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The "School District" question

mjl08

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#1
I always scratch my head at real estate buzz surrounding "school districts."

I recall a study by the Star a few years ago that showed a map of top EQAO tested schools in the TDSB. The top schools were almost entirely located in upper-middle-class and upper-class areas, particularly in Riverdale, the Beaches and North Toronto.

My understanding is that teachers are not necessarily more qualified in these "high performance" districts than low performing ones, nor are their better programs, nor a 'magic wand' that makes kids in one school instantly smarter than neighbouring districts.

So I propose a few questions:

1. Is a "high quality school district" a result of better teachers and programs or better test scores due to higher income students going into the school?

2. What exactly are the factors parents look for when they seek a school district? Is it for child development purposes i.e. my kid will get to hang out with kids with good heads on their shoulder, or is it more a status symbol, i.e. "my kids attend the reputable *insert* school" etc.

3. If a school is 'high-performing,' does this mean that kids attending these schools who are low-performing, that is, the minority who hold learning disabilities or other issues of need, adequately provided for?
 
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OolloO

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#2
http://www.realosophy.com/

Select a neighbourhood

select elementary or highschool

look at ratings of english and math for each school

compare
-income.
-religion
-race
-language
etc.

draw conclusion


Very useful site. Especially if you need to make sure a starbucks is close to a home you're going to purchase.
 

Eug

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#3
I always scratch my head at real estate buzz surrounding "school districts."

I recall a study by the Star a few years ago that showed a map of top EQAO tested schools in the TDSB. The top schools were almost entirely located in upper-middle-class and upper-class areas, particularly in Riverdale, the Beaches and North Toronto.

My understanding is that teachers are not necessarily more qualified in these "high performance" districts than low performing ones, nor are their better programs, nor a 'magic wand' that makes kids in one school instantly smarter than neighbouring districts.

So I propose a few questions:

1. Is a "high quality school district" a result of better teachers and programs or better test scores due to higher income students going into the school?
Not always. Some of the schools with the best reputations are sometimes in lower middle to middle income areas. Unusual but it sometimes happens.

2. What exactly are the factors parents look for when they seek a school district? Is it for child development purposes i.e. my kid will get to hang out with kids with good heads on their shoulder, or is it more a status symbol, i.e. "my kids attend the reputable *insert* school" etc.
I think it's more the former than the latter, but sometimes a bit of both.

Plus, I wonder how much private money comes into some of those schools, either directly, or indirectly.

I personally have no kids. However, this very question did actually come up when I was looking for a house. Across the street, the residents can go to one high school. On my side of the street, the residents go to another high school. The two schools have much, much different reputations, with the latter doing much better than the former.

If I had kids near high school age, the difference in schools might be enough for me to choose a house on my side of the street vs. a similar house across the street, even if say it was $10000 more. $10000 isn't much when compared to the cost of private school.

3. If a school is 'high-performing,' does this mean that kids attending these schools who are low-performing, that is, the minority who hold learning disabilities or other issues of need, adequately provided for?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Remember that all schools have somewhat independent management, and not all managers are created equal. However, some students may just be problematic for whatever reason, and if the parents aren't supportive, it can become very difficult for the school to help.

BTW, re: that Starbucks comment. I personally don't like Starbucks, but I do have to admit it is an interesting sign of middle and upper class. It's not quite a Holt Renfrew, but it's certainly a lot better than Coffee Time in terms of socio-economic status of the local neighbourhood.
 
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James

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#4
You really have to be careful looking at EQAO scores. There are obvious external factors that are not considered when analyzing the scores. At the same time, the rankings based on how a school is expected to score based on the average household income in that neighborhood versus how the school actually scores skews the absolute figures as well.

I've spoken to numerous people about the relationship between schools, neighborhood and average income and one of the notions that can't be disregarded (and is difficult to measure) is the involvement of the parents in those higher-income neighborhoods. Speaking to teachers in the higher-performing schools, they are the first to tell you that the parents are all very organized and very involved in their children's education. They come to parent-teacher interviews prepared with notes and questions and have pretty high expectations of the school. That said, it's probably not unreasonable to expect that their involvement with their kids' extra-cirricular activities would also be pivotal to their mental and physical performance. As the old saying goes, it all starts at home.
 

