The school district asked estate agents to help revive the reputation.


The school district asked estate agents to help revive the reputation.

Brian McDonald was looking for a new home in the affluent city of pasadena, California, a few years ago. He says when he told the realtor that he had five school-age children, she told him not to sign up for a public school in pasadena.

MacDonald was surprised. He is superintendent of the school district.

“Her advice is Acadia, even glendora,” he said, two nearby cities. “She thought she could tell me that I should put my baby in another area. I mean, I can’t believe it, my jaw dropped.

Decades ago, a controversial desegregation order helped to make pasadena a city with a big split between education and education. Nearly half of all children in the region go to schools outside private schools or school districts – more than any school district in the country.

Race, school grading and real estate: “legal grey zone”

The American association of realtors advises agents not to tell clients whether schools are good or bad. This could lead them to a particular community – which may be a violation of federal fair housing laws. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

Mr MacDonald argues that the agent’s advice is part of an outdated view of the city’s poor quality of public schools – a view that still exists today.

Just ask lauren Lofton. When considering the transfer to pasadena, she looked at her four-year-old daughter’s public school. Lofton found that standardized test scores were low, despite the family price tag approaching or exceeding $1 million.

“It doesn’t make sense,” she said. “You can have these great homes, great values, a good family, but everyone says you have to go to a private school.”

She says many of these Suggestions come from friends and family.

“I think if your house is worth a lot of money in a good neighborhood, you should be able to go to a neighborhood school.”

Loften’s agent, Del Lile, grew up here, but moved away when he had children, in part because of the school’s poor reputation. That was a few years ago.

Lile says relying on rumors, or doing a quick Internet search, doesn’t tell you the whole picture of the school district.

She thought she could tell me that I should put my baby in another area. I mean, I can’t believe it. My jaw dropped. ”

Pasadena unified superintendent Brian McDonald.

“A lot of times people just look at GreatSchools or whatever,” Lile says. “That really didn’t tell the story.” He said the Numbers could be skewed by various reasons.

Working with Loften, he made sure to include pasadena’s bilingual courses, new magnet courses and college admission information at a high school.

Lile says his view of the region has turned the corner after he joined the Realtors’Initiative, created a few years ago by the school’s independent fund-raising foundation.

The aim is to provide real estate broker the latest information about the new plan and results in the region – and ask the school can take what measures to attract like rove’s family.

After all, pasadena’s graduation rate has been faster than the statewide average, and enrollment has not fallen as fast as it did four years ago.

School officials met with hundreds of agents in their offices, asking them to volunteer at school and pull back the district’s decision-making power. Even lunch with the superintendent every year.

Unlike the city, pasadena’s public school population is predominantly black, latino and low-income. Superintendent Brian McDonald said the plan “is part of our desire to attract more diverse children into our school system.”

Diversity means he has been leaving the pasadena school family for decades: professional, white, Asian. The number of students has been growing in recent years.

Mr McDonald said there was another sign that the move was working: he was looking for a new home – this time, the estate agent recommended pasadena’s public schools.


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