, they will get tracked in with the other 9+.

As far as drug use, read some of the threads where people are worried about private schools drug use. Drug use is every where. It is more which drugs.... Same thing with bullying.

fasteddie911
Posts: 333
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 3:13 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by fasteddie911 » Wed May 20, 2020 9:31 am

I concur with everyone regarding academic success being heavily influenced by parents. I've started researching our local schools as well and that seems to be the case when looking at ratings vs students on reduced lunch or ESL. I also look at the niche and schooldigger for comparisons sake. Our district has public records of school test results, as well as graduation rates, student/teacher surveys, info on disciplinary actions, suspensions, etc. That's one of the perks of public school where they have to share that info. Private school doesn't and as a private school alum, the bad stuff is prevalent as well but they just hide it.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 19280
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by Watty » Wed May 20, 2020 9:47 am

hmw wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:19 pm
My concern is mostly about potential disciplinary problems/bullying maybe even drug problems when there is a large percentage of student body coming from a disadvantaged background. I am not sure there is an easy way to find out.
It would be good to talk to a school councilor or principal about your concerns, in normal times it would be appropriate to make an appointment with them and not just drop buy expecting someone would be available. I would just call the middle school and explain that you are thinking about moving to the area and wanted to find out more about the middle school. They get these calls all the time.

Around here at least at the high schools, even the best ones, they have a police office assigned to each high school they may have a job title of something like School Resource Officer. You might be able to talk with them too. Any school will have some problems with things like drugs so try to ask them how that compares to other schools, not just if there are some problems.

When you are interviewing someone may mention that they have kids too so you could ask them what they think of the schools.

getthatmarshmallow
Posts: 557
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:43 am

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Wed May 20, 2020 7:24 pm

My kids' elementary school is a 3; he's in a magnet program and it's title I. It's also perfectly safe; the school's catchment area is working class, but stable. You'll have to ask around but greatschools seems to track property taxes more than educational quality.

User avatar
cockersx3
Posts: 282
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:55 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by cockersx3 » Thu May 21, 2020 1:09 pm

My family has relocated several times for my job. Our experience is that a good GreatSchool rating is a necessary but not sufficient indicator of a high-quality school. It's a good first-pass filter, but you still need to do some homework and dig into the data yourself.

All of the "good" schools we have seen tend to have high ratings on GreatSchools, but some of the bad schools we've seen (in terms of social problems, teacher / student engagement, etc) also had higher GreatSchool scores. However, I've never seen a school with a low GreatSchool score that turned out to be a great place for our kids. I would personally never enroll our kids in a school with 4/10 GreatSchool ratings.

User avatar
Que1999
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 10:27 am

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by Que1999 » Thu May 21, 2020 1:35 pm

I prefer niche.com as my first option when it comes to checking schools out, but really use a combination of multiple review sites.

A good school is so much more than grades. That being said, if the niche and GreatSchools ratings are poor, that location is probably out for us. We've been looking at a combination of school review sites + reading student/parent reviews. We'll be going through this in 5 years when the oldest is starting high school.

I think that gives you a good baseline idea about what's going on in the school, however, I don't think there's any way to account for the randomness of your kids getting a great/terrible teacher... But that's anywhere.

Good luck.

wfrobinette
Posts: 985
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:14 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by wfrobinette » Thu May 21, 2020 2:18 pm

hmw wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:19 pm
OP here. Thanks for all the replies.

My son was born on the east coast but has lived in Texas since he was 3. So probably not going to be much of culture shock to him.

I agree with many posters here that the outcome of a student is largely determined by himself/herself and the parents. Data clearly shows that it is highly correlated with parental income/education level. I went to a very average high school myself but my parental expectations were high. Both my parents had advanced degrees in physical sciences.

My concern is mostly about potential disciplinary problems/bullying maybe even drug problems when there is a large percentage of student body coming from a disadvantaged background. I am not sure there is an easy way to find out. Recruiters always tell me how great the schools are. :) Maybe the real estate agent can provide some information. Can I just call the school district and ask? Anyone has done that?
May want to check the stats. It's the kids that have money that are doing the drugs and bullying goes on at every school.