James

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#5
Realosophy has a current article touching on the issue of schools driving up the cost of real estate:

http://www.movesmartly.com/2012/01/...utm_campaign=Feed:+movesmartly+(Move+Smartly)

What’s Driving Toronto Real Estate Prices Up? The School Factor

Urmi Desai in Top Ten Neighbourhoods, Toronto Neighbourhoods, Home Buying

It’s time to get schooled!

We’ve updated www.realosophy.com with the latest 2011 EQAO data and the Realosophy Analytics team have taken a long, hard look at the data. Over the next few weeks, we'll be reporting on the symbiotic relationship that is Toronto real estate and Toronto schools.

Today, we’ll start with an overview of some key trends.

Move Over Starbucks

Look behind the crazy bidding wars in Toronto’s hottest neighbourhoods and you’ll find a lot of good schools. It’s not new that parents are anxious to give their kids the best start in life. (I’m reminded of the advice of a Richmond Hill high school principal once gave to my dad: “Frankly, Mr. Desai, if your kid’s smart, they’ll do great anywhere. If they’re not, well, that’s another story.”) But it’s an anxiety that’s only gotten stronger – or at least become more acted upon – thanks to the introduction of standardized testing at Ontario schools in 1995 and the reporting of results on the internet, a mini baby boom in Toronto and a growing sense that our children will be wrestling out their futures in a highly globalized bear pit of competition. Today, many home buyers with children focus their home search exclusively on school quality.

Forget about the Starbucks effect - it’s all about the school effect.

Toronto Schools are Getting Better

The good news is that our data shows that Toronto schools are improving under all this scrutiny. Compared to three years ago, there are 45% more elementary schools scoring an average of 80% or greater (this is an average of results obtained in the six different EQAO tests elementary school students write - reading, writing and math at the Gr. 3 and Gr. 6 levels). In November, a cross-Canada study carried out by Education Ministers showed that Ontario alone had students placing above the national average in all three examined subjects – reading, math and science.

Viable Options for First-Time Buyers
Want to stress out this generation of parents? Talk about the rise of house prices over the last 30 years (or more specifically, the decade-long run on house prices since the real estate collapse of the early 1990s). It’s hard to hear about bidding wars in prime schools districts like Riverdale’s Frankland Community School or St. Andrew-Windfield’s Denlow Public School and not fear that your relatively diminished earning potential may maim your offspring for life.

But these fears obscure a more hopeful reality: 46% of Toronto schools scoring an average of 80% or greater are in neighbourhoods where the average house price is less than $500,000. This stat holds up when we look at specific school districts rather than neighbourhoods. 45% of Toronto District School Board (TDSB) schools scoring an average of 80% or above serve an area in which the average house price is less than $500,000. These neighbourhoods are largely in Scarborough and North York, and are perhaps less prestigious from a purely housing perspective (“prestige” in real estate largely being a function of house prices), but not from a perspective that prioritizes schooling. Indeed, the relatively high value schooling options found in these inner suburbs may explain why they are a first choice for many recent immigrants, many of whom are highly-educated, but have yet to hit their full earning potential.

School Quality and House Price Appreciation

There is no straight-forward relationship between the quality of local schools and house prices. In order to get at a statistically accurate one, we need to control for obvious factors like house type as well as less tangible factors such as social prestige. It’s also very tricky to separate cause and effect – when we see a neighbourhood’s house prices appreciate along with its average school quality, we need to dig deeper to figure out which factor is leading and which is following. We hope to issue a future white paper on this complex topic.

Happily, some basic analysis reveals some interesting trends for home buyers to take note of now.

If you are buying into a school district that isn’t too great today, make sure it is in a “strong anchor” neighbourhood – a relatively well-established area in which other schools are performing well. Of those located in such a neighbourhood, school districts that performed below average three years ago and saw EQAO improvement in 2011 enjoyed a rate of appreciation that was approximately 50% higher than that of a neighbouring area. One anecdotal example that supports this data is Pape Avenue Junior Public School in Riverdale. Three years ago, parents wanted to skip over this average school in favour of better performing schools nearby – Frankland and Jackman Avenue Public School – but when they couldn’t get into these preferred districts, they spilled over into the Pape Avenue district. In three years time, the school’s EQAO average has increased to 87% (from 74% in 2007) and house prices have increased by 11.5% per year (vs. a city average of 7.75%). The spillover effect is probably key here – parents who begin their home search by prioritizing good school districts are likely to get actively involved in improving their children’s performance at school, setting off a virtuous circle.

