GreatSchools Ranked 9 out of 10, BUT horrible neighborhood? (Real Life Examples Please)

3 Replies

Generally speaking, does anyone know of a specific example that shows a high scoring elementary / middle / high school neighborhood deteriorate into eventual disaster and lowered home values (perhaps some neighborhoods in Detroit)?

I'm talking about neighborhoods that have elementary, middle, AND high school ranking 8 out of 10 or higher.

It seems to me that ultra high ranked schools in the 8 - 10 range on GreatSchools seem to have a nearly 100% correlation toward the neighborhood quality and the desirability for people to move in, and tends to generally remain a high ranking school (except in extreme cases). The homes in those highly regarded schools also tend to be more expensive. I'm guessing the higher property values also help fund the school district better, and because the homes in that elementary school are more expensive, it slowly becomes more and more exclusive to the more affluent (who generally do better in school). Hence a self perpetuating cycle. Whether it's correlation or causation, there definitely seems to be a link.

And keep in mind, I'm narrowing the field down to the elementary school level. Things can sometimes get a little wonky within the same middle / high school zone with different feeder elementary schools.

I've see this pattern of elementary school boundaries GREATLY affecting home values in Orange County, CA, Houston, TX area, and the southern suburbs of Atlanta, GA.

Great schools = great real estate potential, seems to make sense, but I would like the counter examples that have ACTUALLY happened, and not just hypothetical.

@Jefferson Kim  

First off, Welcome to BP! 

In California we can pay HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars for one school, though many are in the tens of millions, and the schools very often are nothing more than science projects.  Only in California The politicians running the mad house are out of control, and the kids are paying the price. We no longer have neighborhood schools where kids can be assured of going to school with other kids in their neighborhoods, feeding into the breakdown of "community", and connection. 

The State should start designing schools that are more boilerplate, set BASIC architectural design and layout for various area populations, much like say a franchise hotel or retail outlet does. Then, accept bids based on the lowest bidder. As it is now, with architectural monuments or the most far out philosophy driving out schools, tax dollars are going to appease egos and not educate kids. It's ridiculous. Sorry for the rant!! 

In general I agree with your premise.  With two really significant caveats:

1.  GreatSchools has a pretty sloppy methodology that doesn't necessarily do a good job of identifying Great Schools;

2.  The above is especially true of small schools.  This is simply the law of large numbers.  It may be that a very small elementary in a bad neighborhood will get a great score in some random year.  It also may be that that same school gets a lousy score the next year.  Larger schools will regress toward the mean.

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