What is the best public elementary school in Atlanta?

Every year we blog about Atlanta’s top public elementary Schools. Why? Quite simple at a high level – Atlanta’s real estate market performance has been heavily co-related to school performance. And why is that? Well, this is not simple. Politics, demographics, availability of educational alternatives, etc. all play important roles. As far as real estate is concerned, a significant portion of property taxes are allocated to schools in the area. Where people are spending a high proportion of their income on their property tax, they naturally demand strong education and a return on their invested public dollars.  There are so many factors at work and we are not sociologist, educators or politicians, so here it is. 

Atlanta’s   Top Elementary Schools as Sorted by Total of Test Scores
School Total   ofTest   Scores MinimumPrice AveragePrice HighPrice
Springdale Park Elementary

496

$289,000

$537,687

$1,250,000

Benteen Elementary

496

$107

$118,288

$369,000

Morningside Elementary

494

$75,000

$586,308

$1,900,000

Morris Brandon Elementary

489

$150,000

$639,635

$4,925,000

Warren Jackson Elementary

488

$29,000

$698,881

$1,525,000

Sarah Smith Elementary

487

$140,000

$569,572

$1,625,000

*   Source FMLS and Atlanta Business Chronicle

Also added to our ranking is the average sold price for closed sales of 3-5 bedroom, 2-4 bath houses in 2011 in that district. If you want a great elementary school and livable inexpensive house, looks like Grant Park’s Benteen Elementary is the best deal going. We did not look to see what sold for $107.  It probably needed a little work.

Typically we track Brandon, Jackson, Smith, Morningside, E. Rivers and Garden Hills. We included the two first place winners because of the noted high scores.  Both E. Rivers and Garden Hills have made tremendous improvement in the past 10 years. Although scores where down a bit this year we suspect there will be continued improvement. Sarah Smith is back  in 6th place after several years of falling scores which had it below the top ten for a while. Morningside being above Brandon in test scores this this year is not surprising given that school’s improvement over the years. However, Sprindale and Benteen’s stellar performance was surprising.

One last little point, schools such as Sarah Smith and Warren Jackson are winners in the great recession. These are excellent schools that have attracted families that might have otherwise sent kids to private school in more flush times. It is funny how austerity and resourcefulness breads its own competition.

We think it is important to point out that test scores don’t make the school. There are other important considerations such as IB programs, student teacher ratio, etc.  The above table is more of a convenience. Also, we did not consider every elementary school. 

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