It’s important to be realistic about the impact of school quality on home prices overall. Many school districts, particularly in the inner suburbs, have realized great improvement in their EQAO scores without a commensurate increase in home prices. In general, these neighbourhoods are not “strong anchors” as defined above. In such cases, parent may judge school quality to be an investment that trumps others – an investment made in children rather than bank accounts.

Best Toronto Neighbourhoods for Schools

Whatever your personal family and home buying preferences are, we believe that good information is the key to making the right real estate decisions for you.

Starting this week, we’ll post a series of school-themed Realosophy Top Ten neighbourhoods lists:
•Top 10 Schools
•Top 10 Most Improved Schools
•Top 10 Schools for Math
•Top 10 Neighbourhoods by Most Improved Schools
•Best Schools for 500K or Less (read last year's edition)
•Top 10 Neighbourhoods by Top Schools

In the meantime, you can get yourself up to date on schools at www.realosophy.com which has been updated with the latest 2011 EQAO data available.

Use our exclusive Neighbourhood Match tool to figure out which of Toronto’s 170 neighbourhoods are right for you if schools are a top priority for you (or not).

And browse our comprehensive school profiles detailing all EQAO scores, class sizes and socio-demographic statistics about the students attending that school.

Urmi Desai is editor of the Move Smartly blog and is responsible for strategy and marketing at Realosophy Realty Inc. Brokerage. A leader in real estate analytics and pro-consumer advice, Realosophy helps clients buy or sell a home the right way.
 
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Back to East York... Alas!
#6
The 'Principal' factor

The article you quote features a Principal speaking truth to the masses -- so I bet that guy/gal's school is a good one. For, what we have observed as our kids move through school is that the school's leader sets the standards more than you would expect, particularly on the 'soft' stuff -- engagement, morale of the teachers, communication with the kids.

Pape, like Monarch Park on a high school level, has had an influx of more motivated students (and their more motivated parents) that has helped, but a main contributing factor to the schools' Renaissance has been a new Principal injecting vitality into the school community (e.g. new playground equipment/fun fair/etc. at Pape, new IB program at Monarch Park).
 

Eug

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#7
Not always. Some of the schools with the best reputations are sometimes in lower middle to middle income areas. Unusual but it sometimes happens.
Toronto real estate and schools — do good test scores add up to higher real estate prices?

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The bottom line is that the top schools — at least the ones that score highest on the controversial standardized EQAO tests meant to assess the reading, writing and math skills of every Grade 3 and Grade 6 student in Ontario — tend to be in the most expensive neighbours.

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Some 46 per cent of Toronto schools that score an average of 80 per cent or greater are in neighbourhoods where the average house price is less than $500,000, largely in Scarborough and North York.

---
 

James

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#8
A couple new articles on schools and real estate value on Realosophy.

Link: http://www.movesmartly.com/2012/02/top-10-toronto-schools-for-2012.html

February 01, 2012

Best Toronto Schools 2012 (Realosophy Top Ten Neighbourhoods)

Urmi Desai in Top Ten Neighbourhoods, Home Buying, Toronto Neighbourhoods

It's school time at Realosophy Analytics! Our month-long feature looks at the special relationship between real estate and schools.

Today's post looks at the top elementary schools in Toronto as measured by the province's latest standardized EQAO scores.

While it's tempting to tape this school list to your goal wall/fridge/dreams and "make it so", it's important to remember that EQAO scores only tell us so much about school quality. For one, standardized testing results tend to favour advantaged socioeconomic groups, which can make the results more about 'who' attends than 'what' is being taught.

Educators also stress that some school strengths - like special curriculums or educational philosophies - fall outside testing parameters. But interestingly, specialty schools are a strong presence on our list. This is likely due to admissions requirements (e.g., for arts schools) and smaller class sizes.

Realosophy Workshop

Many of you have been in touch with specific real estate and schools questions - and we have lots more data and information to share. Sign up for our "Schools for Home Buyers" workshop on Sat Feb 25th (limited seating, first come first served). As part of the workshop, you'll receive a free Neighbourhood Match report which lists out the best Toronto neighbourhoods for your needs. Sign up below (scroll down to the end of this post).

