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Old 03-28-2015, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Warrior Country
4,578 posts, read 5,135,804 times
Reputation: 3920

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
One thing to consider when saying that an agent doesn't know as much about the schools as you do is a little thing that ties agents' hands in what kind of guidance they can give you - it's called "steering" and we have to be VERY careful not to even give the appearance of doing so. And, sadly, stating that one school district is better than another is one of those things that is considered steering, AND sometimes "secret shoppers" are sent out to make sure that agents aren't doing things they shouldn't and should have their licenses yanked.

So if you ask an agent what school is the best one, and they refer you to sources rather than giving a direct answer, that could very well have something to do with it.

This is entirely aside from the fact that a school that looks great in the ratings might be a disaster for your specific kid (while being great for another kid in your family - been there, done that). Add in that your kids are unique individuals that no one knows like you, and you really do need to do your own research on that one.
HorseLady, I suspect you know your stuff in regards to all things real estate (including schools).

But the above comment is bunk. I encountered many (like 70% or more) realtors who couldn't give simple non steering answers to questions about school tracks (feeder patterns) and the quality of schools. Knowing the feeder pattern has nothing to do with "steering" it merely means knowing the freaking MS & HS that a home tracks to. For many of us, it's as important as Sq Ft. & more important than being able to walk to Trader Joes or the political affiliation of a neighbor.

Regarding Quality, let me be specific: Stop using "Highly rated RRISD schools" when the home feeds into Stony Point. (which is a below average suburban school) Knowing the SAT score average (of a HS) isn't steering. It's providing necessary information to many of us. Stop using Exemplary & the rest of the touchy feely terms that mean zero to my kid's education.

Telling someone that CPHS & VRHS are both "great schools" in Highly acclaimed LISD is a cop out realtor comment to the person who is looking at homes (in that area) from out of state & wants the "best school". (when the info is available that CP has an average SAT score of 1597 & VR has one of 1533). Same thing when comparing RRHS & McNeil (in RRISD).

But the most laughable comparison (I've seen on here & heard elsewhere) is the two AISD HSs that are both about 7-9 miles from downtown. Many post on here indicating that they will be working downtown, want a short commute & a good school. Anderson HS has a 1693 average SAT score & Bowie has a 1590 average SAT score. Yet many Realtors & many who post on this board tout Bowie as a Great school & that Bowie (as opposed to Anderson) is the logical choice for someone who works downtown, wants a short commute & wants a great school. When Anderson is as close to DT as Bowie, one doesn't have to cross the river, (providing multiple commute options) ....& is a better school. It's even more impressive when considers that Anderson has Econ Disadvantage of 28% vrs Bowie's 14%. So Bowie gets kids who start on 2nd base & can barely get them to third.

Vista Ridge & RRHS's academic track record is similar to Bowie. All three are "good" schools, & are "safe" schools & I know many great kids who attend all three. But they aren't "great" schools. The SAT (& ACT & AP testing) numbers are the ultimate measurement of what the kid knows & what the kid has learned. They're what will get your kid a scholarship & will be the measurements used to get your kid into a top tier (non-UT/AM) school.

The information is there. Use it. Stop using feel good terms like Exemplary, & for goodness sakes stop telling people that barely above average schools are "great". That line might work for the everybody gets a trophy & a juice box crowd, but it doesn't for many of us.


Completely different topic, but I hope that all Realtors are NOT using Great Schools ratings any more. Their methodology (& usefulness) has jumped the shark. For example, they gave a top 5 (public) HS in our state (by anyone's definition) a freaking 4 out of 10 (Plano West). Any ranking system that would give PWHS (or WLHS or WWHS) anything other than a 10 is whacked, & is a ranking system that is not to be trusted for ANY school.

So realtors, if you're going to make 13.5K on a 450K home for 2-3 days worth of work, can you at least provide us with a simple answer to a basic question (school performance)? If not, don't need you.


Edit: For those wondering if this post was on Topic, I clearly () stated that for the RR, Avery, Brushy home buyer.....they should look into the neighborhoods that flow into (in order) - WWHS>McNeil>CPHS>VRHS>RRHS>STPHS

Last edited by hound 109; 03-28-2015 at 11:56 AM..
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:36 PM
 
Location: The People's Republic of Austin
5,184 posts, read 5,523,307 times
Reputation: 2549
Quote:
Originally Posted by hound 109 View Post
Completely different topic, but I hope that all Realtors are NOT using Great Schools ratings any more. Their methodology (& usefulness) has jumped the shark. For example, they gave a top 5 (public) HS in our state (by anyone's definition) a freaking 4 out of 10 (Plano West). Any ranking system that would give PWHS (or WLHS or WWHS) anything other than a 10 is whacked, & is a ranking system that is not to be trusted for ANY school.
Thats why I'd use Niche instead of Great Schools. They call PW what it is - #5 in the state, behind Westlake, LASA, Dallas School for the Gifted and Talented, and the Science Academy of South Texas.

