We currently live in WP and are looking to move out of it because of the schools.
Don't get me wrong, WP is very nice place to live. We love it very much. But, we have to move because of the schools. It's been changed so much in the public schools since we moved in 6 years ago.
BTW, the tax is not as low as you would expect it.
A very frustrated WP Resident
I'll add two things:
1. White Plains has a diverse population. The stats that you see reflect both extremes in that spectrum. You can not expect scores to the same as a community with a more homogeneous population. Not going to happen. Any average also tends to be driven by the extremes on either end. So there is more flux in a heterogeneous population with respect to scores.
2. I will second what Mike says. The Starbucks downtown is no where near the White Plains High School - which is located in the southern end of the city. Starbucks is quite close to the train and bus station and the Galleria Mall. Chances are many of these "tough" kids got here by train/bus and were hanging out in the mall.
Your best bet is to visit the schools. In general, I think parents rely way too much on raw scores to determine what is "good" and what is "bad." I've been an educator and there is more to a school than its average SAT score.
You have been given some good suggestions about calling the school district to obtain information. Most school districts will invite you to visit the schools and see them as they really are. As the retired commissioner of Planning for the City of White Plains and active over the years with the White Plains School District I know that you will find a lot of the information helpful in your decision making. The young people that you see in the downtown of White Plains are not all from this great City. White Plains is a regional hub of government and retail as well as an employment center. The low property taxes are a direct reflection of the strong retail base that is providing over $50,000,000 in sales tax this year. The commercial base is also very strong in White Plains, and that coupled with all the new development makes White Plains a wonderful choice for a residence. As a real estate broker in White Plains, I see many people learning about the great things White Plains has to offer and buying their first home here. If you have questions please feel free to ask and I will respond.
"The facts don't lie", but they also don't always tell the whole story...and that can lead to misinformed judgments & decisions. Please contact Laurette Young at the parent information center. (email@example.com / http://www.whiteplainspublicschools.org. I was born and raised in White Plains. It's a great community. I've been in the real estate business for 20 years...and I would love the opportunity to discuss your needs with you.
My suggestion, and many people love this, is to visit the schools unannounced. The reason you do this is the school won't have time to plan for your visit and put on a mask. You will see how they treat you and also see what really goes on. Try not to judge a book by its cover, go with the hard facts from reports and also your own research. Let's face it kids are kids and every school district will have its challenges. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Legends Realty Group
If you need any further help, please let me know!
Karen Benvin Ransom
The facts don't lie. Check the New York State Department of Education website. You can access volumes of information about every school district in the state including White Plains.
It will break the academic ratings down into elementary, middle school, and high school results. The site will also recognize those areas that are strong points as well as those that need work. Additionally, it will post school discipline trends: suspensions, fights, weapons, etc.
Check the site out and let yourself be the "judge."
The Eckler team
Hope this helps, Dunes