Crimes stats should tell a better story. Is the town dangerous?

oldfort
Posts: 578
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:45 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by oldfort » Thu May 21, 2020 2:40 pm

Peel back the ratings. What are the test scores at different schools? What resources are available in terms of gifted and talented programs? At the high school level, what's the highest level of mathematics offered? At the high school level, what does the college matriculation list look like?

swordandscales
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:24 pm
Location: Louisville, KY

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by swordandscales » Thu May 21, 2020 3:08 pm

dukeblue219 wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 1:32 pm
Great schools is garbage when picking the school that will educate your child best. Don't panic. Ask neighbors if you can, or look for deeper metrics like teacher retention and morale if publicly available. Otherwise it's basically just a ranking of the richest student bodies.
Urban high school teacher here.

It’s about the teachers in the building and their ability / conviction / compassion for young people.

Try to meet them and talk to parents. Talk to former students if possible. Sometimes schools will have alumni associations you can work with.

Standardized testing, in the end, means so little in the broad scope of things. If you’re going to look at numbers it would probably be ACT / SAT performance but even then it can be misleading. If you have a bright student, and they are paired with a good educator, that’s where the magic happens.
Discipline is freedom. | -Jocko Willink

Beehave
Posts: 669
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by Beehave » Fri May 22, 2020 10:00 am

I'd be concerned about the school rating, but it would not necessarily be a show-stopper. If there is bullying and if the cohort of children wanting intellectual stimulation is cowed or if the staff is stretched too thin by other cohorts to serve those students well, then that is a major problem.

But there's something else. It's one thing to look at the best-in-town home you can buy for $420,000 in the small town and think how nice it is to buy for $120 per square foot. If things do not work out to your liking in a couple of years, what will it be like to sell that $420,000 home and buy back into a high cost of living area where the jobs and/or culture and/or education you seek can be found?

Again, this new place may become a wonderful new home where you want to work your career and even retire to. But I'd suggest trying to look very realistically at all the aspects. The risk/reward ratio of taking this opportunity is a much, much greater spread in every way than a local job change would be.

investingholder
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:01 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by investingholder » Fri May 22, 2020 10:42 am

My children have been at schools rated low and high.

As others have noted, these ratings can vary by school. But I would not say they are meaningless. Many children who live in turmoil or in poverty bring to school their issues, and it is not their fault, but it is hard for teachers to address a vast array of learning difficulties or help so many kids who are not receiving consistent food, sleep, and routines at home. This may or may not affect your child's experience as well as the ability to have friendships with the kids outside of school.

We wanted a diverse experience for our children and moved into an area where there was diversity yet high enough ratings at the schools. Unfortunately, due to some changes in the district policies, as well as a new principal, the school deteriorated over the course of a few years. I worked but was highly involved at the school. I saw many long term teachers disgruntled and leave and talked often with them. The end result was many teachers told us to leave. Many behavioral problems were going unaddressed and teachers not feeling supported resulted in a very sub-part education for my children. If I only had a year or two left we oculd have done private school or tolerated it but with many years left over 3 kids, we decided the best course was to move when we couldn't transfer due to strict policies in the district.

I did a lot of research into many schools. We eventually moved to a nearby area with a slightly higher rated elementary school but still diverse and middle rated middle and high schools so we could still be very close to our friends and other sports etc.

We are so much happier at the higher rated school for so many reasons. My oldest child talks often about how glad she is we moved.

Each child and each school is different. Even each teacher can be very different for each class. We prefer the school with a higher percentage of engaged parents but not so wealthy that there are other issues. It is hard to address such a general question.

I would never again put my kids in a low rated school - though at the time we bought our first house it was not as low rated.

YMMV.

Starfish
Posts: 1784
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:33 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by Starfish » Fri May 22, 2020 11:43 am

I don't believe the ratings.
My kids school is a 10/10 and it is terrible. Level is very low and undemanding. Kids can a lot more but they are not asked to do that much.
I friends with kids in lower rated schools and they don't seem worse. Actually it is better in some respects.
In my area most paid jobs are taken by foreigners (I am one of them) and it is obvious to me why.

rhanna
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:46 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by rhanna » Fri May 22, 2020 11:58 am

Not school related but make sure you include the property taxes when looking at homes. Depending on where you are moving from they can be relatively high. No state income tax :sharebeer

runner540
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:43 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by runner540 » Fri May 22, 2020 12:41 pm

hmw wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:19 pm

My concern is mostly about potential disciplinary problems/bullying maybe even drug problems when there is a large percentage of student body coming from a disadvantaged background.