The Data
•Overall score (in the bright yellow circle) represents an average of the six EQAO tests written by students in 2010-11 (reading, writing and math at the Gr. 3 and Gr. 6 levels)
•Covers all Toronto public schools (Note: some schools are too small to report EQAO results and are excluded)
•3 Year EQAO Increase represents an average of percentage points change from 2007-08 for all tests
•Average house prices for the neighbourhood in 2011
•3 Year increase in house prices from 2008 to 2011

1. Claude Watson School for the Arts

Neighbourhood: Willowdale

Grades: 1-8
Enrollment: 325
Address: 130 Doris Avenue
Average EQAO Test Score: 100%
3 Year EQAO Score Improvement: 4%

Average House Price: $488,344
3 Year Increase in House Prices: 30%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Claude Watson



2. Hillmount Public School

Neighbourhood: Don Valley Village

Grades: JK-6
Enrollment: 251
Address: 1245 McNicoll Ave
Average EQAO Test Score: 98%
3 Year EQAO Score Improvement: 4%

Average House Price:$437,023
3 Year Increase in House Prices: 18%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Hillmount Public School



3. St Michael's Choir (Jr) School

Neighbourhood: Yonge-Dundas Square

Grades: 1-8
Enrollment: 179
Address: 66 Bond St
Average EQAO Test Score: 98%
3 Year EQAO Score Improvement: 4%

Average House Price: $394,236
3 Year Increase in House Prices: 22%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for St Michael's Choir School



4. Cliffwood Public School

Neighbourhood: Don Valley Village

Grades: JK-6
Enrollment: 326
Address: 140 Cliffwood Rd
Average EQAO Test Score: 97%
3 Year EQAO Score Improvement: 11%

Average House Price: $437,023
3 Year Increase in House Prices: 18%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Cliffwood Public School



5. Courcelette Public School

Neighbourhood: Birchcliff

Grades: JK-8
Enrollment: 265
Address: 100 Fallingbrook Rd
Average EQAO Test Score: 96%
3 Year EQAO Score Improvement: 8%

House Price Average: $512,437

3 Year Increase in House Prices: 11%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Courcelette Public School



6. Cottingham Junior Public School

Neighbourhood: Summerhill

Grades: JK-6
Enrollment: 121
Address: 85 Birch Avenue
Average EQAO Test Score: 96%
3 Year EQAO Score Improvement: 1%

Average House Price: $1,023,072
3 Year Increase in House Prices: 9%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Cottingham Junior Public School



7. Blythwood Junior Public School

Neighbourhood: Lawrence Park

Grades: JK-6
Enrollment: 320
Address: 2 Strathgoway Cres
Average EQAO Test Score: 94%
3 Year EQAO Score Improvement: 0%

Average House Price: $2,129,108
3 Year Increase in House Prices: 14%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Blythwood Junior Public School



8. John Ross Robertson Junior Public School

Neighbourhood: Lytton Park

Grades: JK-6
Enrollment: 561
Address: 130 Glengrove Avenue
Average EQAO Test Score: 94%
3 Year EQAO Score Improvement: 2%

Average House Price: $1,115,368
3 Year Increase in House Prices: 10%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for John Ross Robertson Junior Public School



9. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School

Neighbourhood: Moore Park

Grades: JK-8
Enrollment: 317
Address: 1 1/2 Garfield Avenue
Average EQAO Test Score: 94%
3 Year EQAO Score Improvement: 1%

Average House Price: $1,522,254
3 Year Increase in House Prices: 11%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School



10. Avondale Alternative Elementary School

Neighbourhood: Willowdale

Grades: JK-8
Enrollment: 113
Address: 171 Avondale Avenue
Average EQAO Test Score: 96%
3 Year EQAO Score Improvement: N/A

