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Are Schools Determining Where You Live?

  • November 1, 2011

by Erin Calandriello

Walter Payton College Prep

Many Chicago residents plan to leave the city once their children reach grade-school age due to the poor reputation of many city schools. However, they may consider moving back once the kids get a little older as the top three high schools are in Chicago proper, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.

The rankings, which are based on average math and reading standardized test scores, show that Northside College Prep bordering Ravenswood Manor (map), Whitney Young Magnet on the Near West Side (map), and Walter Payton College Prep bordering Old Town (map) are the top three high schools in the state.

However, the hitch is that these schools have an admissions testing process and only take the cream of the crop. That’s why, as UrbanTurf reported in September, couples like Brian and Amy McNeilly, who have two children, sold their condo in Printer’s Row and purchased a home in River Forest.

“It was really the school thing that did it for us,” Amy McNeilly told UrbanTurf. Oak Park River Forest High School (map) ranked 25th in the 2011 school rankings, and they accept all students within their district’s boundaries.

The McNeillys are not alone. An increasing number of city residents are heading to the suburbs so their children can receive a quality education, several real estate agents have told UrbanTurf over the past few months. Parents have a lot of choices considering that 88 percent of the state’s top 50 high schools sit in the suburbs, including New Trier in Winnetka (ranked fourth), Hinsdale Central in Hinsdale (ranked 5th), and Stevenson in Lincolnshire (ranked 7th).

This article originally published at

1 Comment

  1. Jeff said at 2:11 pm on Friday November 4, 2011:

    So how about an article investigating city options/schools?

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