Thanks
Check your assumptions. Drug abuse happens at every income level everywhere. Some people are just able to hire better attorneys to get the charges lessened or expunged or have law enforcement look the other way.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 11743
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri May 22, 2020 1:09 pm

runner540 wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 12:41 pm
hmw wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:19 pm

My concern is mostly about potential disciplinary problems/bullying maybe even drug problems when there is a large percentage of student body coming from a disadvantaged background.

Thanks
Check your assumptions. Drug abuse happens at every income level everywhere. Some people are just able to hire better attorneys to get the charges lessened or expunged or have law enforcement look the other way.
Totally agree! Despite an A+ rating in my town's schools, I know first hand that it is chock full of drugs and bullying is rampant. This is in a school where the average 16 year old girl is driving a Range Rover Sport.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

Topic Author
hmw
Posts: 692
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:44 am

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by hmw » Fri May 22, 2020 2:20 pm

OP here.

This Texas town has an average crime rate compared to the US average according to city-data.com. Actually it is quite a bit safer than our current Texas city. The public schools in our current town are ranked from 1-5/10 on greatschools.org.

Upon further investigation, there is a nearby town which appears to have a better school system, at least on paper. Elementary, middle and high schools are ranked 9, 8 and 5 out of 10 on greatschools.org. Interestingly their high school is actually ranked lower than the city high school which is 6/10. But in order to get into this town's school system, it will mean a longer commute time, fewer housing choices, fewer nearby restaurants/shopping options.

I don't know if it is politically correct to say this, but when a school is "diverse", it usually means that there are many low performing students from certain racial/ethnic groups. Whether it means more crime/bullying/drugs, maybe. It is a crap shoot.

Are kids separated into gifted programs as early as elementary school? Maybe that is a specific question I can ask the school district.

Luckily I have a good income. Will spend less than one year of gross income on housing. Can easily afford a private school if public schools don't work out.

Thanks

Topic Author
hmw
Posts: 692
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:44 am

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by hmw » Fri May 22, 2020 2:27 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 1:09 pm
runner540 wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 12:41 pm
hmw wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:19 pm

My concern is mostly about potential disciplinary problems/bullying maybe even drug problems when there is a large percentage of student body coming from a disadvantaged background.

Thanks
Check your assumptions. Drug abuse happens at every income level everywhere. Some people are just able to hire better attorneys to get the charges lessened or expunged or have law enforcement look the other way.
Totally agree! Despite an A+ rating in my town's schools, I know first hand that it is chock full of drugs and bullying is rampant. This is in a school where the average 16 year old girl is driving a Range Rover Sport.
So, did you send your kids to your local public school? :)

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 19280
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by Watty » Fri May 22, 2020 2:33 pm

hmw wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 2:20 pm
I don't know if it is politically correct to say this, but when a school is "diverse", it usually means that there are many low performing students from certain racial/ethnic groups. Whether it means more crime/bullying/drugs, maybe. It is a crap shoot.
A better metric would be to look at the percent of students that are eligible for the free lunch program.

Topic Author
hmw
Posts: 692
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:44 am

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by hmw » Fri May 22, 2020 3:11 pm

Watty wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 2:33 pm
hmw wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 2:20 pm
I don't know if it is politically correct to say this, but when a school is "diverse", it usually means that there are many low performing students from certain racial/ethnic groups. Whether it means more crime/bullying/drugs, maybe. It is a crap shoot.
A better metric would be to look at the percent of students that are eligible for the free lunch program.
I just looked it up on niche.com.

On average, 44% of students in the US qualify for free/reduced lunch program. It is 55% in Texas. I didn't know the rates were so high. I must have lived a very sheltered life.

The schools in question had somewhere between 30 to 55% of students getting free lunch. The best performing school, unsurprisingly, is the one with the lowest percentage of students receiving free lunch. Just for fun, I looked up the public schools in a nice suburb in New England where we used to live. Only 6% of the students there receive free lunch, and the schools are ranked 9 or 10 on greatschools.org.

Leesbro63
Posts: 6493
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:36 pm

Re: Potential relocation, how concerned should I be with a 4/10 school?

Post by Leesbro63 » Fri May 22, 2020 4:05 pm

Sometimes a smart kid in a weak school shines better for colleges than a smart kid, among many many many smart kids, in a strong school.

Post Reply