Average House Price: $488,344
3 Year Increase in House Prices: 30%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Avondale Alternative Elementary School

~~~
 

James

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#9
And here is Realosophy's article on most improved schools...

Link: http://www.movesmartly.com/2012/02/...utm_campaign=Feed:+movesmartly+(Move+Smartly)

February 07, 2012

Most Improved Toronto Schools 2012 (Realosophy Ten Ten Neighbourhoods)

Urmi Desai in Top Ten Neighbourhoods, Home Buying, Toronto Neighbourhoods

It's been an exciting week for our Realosophy Analytics spotlight on the relationship between School Quality and Real Estate Values.

Following our first list, Best Toronto Schools for 2012, we were profiled in the Toronto Star.

The feedback we've been hearing from you is consistent with our premise: while we are all aware that EQAO scores tell only a part of a school's story, these scores nonetheless influence your home buying decisions. You've told us that having access to this type of information helps you think about your goals and feel empowered about making your own decisions.

For all the controversy about EQAO scores and what they actually measure, we often miss a far more important story. No score is static, and improvement, more than any other metric, may reveal to us what is truly important about any organization - its ability to assess its current reality, successfully diagnosis problems and do better. (RIM, are you listening?)

And what a fantastic story this week's list has to tell. Most of the most improved schools are in affordable neighbourhoods, many of which are next generation emerging neighbourhoods. Seven out of the ten schools improved to an average EQAO score of 70 and above. Improvements ranged from between 24 to 36 in average percentage points.

Above all, this top ten list tells us a story of hard work - the hard work of students, teachers and parents working to make their schools better. And really, isn't hard work the biggest lesson we want to instill in our children?




The Data
•Overall change (in the bright yellow circle) represents the average increase or decrease (in percentage points) in EQAO scores from 2007-08 to 2010-11; average of all six tests written by students (reading, writing and math at the Gr. 3 and Gr. 6 levels)
•Covers all Toronto public schools with an overall average test score above 60 (Note: some schools are too small to report EQAO results and are excluded)
•Average EQAO test score represents number of students obtaining the provincial standard; average of all six tests written in 2010-11
•Average house prices for the neighbourhood in 2011
•3-Year increase in house prices from 2008 to 2011




1. Kimberley Junior Public School

Neighbourhood: East End Danforth

Grades: JK-6
Enrollment: 271
Address: 50 Swanwick Ave
Average EQAO Test Score: 86%
3 Yr EQAO Score Improvement: 36%

Average House Price: $487,469
3 Yr Increase in House Prices: 16%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Kimberley Junior Public School



2. Braeburn Junior School

Neighbourhood: Thistletown

Grades: JK-5
Enrollment: 305
Address: 15 Tandridge Cres
Average EQAO Test Score: 84%
3 Yr EQAO Score Improvement: 36%

Average House Price: $379,622
3 Yr Increase in House Prices: 9%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Braeburn Junior School



3. Heron Park Junior Public School

Neighbourhood: West Hill

Grades: JK-6
Enrollment: 275
Address: 280 Manse Rd
Average EQAO Test Score: 80%
3 Yr EQAO Score Improvement: 36%

Average House Price: $281,727
3 Yr Increase in House Prices: 10%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Heron Park Junior Public School



4. Morse Street Junior Public School

Neighbourhood: Leslieville

Grades: JK-6
Enrollment: 203
Address: 180 Carlaw Ave
Average EQAO Test Score: 70%
3 Yr EQAO Score Improvement: 34%

Average House Price: $477,837
3 Yr Increase in House Prices: 17%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Morse Street Junior Public School



5. Elmbank Junior Middle Academy

Neighbourhood: Smithfield

Grades: JK-8
Enrollment: 556
Address: 10 Pittsboro Dr
Average EQAO Test Score: 68%
3 Yr EQAO Score Improvement: 33%

Average House Price: $283,034
3 Yr Increase in House Prices: 6%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Elmbank Junior Middle Academy



6. Cedarbrook Junior Public School

Neighbourhood: Scarborough Village

Grades: JK-6
Enrollment: 315
Address: 56 Nelson St
Average EQAO Test Score: 72%
3 Yr EQAO Score Improvement: 33%

Average House Price: $297,932
3 Yr Increase in House Prices: 15%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Cedarbrook Junior Public School



7. Portage Trail Community Junior School

Neighbourhood: Mount Dennis

Grades: JK-5
Enrollment: 378
Address: 56 Nelson St
Average EQAO Test Score: 66%
3 Yr EQAO Score Improvement: 29%

Average House Price: $295,245
3 Yr Increase in House Prices: 11%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Portage Trail Community Junior School



8. Highview Public School

Neighbourhood: Downsview

Grades: JK-5
Enrollment: 198
Address: 22 Highview Ave
Average EQAO Test Score: 71%
3 Yr EQAO Score Improvement: 28%

Average House Price: $406,167
3 Yr Increase in House Prices: 20%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Highview Public School



9. Dovercourt Junior Public School

Neighbourhood: Dovercourt Park

Grades: JK-8
Enrollment: 253
Address: 228 Bartlett Ave
Average EQAO Test Score: 71%
3 Yr EQAO Score Improvement: 28%

Average House Price: $543,599
3 Yr Increase in House Prices: 23%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Dovercourt Junior Public School



10. George R Gauld Junior School

Neighbourhood: Mimico

Grades: JK-5
Enrollment: 169
Address: 200 Melrose St
Average EQAO Test Score: 64%
3 Yr EQAO Score Improvement: 24%

Average House Price: $421,498
3 Yr Increase in House Prices: 18%

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for George R Gauld Junior School

