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Old 03-15-2019, 05:37 AM
 
11 posts, read 3,862 times
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Originally Posted by LeavingNYCfast View Post
I'm looking to get out of the city and trying to juggle the same impossible balance as everybody else (good school district + commute time vs. home prices). The goal is a travel time of less than an hour door-to-door for my commute which ends near Grand Central. Briarcliff Manor seems nice but I think would be too far, I also have a very difficult time figuring out what's in Briarcliff and what's in Ossining school districts. Given the commute time goal it seems like Irvington, Edgemont, Scarsdale, Rye are the leading contenders. I know there is no perfect way to compare school districts but I found this map online. Would people make any large changes to these relative rankings?


This is the link to the school district map: https://www.realestatehudsonvalleyny...ester-schools/
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School district comparison map-westchester-county-school-district-map.jpg  
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:50 AM
 
125 posts, read 55,157 times
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Originally Posted by snowy21 View Post
This is the link to the school district map: https://www.realestatehudsonvalleyny...ester-schools/
Thanks for posting. Looks like there's a strong correlation between demographics and 'school quality'.
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ironlex View Post
Thanks for posting. Looks like there's a strong correlation between demographics and 'school quality'.
No, I think it shows a strong correlation between whatever greatschools.org's ratings are and home pricing, but there are some discrepancies there. Without knowing what greatschools.org is, or how they rate, I would not put any credit in their opinion on a school.

That said, people with means can usually afford test prep classes and/or private tutors for PSAT, SAT and ACT tests, and a lot of school reputations are based on such numbers. Likewise, in affluent areas, college admissions is much more frequently seen as the goal of High School, while getting employment after high school is more common in less affluent areas, so that college admission percentages and the desire to improve test scores are naturally higher in such areas, both also seen as important in rating schools. Kids who want to succeed and get to good schools can do it anywhere, but they need support from families to succeed.

I think these ratings are for more important for real estate investment than anything else.
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:23 AM
 
1,516 posts, read 957,593 times
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Originally Posted by ironlex View Post
Thanks for posting. Looks like there's a strong correlation between demographics and 'school quality'.

That's such a truth, and it isn't Westchester specific. When people say "I want to move to a good school district", what they are really saying, whether they know it or not, is "I want to move to an area where parents are successful and require the same of their children". Or, "I want to move to an area where parents take an active role in their kids".

There is very little that a "good" school can do as compared to a "bad" school. Some of the "worst" schools are in reality probably have some of the hardest working, best teachers, and best programs, but the demographics just aren't in their favor. Politicians have tried to solve by dumping money into the poor schools but it never changes anything, because money was never the problem to begin with.

All that said, it's probably still the right decision to look for the "best" school, knowing that it means you are really shopping based on demographics. You want your kids to be surrounded by other kids who care about school. Unfortunately, two of the biggest drivers of real estate prices are those you list- school "quality" (i.e. demographics) and commute time. So you won't find a unicorn- great schools, short commute, and affordable homes.

However, if you're not set on house size or quality, you could get into a good district with a good commute by buying a small house or a real fixer-upper. There are even small condos in the Scarsdale district, for example. Get your kids into the district now then try to expand in the future, if that's something you care about.
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:57 AM
 
125 posts, read 55,157 times
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Originally Posted by NYCresident2014 View Post
That's such a truth, and it isn't Westchester specific. When people say "I want to move to a good school district", what they are really saying, whether they know it or not, is "I want to move to an area where parents are successful and require the same of their children". Or, "I want to move to an area where parents take an active role in their kids".

There is very little that a "good" school can do as compared to a "bad" school. Some of the "worst" schools are in reality probably have some of the hardest working, best teachers, and best programs, but the demographics just aren't in their favor. Politicians have tried to solve by dumping money into the poor schools but it never changes anything, because money was never the problem to begin with.

All that said, it's probably still the right decision to look for the "best" school, knowing that it means you are really shopping based on demographics. You want your kids to be surrounded by other kids who care about school. Unfortunately, two of the biggest drivers of real estate prices are those you list- school "quality" (i.e. demographics) and commute time. So you won't find a unicorn- great schools, short commute, and affordable homes.

However, if you're not set on house size or quality, you could get into a good district with a good commute by buying a small house or a real fixer-upper. There are even small condos in the Scarsdale district, for example. Get your kids into the district now then try to expand in the future, if that's something you care about.
I think, the most rational thing to do is to buy into the 'green' and maybe even the 'yellow' areas on the map, because if you control for demographics in those areas, the quality of education is probably just as good as in the 'blue' areas of the map.
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:02 AM
 
66 posts, read 47,626 times
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Originally Posted by ironlex View Post
I think, the most rational thing to do is to buy into the 'green' and maybe even the 'yellow' areas on the map, because if you control for demographics in those areas, the quality of education is probably just as good as in the 'blue' areas of the map.
As the OP from a year ago, I ended up in Croton Harmon school district so that's sort of what I did. Part of it was price (I could have a postage stamp in Irvington or 2 acres in Croton) and part of it was feel. My wife and I are a little more laid back and outdoorsy and we liked the feel of the schools/families in Croton better than Scarsdale/Irvington even though everybody considers those two districts more highly rated.

I agree in theory about "controlling for demographics" in the yellow areas they probably look better but in practice find it doesn't work that way. I moved a lot growing up so I got to experience public school in the US, private school in the US, and private school internationally. If you are in a difficult school district; yes you will have some good kids/families who care, yes you will have good teachers who care, but you will also have issues and trouble-makers that you don't have in the better districts. And those issues take up time and resources. And to some extent class quality has to be dictated by the average just out of the practicality of teaching to a group.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:38 PM
 
52 posts, read 32,689 times
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Originally Posted by NYCresident2014 View Post
All that said, it's probably still the right decision to look for the "best" school, knowing that it means you are really shopping based on demographics.
That's a personal choice: do you want your kids to be surrounded by families just like your own? Or do you want them to have a deeper perspective by also being with kids outside of your economic class?
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