When searching for a home, one of the most important factors for first time home buyers or young families is school district. How good are the public schools? What is the student / teacher ratio? What is the percentage of graduating students? In Metro-Atlanta, public school rankings can be somewhat low, but K-12 in our neighborhood of the month, Decatur, placed within the top 5!
Niche is a really cool resource that provides information about schools, neighborhoods and companies to help you make an informed decision before moving or switching jobs. They go beyond test scores and also include data from the U.S. Department of Education, college data, and ratings collected from Niche users. (You can read more about their methodology here.)
"Unlike traditional school rankings, which rely almost exclusively on test scores and academic performance, Niche's rankings provide a real-life view of what it's like to attend a given school," the company said in a news release. Comments from current students, alumni, and parents are included in the analysis, as well as observations about things like campus life, extracurricular activities, sports options, diversity, and programs for gifted and special needs students.
"Parents and students need more than test-score data," Luke Skurman, CEO at Niche, said in the news release. "They need to understand what it's really like to attend a school..."
In case you're wondering, Decatur city schools received an overall grade of A+, with its 5,230 students enrolled in grades PK, K-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 15 to 1. According to state test scores, 70% of students are at least proficient in math and 69% in reading.
That seems pretty smart to us!