~~~
 

Eug

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#10
How best to decipher the scores? Anyways, I guess the good news for my area is both the elementary school and the high school are in the top 1/4 for the province.

For the high school, if I lived across the street, it'd be a completely different school, and that one's rated in the bottom 1/4 for the province. Not surprisingly, there is a waiting list for the school in my district, of people trying to get in from other districts. The large difference in ratings between the two schools exists despite the fact that the parents' average incomes for the two school districts are almost exactly the same.

In that context, if I lived across the street in the other school district, I'd consider sending my hypothetical kid to a private school if I could afford it. If I were to sell this house, and the school rankings were the same at the time I was selling, I'd most definitely make the real estate agent include that in the description.
 
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James

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#11
^ It certainly is interesting how much of a difference one street makes when it comes to certain school districts! When I was single, it really didn't matter where I was buying other than for real estate appreciation value. Now with a family, I recognize that certain school districts do contribute in driving up the "value" of certain neighborhoods. With the increased demand in the neighborhood, others, even if they aren't looking at schools, adopt the mindset of it being a "sought-after" neighborhood and continue building the demand. The people living in older homes in the area see their house values skyrocket and don't want to move out. Instead they renovate or possibly re-build, thereby increasing the value of those homes even further.

Now that said, it's interesting that not all good school districts increase property values as one can see perusing the EQAO scores. So on this thought, is there really a corelation between schools and real estate value then?
 

James

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#13
One thought I had regarding public schools in good neighborhoods, do universities really know the difference between one public high school and another? I believe most universities will recognize reknowned private schools (e.g. Upper Canada College, Havergal, etc.) but how well-known are public schools, even in the affluent neighborhoods?
 
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#14
One thought I had regarding public schools in good neighborhoods, do universities really know the difference between one public high school and another? I believe most universities will recognize reknowned private schools (e.g. Upper Canada College, Havergal, etc.) but how well-known are public schools, even in the affluent neighborhoods?
Absolutely! they know about public schools, and not just the ones in affluent neighbourhoods.
Every university has a whole department of people whose job it is to know about schools, their different strengths and weaknesses and how their students generally perform - both in terms of the grades they receive at high school and their later success rate once those alumni reach university. Admissions offices access statistical information about schools, and regularly visit schools where applicants come from – partly to sell the university to potential applicants, but also to scope out the school, including the quality of its staff and extra-curricular opportunities available to students. Admissions departments attend art and drama showcases, science fairs etc. etc.
Universities are not solely focused on schools in affluent areas either – the real goal is to identify individual students who are going to be the highest achievers once they arrive at university. A high performing student from a well-resourced environment (good private or public school, tutoring etc.), who has maxed out their potential is less attractive than the brilliant student who is achieving less because they don’t have access to the same opportunities.

AmJ
 

James

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#15
Absolutely! they know about public schools, and not just the ones in affluent neighbourhoods.
Every university has a whole department of people whose job it is to know about schools, their different strengths and weaknesses and how their students generally perform - both in terms of the grades they receive at high school and their later success rate once those alumni reach university. Admissions offices access statistical information about schools, and regularly visit schools where applicants come from – partly to sell the university to potential applicants, but also to scope out the school, including the quality of its staff and extra-curricular opportunities available to students. Admissions departments attend art and drama showcases, science fairs etc. etc.
Universities are not solely focused on schools in affluent areas either – the real goal is to identify individual students who are going to be the highest achievers once they arrive at university. A high performing student from a well-resourced environment (good private or public school, tutoring etc.), who has maxed out their potential is less attractive than the brilliant student who is achieving less because they don’t have access to the same opportunities.

AmJ
Thanks for the detailed response, AnnetteMeetsJane. Do you happen to know whether they use the Fraser Institute report cards and EQAO assessments as well?