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04/07/2010

GreatSchools and Forbes.com Unveil “Best Schools for Your Housing Buck”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GREATSCHOOLS AND FORBES.COM UNVEIL“BEST SCHOOLS FOR YOUR HOUSING BUCK”

List Reveals Parents Can Find High Quality Schools
in Cities and Towns With Homes They Can Afford

San Francisco, CA — April 7, 2010 — GreatSchools (www.greatschools.org), the leading source of information for school performance, and Forbes.com (www.Forbes.com), home page for the world's business leaders, have debuted “Best Schools for Your Housing Buck”. The list is a unique ranking of the top 25 U.S. areas where parents can find the best schools at every housing price range, including the 2009 national median home price of $178,000. You can read the entire article, which includes the list of schools, on Forbes.com at: www.forbes.com/greatschools.

“Best Schools for Your Housing Buck” dispels the common notion that high performing schools can only be found in expensive communities. While affluent cities and good schools often go hand in hand, the list demonstrates that if parents are relocating, they don’t have to compromise on their child’s education. They can find a great school within their housing budget.

“Finding a great place to live and an excellent school for your kids are two of the biggest decisions a family will ever make, and they are very closely related," explained Bill Jackson, founder, president and CEO of GreatSchools. "By aligning with Forbes, a leading source of business and lifestyle information, we are able to distribute this essential information to a broader audience than ever. Our list is a virtual gold mine!"

“We are excited to work with GreatSchools in order to make this content available to our readers, many of whom have families or plan to in the future, so they can make more informed lifestyle decisions,” remarked Dan Bigman, executive editor at Forbes.

Following are some highlights from the findings, including a breakdown of median home price categories and their top 2 cities and towns with high performing public schools. For more detailed data, including an expanded list of towns and their schools’ Education Quality Scores, please go to: www.greatschools.org.

  • Under $199,999: Mason, OH; Fishers, IN
  • 200,000-$399,999: Edina, MN; Zionsville, IN
  • $400,000-$599,999: Acton, MA; Sammamish, WA
  • $600,000-$799,999: Belmont, MA; Westwood, MA
  • $800,000 or more: Weston, MA; Mercer Island, WA

To support “The Best Schools for Your Housing Buck” on its site, GreatSchools will publish original editorial and compelling slide shows of featured cities and schools. The nonprofit also recently integrated customized real estate content into its site so that parents who are primed to move can do one-stop-shopping for both quality school performance data and up-to-the-minute housing information. This exciting enhancement furthers GreatSchools’ mission to help parents make informed decisions when choosing a school for their kids.

Methodology
Forbes.com worked with GreatSchools to analyze 17,377 towns from 49 states1 and the District of Columbia, using a combination of the most recently available K-12 public school student enrollment and test score data, along with 2009 median home price and population data. Cities in which there was insufficient data for analysis, e.g., small towns with populations under 10,000 or fewer than five (5) K-12 public schools were eliminated, as were those towns with unemployment rates higher than 9.3%.

The remaining 1,779 areas were divided into five median home price categories and then ranked based on individual schools’ performances on state standardized test scores and the most recent National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) data (the only test that is given to a randomly-selected group of students in every state). The NAEP data enables a more accurate comparison of cities in different states than could be achieved by using state test data only.

1 Because there is no single state-wide standardized test issued in Nebraska, cities from Nebraska were not eligible for consideration

About GreatSchools
GreatSchools is a national nonprofit whose mission is to inspire and guide parents to become effective champions of their children's education at home and in their communities. Parents turn to GreatSchools to find the right schools for their children, to get practical advice and information that will help them raise successful, college-ready kids, and to support the schools in their communities. Founded in 1998, GreatSchools currently reaches more than 35 million people each year — approximately one-in-three American families with school-age children. With profiles of 200,000 public, public charter, and private schools serving students from Pre-K through high school and more than 800,000 parent ratings and reviews of schools, GreatSchools is the most comprehensive source of information on school quality today. GreatSchools is supported by numerous foundations and corporations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Robertson Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation. For more information, please visit www.greatschools.org.

About Forbes Media
Forbes Media encompasses Forbes and Forbes.com, the #1 business site on the Web that reaches on average more than 17 million people monthly. The company publishes Forbes and Forbes Asia, which together reach a worldwide audience of more than 6 million readers. It also publishes ForbesLife and ForbesWoman magazines, in addition to licensee editions in China, Croatia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Poland, Romania, Russia and Turkey.

Other Forbes Media Web sites are: Investopedia.com; RealClearPolitics.com; RealClearMarkets.com; RealClearSports.com; and the Forbes.com Business and Finance Blog Network. Together with Forbes.com, these sites reach on average nearly 40 million business decision makers each month.

CONTACT
Pamela Ardizzone
Green Machine PR for GreatSchools
401.359.1944
[email protected]

Melanie Scharler
Forbes PR
212.366.8966
[email protected]

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