But I'm betting that as much as you agree with that, you're not gonna like their Austin Top 20 - WHS, LASA, Westwood, Lake Travis, Dripping Springs, Harmony - North Austin, Manor New Technology, Cedar Park, McNeil, GT Richarte, Bowie, Johnson City LBJ, Georgetown HS, Liberty Hill, Smithville, Anderson, Hendrickson, McCallum, Flatonia HS, and Wimberley. They take a little more holistic look than a single data point like avg. SAT scores.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Warrior Country
4,578 posts, read 5,135,804 times
Reputation: 3920
Quote:
Originally Posted by scm53 View Post
Thats why I'd use Niche instead of Great Schools. They call PW what it is - #5 in the state, behind Westlake, LASA, Dallas School for the Gifted and Talented, and the Science Academy of South Texas.

But I'm betting that as much as you agree with that, you're not gonna like their Austin Top 20 - WHS, LASA, Westwood, Lake Travis, Dripping Springs, Harmony - North Austin, Manor New Technology, Cedar Park, McNeil, GT Richarte, Bowie, Johnson City LBJ, Georgetown HS, Liberty Hill, Smithville, Anderson, Hendrickson, McCallum, Flatonia HS, and Wimberley. They take a little more holistic look than a single data point like avg. SAT scores.
scm53, Niche vrs. Greatschools vrs. Sat/AP vrs. Newsweek/USN&WR rankings vs whatever would make a great thread. Since this one is about Brushy/RR/Avery, i'll let it go.

(But WTH...Manor ahead of Anderson/CP/Bowie??) & I'm glad that Flatonia made their top 20....go there once a year for Chilispiel.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:37 PM
 
Location: The People's Republic of Austin
5,184 posts, read 5,523,307 times
Reputation: 2549
Quote:
Originally Posted by hound 109 View Post
(But WTH...Manor ahead of Anderson/CP/Bowie??)
I wouldn't be so quick to poop on Manor New Technology. Their TAKS passing rate in 2012 was 87% against Bowie's 90%, Cedar Park's 87% and Anderson's 85%. With 52% of their kids eligible for free lunches.

They are doing something special out there in the fields.
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Old 03-28-2015, 08:45 PM
 
175 posts, read 142,770 times
Reputation: 420
Quote:
Originally Posted by hound 109 View Post
HorseLady, I suspect you know your stuff in regards to all things real estate (including schools).

But the above comment is bunk. I encountered many (like 70% or more) realtors who couldn't give simple non steering answers to questions about school tracks (feeder patterns) and the quality of schools. Knowing the feeder pattern has nothing to do with "steering" it merely means knowing the freaking MS & HS that a home tracks to. For many of us, it's as important as Sq Ft. & more important than being able to walk to Trader Joes or the political affiliation of a neighbor.

Regarding Quality, let me be specific: Stop using "Highly rated RRISD schools" when the home feeds into Stony Point. (which is a below average suburban school) Knowing the SAT score average (of a HS) isn't steering. It's providing necessary information to many of us. Stop using Exemplary & the rest of the touchy feely terms that mean zero to my kid's education.

Telling someone that CPHS & VRHS are both "great schools" in Highly acclaimed LISD is a cop out realtor comment to the person who is looking at homes (in that area) from out of state & wants the "best school". (when the info is available that CP has an average SAT score of 1597 & VR has one of 1533). Same thing when comparing RRHS & McNeil (in RRISD).

But the most laughable comparison (I've seen on here & heard elsewhere) is the two AISD HSs that are both about 7-9 miles from downtown. Many post on here indicating that they will be working downtown, want a short commute & a good school. Anderson HS has a 1693 average SAT score & Bowie has a 1590 average SAT score. Yet many Realtors & many who post on this board tout Bowie as a Great school & that Bowie (as opposed to Anderson) is the logical choice for someone who works downtown, wants a short commute & wants a great school. When Anderson is as close to DT as Bowie, one doesn't have to cross the river, (providing multiple commute options) ....& is a better school. It's even more impressive when considers that Anderson has Econ Disadvantage of 28% vrs Bowie's 14%. So Bowie gets kids who start on 2nd base & can barely get them to third.

Vista Ridge & RRHS's academic track record is similar to Bowie. All three are "good" schools, & are "safe" schools & I know many great kids who attend all three. But they aren't "great" schools. The SAT (& ACT & AP testing) numbers are the ultimate measurement of what the kid knows & what the kid has learned. They're what will get your kid a scholarship & will be the measurements used to get your kid into a top tier (non-UT/AM) school.

The information is there. Use it. Stop using feel good terms like Exemplary, & for goodness sakes stop telling people that barely above average schools are "great". That line might work for the everybody gets a trophy & a juice box crowd, but it doesn't for many of us.


