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Five Tips on Picking a Good School

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Friday, August 5, 2011 at 5:00 AM

Ohio families' decisions about how to educate their children are expanding, with the growth of vouchers and charter schools as well as school districts' efforts to entice them with newly revamped traditional public schools. And then there's private school without a voucher and homeschooling too.

Eduwonk blogger Andrew J. Rotherham, a partner at a nonprofit working to improve education for low-income students, offers five tips on how to pick a good school for your child.

Tip #1: "Look beneath the label. 'Public' or 'private' doesn't really tell you very much, so don't scratch a school off your list just because of how it's governed."

Tip #2: "Go for a test-drive. Visit the schools you're interested in during a regular school day. Ask to observe teachers in class so you can get a feel for how the adults treat the kids, parents, and each other."

(Read all five tips here.)

Rotherham writes that parents should do more than glance at a school's test scores or demographic data. So while you can certainly look at all the data that the Ohio Department of Education puts out, he thinks you should also look at other factors when picking a school.

What do you think of his advice? What else should parents take into account when picking their children's schools?

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