Pella, Iowa and Southlake, Texas among top U.S. cities to ‘live and learn’

GreatSchools and Forbes have released their annual Top Cities to Live and Learn report, which ranks U.S. cities with the top-performing public schools in every housing price range. Among the 67 cities to make the 2011 list are: Pella, Iowa; Southlake, Texas; St. Johns, Fla.; Mercer Island, Wash.; and Manhattan Beach, Calif.

April 29, 2011
Pella, Iowa and Southlake, Texas among top U.S. cities to ‘live and learn’

GreatSchools and Forbes have released their annual Top Cities to Live and Learn report, which ranks U.S. cities with the top-performing public schools in every housing price range. Among the 67 cities to make the 2011 list (by price range) are:

  • Under $199,999: Pella, Iowa; St. Johns, Fla.
  • 200,000-$399,999: Falmouth, Maine; Barrington, R.I.
  • $400,000-$599,999: Parkland, Fla.; Southlake, Texas
  • $600,000-$799,999: Mercer Island, Wash.; Moraga, Calif.
  • $800,000 or more: Manhattan Beach, Calif.; New Canaan, Conn.

Created by GreatSchools, the list challenges conventional wisdom that high-performing public schools can only be found in the most expensive locations. While affluent cities and good schools can go hand in hand, the list proves that parents don’t have to compromise on their child’s education.

“This list is a virtual treasure trove for both families and real estate professionals who want information on schools and single family homes at their fingertips,” said Bill Jackson, CEO and President of GreatSchools. “The two biggest life-stage decisions a family makes are finding a great place to live and excellent schools for their kids.”

Methodology

GreatSchools analyzed 17,589 cities from 49 states and the District of Columbia, using most recently available public school test score data, and 2010 median home price and population data. The list was narrowed by eliminating towns with populations under 10,000, fewer than five (5) K-12 public schools, or unemployment rates higher than the state average.

The remaining cities were divided into five median home price categories and then ranked based on state standardized test scores and the most recent National Assessment for Educational Progress data (the only test that is given to a randomly-selected group of students in every state). NAEP data offers a good way to compare cities in one state to those in another—even though state standards differ.

Read the full report at: http://www.greatschools.org/find-a-school/4062-best-cities-live-and-lear...

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