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Old 06-26-2017, 11:43 AM
 
6 posts, read 3,124 times
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Are public schools (specifically elementary schools) in New Bedford really that bad?

I'm considering a move to the South Coast with my family and just found out that my husband's prospective job requires local residency. We'd been talking about moving to Dartmouth or Mattapoisett, and I haven't heard great things about schools in New Bedford. My kiddos are currently 4 and 1, so would be in elementary school for the time period that we're looking at. We'd be moving from Waltham, where each school has its own reputation, so I don't expect to live in a town with the best schools in the state necessarily, but I also want to feel comfortable that my kids will be in adequate facilities with high-quality teachers. Any local insight would be appreciated!
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Old 06-26-2017, 01:42 PM
 
2,707 posts, read 1,638,376 times
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Do some data digging. New Bedford is plagued by the social and financial ills prevalent in the city. No amount of investment in teachers/resources will alter the outcome of when the core issue extends beyond the school walls.

Waltham schools, despite their rep, have made significant progress as metro Boston's gentrification has pushed educated/moneyed buyers into the area. Same goes for Beverly, Quincy, etc. Unlike these towns/cities, New Bedford has not benefited from Boston's renaissance - I think you'd be severely disappointed
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Old 06-26-2017, 01:58 PM
 
931 posts, read 1,011,194 times
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In a nutshell, yes they are that bad. The worst is probably Hayden-McFadden but the others are not much better.
They are the perfect example of why throwing money at a school, or blaming the teachers just doesn't work.
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Old 06-26-2017, 03:46 PM
 
17,454 posts, read 9,755,767 times
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New Bedford has a few middle class neighborhoods in the extreme north end and the west end where the elementary schools aren't a total disaster but they're still not great schools. Personally, I wouldn't consider it.

I'm from Dartmouth and own a summer home there these days. Like anywhere else, school system quality correlates very highly to the education level of the parents. Until the town built a new High School, there were neighborhood elementary schools. The affluent professional bedroom town section South Dartmouth near the harbor mostly attended the Cushman School. The town moved the middle school to the old high school and turned the old middle school into an elementary school closing a few of the neighborhood elementary schools. Cushman became a kindergarten. The remaining elementary school in that part of town is the DeMello school which is closer to the mixed income Bliss Corner section of town. DeMello now gets most of those students but it's a more socioeconomically mixed school than Cushman was. If you're considering Dartmouth, you probably want zip code 02748, not 02747 and you want to pay careful attention to neighborhoods and school districts.

You're not going to get the gold plated school systems of the elite Boston suburbs anywhere on the Southcoast. The region isn't affluent enough to have towns where you need a professional job to buy into the real estate market.

In the region, Marion is about 49% college grads. Mattapoisett is about 42% college grads. South Dartmouth is 30%. North Dartmouth is 20%. New Bedford is 10%. That's a pretty good predictor of elementary school performance.
Source: Cities with the Highest Percentage of College Graduates in Massachusetts | Zip Atlas
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