How to Access to a High-Performing High School

A Foundation supporter recently sent along an analysis by the District of Columbia’s Office of Revenue Analysis. It concluded that in “most parts of the District, people who wish to buy a home face an expensive housing market. The costs become even higher if you want to buy within the boundaries of a high performing public school so your children have the right to attend that school.”

We ran a similar number-crunch on 13 government high schools in Albuquerque. Here’s what we found:


The results were no shock — in the priciest portions of the school district, achievement is highest. In 2011, the composite ACT score for La Cueva High School, where the median assessed value of owner-occupied housing is nearly $200,000, was 24. In depressing contrast, Atrisco Heritage High School, where homes’ median valuation is around $70,000, posted a score of just 13.5.

The scatterplot reveals why school choice is essential for parents trying to obtain the best learning opportunities for their children. Education shouldn’t be about location, it should be about which school is the best fit for students.

Thanks to the GIS Section of Bernalillo County’s Public Works Division for its help with housing data.