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Old 09-04-2013, 09:59 AM
 
43 posts, read 60,125 times
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My husband and I will be moving from Boston to the suburbs in the next year or so with our young daughter.

We're not sure where we want to go yet, so we're starting by narrowing things down based on public school performance.

I found the following site (School and District Profiles), but I'm a bit overwhelmed and having trouble interpreting the data. Plus, you can only look at one school at a time -- unless I'm missing something.

Is there any other site out there that ranks schools by test scores, graduation rates, class size, etc?

I know a school is so much more than a collection of data, but we've got to start somewhere!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:38 AM
 
2,020 posts, read 4,962,203 times
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You will go nuts looking at all those stats for sure. I like that website and used it when I was researching a move. It is a bit difficult to navigate but it does give the nuts and bolts. I agree it's a good jumping off point.

There was an earlier conversation on here about "best" of listings. Stay away from those. The criteria used in those rankings is so ambiguous, I don't even think the publishers know what it is.

To be honest, I think the best thing to do is to start narrowing down first by convenience to and from work, then by budget. From there I would start checking school districts. I always feel bad when people make these suggestions or by research they find wonderful school districts and then find out the area does not work for their lifestyle or budget. Sometimes the communities that people "settle" for are wonderful communities with excellent schools but they still feel like they settled because they didn't move to what most people and sources consider to be the best.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:04 AM
 
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Thank you!

I guess that's our problem. We can't decide North Shore vs. South Shore vs. Metro West, so we were hoping we could use schools as the deciding factor (in conjunction with home prices/budget, of course; we certainly can't swing Concord, Lexington, Weston or the like.)
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:28 AM
 
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GoLocalWorcester publishes a top-to-bottom ranking for public schools in MA. I won't vouch for the source, but you can read their methodology on their website.

http://files.golocalworcester.com.s3...phsmaFINAL.pdf
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:32 AM
 
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Thank you!
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:47 AM
 
Location: North of Boston
3,512 posts, read 6,709,341 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serendipity418 View Post

We're not sure where we want to go yet, so we're starting by narrowing things down based on public school performance.


That's not really a good place to start.

First and foremost should be communities with reasonable accessibility to your current jobs or where you think you might work in the near future. From that pool of communities you can then apply criteria such as proximity to the ocean or other recreational opportunities, proximity to other family members or relatives, shopping and retail opportunities and academic performance.

Applying public school academic performance as your first criteria may filter out a lot of great communities, several of which could be ideal for your family. Realistically, any of the so called "Top 100" public school systems in Massachusetts would be just fine for 99% of the students in the state. Only if your daughter has some particular special need, do you really need to fine tune that selection.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:01 PM
 
43 posts, read 60,125 times
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Originally Posted by gf2020 View Post
That's not really a good place to start.

First and foremost should be communities with reasonable accessibility to your current jobs or where you think you might work in the near future. From that pool of communities you can then apply criteria such as proximity to the ocean or other recreational opportunities, proximity to other family members or relatives, shopping and retail opportunities and academic performance.
Thanks for your feedback. We're aware of all the additional criteria, but the other factors are not particularly helpful at this stage.

Our focus will be on schools for now.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:08 PM
 
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Serendipity. I can tell you for the south shore, you should look into the schools in both Norwell and Hanover. They are affordable, (that being relative to the south shore) nice family oriented towns with excellent schools.

I am a big fan of Norwell.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:15 PM
 
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Thanks, Beachcomber! We'll add them to the list.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:05 PM
 
Location: near bears but at least no snakes
25,693 posts, read 25,598,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gf2020 View Post
That's not really a good place to start.

First and foremost should be communities with reasonable accessibility to your current jobs or where you think you might work in the near future. From that pool of communities you can then apply criteria such as proximity to the ocean or other recreational opportunities, proximity to other family members or relatives, shopping and retail opportunities and academic performance.

Applying public school academic performance as your first criteria may filter out a lot of great communities, several of which could be ideal for your family. Realistically, any of the so called "Top 100" public school systems in Massachusetts would be just fine for 99% of the students in the state. Only if your daughter has some particular special need, do you really need to fine tune that selection.
^^^ This. There are a lot of good school systems but none are perfect. You can send them to the best private school and still not be 100% happy. A lot depends upon the town itself, the friends, the home life, and the individual child. That's unless there is a special need. Another thing--some of these highly rated schools are high pressure and you don't get a happy, well rounded kid, you might get an anxiety ridden robot instead. Best thing is to find a town that suits the family in terms of job and location to other family members and friends and recreational activities. There seems to be too much obsession with proper school system.
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