Choosing the Best School System For Your Children

When many people are looking at communities to purchase a new home, they might consider factors such as market price, proximity to work, what the neighborhood is like, and local property taxes. However, when you are parents, there is also another very important factor that you need to consider when choosing a new home: the school system that you will be enrolling your children in.

In fact, the local school system is often one of the first things that parents ask real estate agents about a home they are interested in. Are the schools safe? What are the class sizes? Are the teachers known for excellence, and do the average test scores reflect good teaching? What are the extra-curricular programs like?

If you’re a parent who is looking to purchase a new home and move into a new community, there are a few simple steps you can take to make sure you wil be putting your kids into a good school district.

First, don’t be afraid to visit the local schools with your child and ask for a very brief supervised tour from a school employee. Check in at the school office with your child first, let them know that you are considering enrolling your child in classes at the school, and ask if your child can have a quick look at the school grounds.

Doing this won’t only help you make a decision about which school system you should put your child into, but it will also make your son or daughter feel much more comfortable with the upcoming move. This, along with some research about the school’s education record and performance, should give you a good feel for the local school system.

Low Public School Rankings and Teacher Attrition

At Many Public Schools, Rankings Contribute to Flight of Teachers

Teacher attrition is attributed to two major reasons – the retirement of baby-boomers from the teaching force and the departures of teachers from schools that fare low on the public schools rankings. Many education experts feel that schools can handle the number of vacancies generated by retirement. It’s the exodus of qualified teachers from schools that perform badly on public school rankings that’s seen as a worrisome phenomenon. While having qualified teachers in every classroom is one of the tenets of the No Child Left Behind Act, finding these teachers and holding on to them is proving to be a challenge.

This is especially true for schools that place low in public schools rankings. Faced with the continuation of NCLB and the prospect of having to earmark considerable sums of money just to be able to keep a teacher in every classroom – whether qualified or not – states have been scrambling to devise ingenious new ways of attracting and retaining the best talents. While finding teachers for all subjects can be tough when you are the principal of a school that’s placed low on public school rankings, the problem becomes even more of a challenge when it comes to finding qualified teachers for math and science. In recant years, thousands of schools placed low in public school rankings have opened without teachers qualified to teach these subjects. With the importance of math and science in the new global economy taken as an accepted fact , and concerns that American students without access to the most proficient science and math training will miss out on economic opportunities, school districts have turned to new ways of sourcing talent.

It’s no Secret that Qualified Teachers Boost Public School Rankings

In states like North Carolina, high poverty area schools at the bottom of the public school rankings ladder had such a difficult time retaining skilled teachers they were forced to hire new ones every term. The situation was so bad that there were many classes without a single certified math teacher. Desperate for a more lasting solution to the teacher crisis, the school district has announced 10,000 dollars in retirement bonus, one of the nations’ largest to math teachers. New York State dangles a teaching fellows program before prospective applicants. The program helps mid career professionals from law and finance defer the cost of a master’s degree. Los Angeles has offered teachers who sign up at high poverty areas that have low public schools rankings a $5,000 bonus.

Retaining teachers in a global world where the corporate arena offers young men and women better career opportunities can be hard. As the demand supply ratio gets skewered, schools that are low on public school rankings will need to make a sustained effort to retain teaching talent.