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Old 07-02-2006, 06:35 PM
 
20,314 posts, read 37,820,570 times
Reputation: 18105

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Quality of schools is a recurring question so I've researched reliable ways to find this key data which many people seek.

Main site for Colorado public schools is: http://www.cde.state.co.us/ with all sorts of data, for parents, students and teachers.

For ratings, see: http://reportcard.cde.state.co.us/reportcard/CommandHandler.jsp (broken link)
- Rating categories are Excellent, High, Average, Low, Unsat.
- Please use the FAQ page to learn all the ways to learn how to use the wealth of features for navigating the data.

Charter schools are also listed in the ratings.

School performance ratings can be used in conjunction with data on the realtor site, which tells you the name of schools serving homes in the MLS. This allows you to know the quality of schools serving homes you may be interested in. The realtor site allows you to bookmark MLS listings for ease of later reference.

Based on all the websites I've seen over the years, the Colorado site works in an excellent manner, gives you at least 4 ways to search for data and sure seems useful.

Here is some more info I've developed from talking with local teachers....this info is no doubt subject to differing opinions of others, so if you disagree, don't clobber me, just state a constructive opinion.....thanks.....I've been told that.....

- Colorado has high standards statewide and many decent school districts that line up well with state standards.

- Colorado teacher licenses are of a standard high enough that a number of states accept a CO license on a par with their own state.

- State spending on education is 47th lowest in the USA, not terribly friendly to schools in that respect. I'm told that California spends less.

- School districts, anywhere, any state, have issues and controversies, as well as good points. This area is no different.

- D20 (Academy Dist) is considered the best district here in Colorado Springs, per every realtor you talk to. D20 is a large district, has little bad news associated with it, and pays a bit better than other local districts. D20 is noted for VERY good schools, lots of Advanced Placement and many Inter-Baccalaureate schools.

- Lewis-Palmer District, so I'm told, is a small district and has the flavor like that of a small town community. (I like this. I think smaller is better when it comes to schools, unlike that 1500-student factory I attended 40 years ago back in Baltimore County, MD.)

- Cheyenne Mountain district, small and stable.

Hope this helps. I'm not a realtor, nor in any way associated with the industry.

s/Mike from back east.....and I ain't going back
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Old 07-02-2006, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
649 posts, read 2,650,235 times
Reputation: 179
Mike- You summed it up perfectly! Good job! SHEP
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Old 09-05-2006, 10:58 PM
 
9 posts, read 61,535 times
Reputation: 11
Mike
May I ask for a piece of advice?
My realtor kinda discourage me from looking into homes in Briargate since our budget is low.(around $200,000) ,but I heard that it's a very family area.
If fate decieded that we can't have a place in Briargate ,
I really hope it won't turn out that way,
my realtor suggested home in district 11 and Falcon 49.
How about these two district?
Any good or bad news about them?
Thank you !
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:46 PM
 
20,314 posts, read 37,820,570 times
Reputation: 18105
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayrain17 View Post
Mike, may I ask for a piece of advice? My realtor kind of discouraged me from looking into homes in Briargate as our budget is low ($200,000), but I heard that it's a very family area. If fate decided that we can't have a place in Briargate, I really hope it won't turn out that way,
my realtor suggested home in district 11 and Falcon 49. How about these two districts? Any good or bad news about them? Thank you!
I show 28 SFH's in zip 80920 btw 175K and 200K. There are 5000 properties in El Paso County on the market, things are slow as far as sales of many existing homes. In other words, a bit of a buyer's market is emerging, thus you also need to look at homes which are priced just over $200k as they may take less. There are another 27 SFH's between $200k and $225k. Use realtor dott komm, search on zip 80920, select SFH (not condo or TH) and specify a price range of 175-225K to see what I'm looking at. I see one home at $205k, 3BR, 3BA, 2157 sq ft. Might work for you. It's in District 20, one of the best school districts in town.

Here is what I have from a teacher friend in the area. Fairly recent data.

D11 is decent. The School Board (SB) just fired the Super, 1 year into a 3-year contract, search the gazette newspaper for the stories. Some of the D11 SB doesn't like public education that much, favors other approaches, they may be right, I'm not an expert. There is some influence of conservative and evangelical thinking on the SB. SB spent a whole meeting discussing whether it’s Winter Break or Christmas Break and in a late night session some of them snuck in the change to Christmas Break. Schools in D11 are doing well, but the SB is ruining rapport with teachers and community. There is now a recall effort to remove the conservative evangelicals from the SB, it has bi-partisan support, will go to a special election in December 2006, search the gazette newspaper for the stories. My friend teaches in D11, loves her school, loves teaching, and is happy to be there.

D49 (Falcon-Peyton). Area is growing rapidly, east of town, on the plains. Lots of new homes. Problems with school funding. Bond issue failed or not even attempted, so no new school, thus the one HS there was overcrowded, so they brought in trailers. Parents got angry about trailers for their kids, so they took their kids out of public school in favor of home-schooling or other sources. The head-count of students went down, so when the school census was taken, the lower enrollment resulted in even FEWER teachers in that school. That's the story I got from my teacher friend. Not sure how old this data is or if the situation is better now.

If my teacher friend or I got any school facts wrong, my apologies to all who may be offended, but I consider this info accurate.

Try to get close-in, try for D20 if you can, you won't regret it.

I'm not a realtor, just an interested bystander of the scene.

s/Mike

Last edited by Mike from back east; 09-07-2006 at 08:56 PM.. Reason: fix typo
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Old 09-08-2006, 12:55 AM
 
9 posts, read 61,535 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks a lot ,Mike.
The info you provided is rerally helpful.
Grateful for your time.
Thanks again
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