Message Boards


  • Please be sure posts are category appropriate.
  • No off-topic or off-color postings.
  • Postings may be deleted at the discretion of HGTV Moderators.
  • No advertising is allowed.
  • Be Nice. No name calling, personal attacks or flaming.
  • Certain words will trigger moderation of the post. These words mostly cover political and religious topics, which are OFF the topics covered by HGTV.
  • For general message board help, click the tab labeled "Tools," and choose "Help" from the dropdown menu.
Full Guidelines
  HGTV Message Boards
Hop To Forum Categories   Real Estate
Hop To Forums   Real Estate
  How are the scores for schools (GreatSchools) calculated on
How are the scores for schools (GreatSchools) calculated on Sign In/Join 
I was looking at a listing for a home in my neighborhood and was shocked at how low our public grade schools were ranked. We are an older historic neighborhood, have older schools but as far as I know the children still learn well and graduate to go onto college.

I said to my husband (our children are grown) if we had young children I would not consider this neighborhood with these low rankings. Our high school has a high ranking. I cannot figure out how these rankings are determined on Can anyone fill me in?
Posts: 268 | Registered: Jan 01, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
kiwi, Great question and one I don't know the answer to but think it probably has a lot to do with all of the recent "scoring/testing" methods plus the NCLB Act which has been seriously discredited in the last few years.

In any event, any potential sellers of homes with 3 bedrooms or more would do well to check those ratings - especially if they are deciding which market they want to attract! Think the school ratings can potentially be a deciding factor with families with children.

Just another example of "know your market" - to overly simplify - schools for those with young children, "bling" for first-time buyers and quality/stability for those retired or looking to retire.

As for school ratings themselves? Good luck trying to figure those out - just know they are important for individuals marketing their property as "a family friendly home."

Looking forward to hearing from anyone who actually KNOWS why a school can go from a 9 one year to a 7 the next year and then bounce back to a 10 the year after????

BTW, isn't the one doing the rating - it's consistent across the board with all of the major real estate sites! Cool
Posts: 6487 | Registered: Jan 01, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
greatschools dart org is the place to get all this information although it takes a bit to find the explanation once you get there. Once on that site simply enter the school you are looking for in the box on the upper right side of the page. You'll get a page for the school showing the rating - which is based solely on one year's standardized testing for that state and ranked in increments of 10 percent. For example, if the school is ranked in the state's 62nd percentile, the score will be "7".

For a more complete explanation of the methodology click on the school name in blue - when the next page comes up the rating will be in a large circle on the left. Just to the right click on the blue "What our ratings tell you" and you'll have more information than you need.
Posts: 732 | Registered: Jan 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Originally posted by kiwikiwi:
Thanks for the info. I did go to Greatschools dot org and found out this:

GreatSchools Ratings are based on the most recent available standardized test results for schools in each state. The results we use are typically the percentage of students scoring at or above the proficient level on the test in each grade and subject (e.g., grade 4/math) and each grade, subject and student category (e.g., grade 4/math/Hispanic students). The proficiency levels and student categories are defined by the state Department of Education.
There is more at the site for those interested.
How are ratings determined
Detemining the whole outcome of a school by standaradized tests saddens me. What about the social, cultural, musical and other opportunities?I believe in academic excellence but I also think of the development of the person as a whole. I am sorry to learn about the use of this worthless "score" on real estate sites.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: happy 9,
Posts: 268 | Registered: Jan 01, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
And I THINK the schools may receive some sort of funding if the yearly test scores are "good."

Kiwi, I couldn't agree with you more. The more experience I am having in my kids' education, the more disappointed I am becoming that they AREN'T looking at the child as a whole but how well they can get the kids to read and do math.

Did you know, and sit down for this one because it is a doozey, that they are not teaching kids how to write anymore? At least here in CA, handwriting has officially been dropped from the state's curriculum. Handwriting. No more. HUH?
Posts: 6052 | Registered: Feb 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
CCM, I would have thought you were just having fun with us about the handwriting and such but it's real. Frown

So what do you think since you have children and want them to get a good education? Are you still only looking for schools 8 and above? Interesting topic...

Myself, had a time trying to persuade myself that all those tests/scores/methods mean something - I think not. BUT, then again, I am a relict from years ago when we were actually encouraged to think for ourselves. I know, an odd concept these days...

So, which do you prefer? Go with standardized testings results when searching for new real estate OR, instead, will you make your own judgment? Be prepared when buying a new home - bottom line - it's your decision, but if you are a seller, make sure you know what potential buyers are seeing about your place. Cool
Posts: 6487 | Registered: Jan 01, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Ideally, buyers should probably visit the schools in person a few times, talk to administrators, etc., to evaluate whether a school is right for their needs. If so, THEN put the offer in on a house in that area.
Posts: 6052 | Registered: Feb 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of KG in CA
posted Hide Post
I REALLY should not get started on this...

I have been a very hands on parent with an on campus presence for almost 20 years. Sometime toward the end of those years I became a school employee at an elementary school, and currently I work in the district office. I had no problem voicing my opinion on new directions education was taking with each step...the decisions had already been made by the time we were being informed. Many of the changes in the classroom have reflected the need to please the oncoming waves of permissive and protective parents-praise for the achiever will make the mid and lower achiever feel put down, so they all are praised...the achiever begins to feel slighted so why try so hard? I really have seen this happen. Standardized testing began to point out problems within each grade level if problems existed. That was a help. Then having a school reach the 800 level was an all out mandate. If you are to pass the 800 mark and improve by a certain % each year thereafter, you start devoting more classroom time to math and reading...something else has to go.

All you have left are the scores to guide you & to point out which particular school's area you want to look into within the district. Yes, visit the school to see how well it is looked after, and to get a feel for the demeanor.

I moved here 22+ years ago because of the school district Smile I have had my share of headbutting with teachers but never over grades.

The REAL problem has not been touched here. I leave it to be pondered, but I will not get myself into hot water over what is a losing battle on a national level.

Summers are just this side of hell, but you don't have to shovel sunshine...

Click on the left to show albums

Posts: 7384 | Location: Highland, CA Zone 9b  | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
I know about the school listings from my wife, we decided to give our youngest son to study at a better school from another neighborhood. I liked that they have a kids and therapy group that seems very promising, he needs therapy and the school has such an option.
Posts: 4 | Registered: May 08, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
You bring up a post from one YEAR AGO?? With a link?
Posts: 6720 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata    HGTV Message Boards  Hop To Forum Categories  Real Estate  Hop To Forums  Real Estate    How are the scores for schools (GreatSchools) calculated on