For many parents — particularly those moving out to the suburbs from the city — figuring out which neighborhood has the best balance of quality education and reasonably-priced homes can be a challenge. Journal columnist Katherine Boehret looks at three Web sites that aim to help. All provide school comparisons that include information from various sources on demographics, test results, teacher-to-student-ratios and more. Certainly, the Web is an important resource in gathering data on school systems, but parents also take recommendations from friends and family into account.
Even for buyers and owners who don’t have school-age children, good schools can ensure consistent demand for properties — and strong prices. Taxes are also a big factor when talking about schools and home prices because in many states property taxes fund education.
Readers, do you agree that schools are often one of the most important factors in an area’s desirability — and prices? Did you consider the school system when buying your home?
Education — an issue that affects everyone in some way or another — is an ideal candidate for discussions on the Web. There, parents, students and teachers can ask questions under the cloak of Internet anonymity, which enables conversations about personal topics such as learning disabilities and teacher conflicts.
But the vastness of the Internet can leave many people wondering where to begin, especially when asking sensitive questions about education. And, even in a sea of discussions and forums on education, parents are often hungry for one piece of information above all else: data that helps them select a school for their children.
You can perform various school queries using Education.com Inc., GreatSchools Inc.’s GreatSchools.netand SchoolMatters.com by typing in a ZIP Code, city, district or school name. Overall, GreatSchools and Education.com offered the most content-packed environments, loading their sites with related articles and offering community feedback on education-related issues by way of blog posts or surveys. And though GreatSchools is 10 years older than Education.com, which made its debut in June, the latter has a broader variety of content and considers its SchoolFinder feature — newly available as of today — just a small part of the site.