Completely different topic, but I hope that all Realtors are NOT using Great Schools ratings any more. Their methodology (& usefulness) has jumped the shark. For example, they gave a top 5 (public) HS in our state (by anyone's definition) a freaking 4 out of 10 (Plano West). Any ranking system that would give PWHS (or WLHS or WWHS) anything other than a 10 is whacked, & is a ranking system that is not to be trusted for ANY school.

So realtors, if you're going to make 13.5K on a 450K home for 2-3 days worth of work, can you at least provide us with a simple answer to a basic question (school performance)? If not, don't need you.


Edit: For those wondering if this post was on Topic, I clearly () stated that for the RR, Avery, Brushy home buyer.....they should look into the neighborhoods that flow into (in order) - WWHS>McNeil>CPHS>VRHS>RRHS>STPHS
If you think a few points on the SAT or whatever is the sole determinant of education quality, there's not much more I can do for you.

For the record, I went to a decidedly below-average high school, and I have a BS & MS from a school consistently rated in the top 4 of the US News ratings (which I suspect you revere).
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Old 03-29-2015, 04:02 PM
 
45 posts, read 85,877 times
Reputation: 20
Thank you for all of the replies- this was so helpful. It sounds like I was definitely off track with some of the areas mentioned, but I can see why!! Since my husband will be working in RR, I know one of those areas is where we'll end up. We do plan on renting first since I'm a paralysis by anyalyais type. I love the advice about leaning more about the school districts- I didn't realize how neighborhoods can fall into different districts. I also never considered the whole trash pick up, etc. thank you! It looks like I've got a few months to get cracking of my homework before we visit.

Since schools were mentioned toward the end of this thread- does anyone have advice on a Spanish immersion elementary school? In SD there is one, but it's a total lottery system. I'm sure the district sites have more info, but I thoigkt of see if there are any recommended schools.

Thank you again!!
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
10,080 posts, read 9,321,830 times
Reputation: 13143
Well fwiw op, I live in an excellent area in RRE that doesn't track to elite schools, but they are good nonetheless. I dunno, there are many factors that went into our home buying decision besides a school track. There are other excellent neighborhoods to look into besides those feeder patterns.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:00 PM
 
151 posts, read 146,960 times
Reputation: 108
I stopped trusting great schools after Westlake High School and LASA were ranked 9 and Westwood was ranked 8. Those three schools are the best schools in the area by far and some of the best in the nation! LASA is considered one of the best in Texas, if LASA doesn't deserve a 10 then NO high school deserves a 10! Also to rank Lake Travis and Bowie High school (both ranked 9) above Westwood which is considered to be tied with Westlake for the best academics for a public school that one just buys into (as opposed to applying to LASA) made no sense. Sure I would be okay with both Lake Travis and Bowie to be tied with Westwood but to put them ahead of Westwood?!?! That is when they lost me.

That being said, I think addressing the Anderson-Bowie debate where a Realtor might push Bowie over Anderson for someone working downtown. Those two schools are constantly battling for the top AISD school (though generally Anderson is considered a better school, that could be with a slight bias as I am an AHS grad) but there is something that Bowie has that Anderson doesn't and that is cheaper housing stock. The neighborhood of Northwest Hills is closer to downtown than Circle C is and will cost a home buyer over 100k more to live in Northwest Hills than Circle C for similar houses. Moving over to Great Hills which is about the same distance to downtown as Circle C, Great Hills costs around 100k more to buy into that neighborhood than in Circle C. Point is, moving to South Austin gets you much more for you dollar. Moving north of 183 in the AHS area you find housing stock similar price point as Circle C but that is due to the absence of the beautiful hills in the backyards, which will keep Great Hills more expensive than Circle C for an indefinite amount of time even with South Austin's real estate prices rising. Needing a 3,000 sq foot home in Northwest Hills would be between 650k-800k generally (though could be higher) and 550k-750k in Great Hills but Circle C has homes for less than 500k that are 3,000+sq ft homes for a pretty similar commute.

Last edited by sua2017; 04-10-2015 at 09:10 PM..
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:57 AM
ITO
 
Location: Cedar Park
159 posts, read 274,859 times
Reputation: 174
Google Earth has an option that shows the lines for the school districts, that should help a bit.
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Old 04-12-2015, 11:57 AM
 
Location: The People's Republic of Austin
5,184 posts, read 5,523,307 times
Reputation: 2549
Quote:
Originally Posted by sua2017 View Post
...but Circle C has homes for less than 500k that are 3,000+sq ft homes for a pretty similar commute.
Even that is becoming a rarity. What you will get for that, is a dated 20+ yr. old home. To get anything built in the last decade will be > $170/sq. ft, or >$510K for 3000 sq. ft. And that price/sq. ft is doing nothing but going up.

It will be interesting to see where the pricing equilibrium point is. Right now, demand exceeds supply, which is pretty well constrained, so the demand pressure is unrelenting.
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