August 14, 2009

Follow up: Jericho High School versus Monta Vista, Cupertino

Hey, the 2009 US News and World Report High School rankings came out!

I figured I’d use this opportunity to follow up on this older entry:

Jericho High School – Competitor to Monta Vista, Cupertino, and Lynbrook? | SF Bay Area Home Price and Mortgage Insanity Blog –

Please read it first for background information on how this eww York (pinches nose) school is trying to beat Monta Vista.

Ok, let’s look at this year’s rankings:

38      Jericho      Jericho      N.Y.
140      Monta Vista      Cupertino      Calif.

Oh cool. The gap has narrowed. Now they are down to just 102 schools versus 127! Now, let’s look at the most important aspect: House prices.

According to Redfin, the median sales price for houses in Cupertino was a healthy $975,000. So let’s take a look at a house near that price:

21675 OLIVE Ave, Cupertino, CA 95014 | MLS# 80919151
21675 OLIVE Ave Cupertino, CA 95014
Price: $979,999

Beds: 3
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 1,628
$/Sq. Ft.: $602
Lot Size: 5,335 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Colonial
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1944
Community: Cupertino
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80919151
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 106 days

Nice nice nice. $602 per square foot is a bit low, but the lack of interior pics really helps make this house more Real Bay Area. I don’t really see how it is in a cul-de-sac, but let’s just go with it anyway.

Now, let’s look at the challenger: – Long Island Real Estate – Find A Home in Nassau, Suffolk & Queens

Taxes: $15,195

List Price: $935,000

SEC/AREA: West Birchwood
Colonial, Detached, # Families: 1
10.0 rooms, 5 Bedrooms , 2 Full Baths , 1 Half Baths

School District: Jericho
Year Built: 1961

Construction: Vinyl/
Lot Size: 82 X 125 (10250)
Appearance: Mint

Mint Condition Center Hall Expanded Colonial In West Birchwood. Updated Kitchen With Beautiful Wood Cabinetry, Granite Counter Tops, Top Quality Appliances (Bosche,Russel). Kitchen Opens To Den With Floor To Ceiling Brick Fireplace Wall.All New Windows,Pella With Interior Shades Or Marvin.Built In Oak Library.Great Home In Interior Location.Jericho School District.

Unfortunately, New York real estate listings don’t show the square footage of the house, but I’m going to guess that with 5 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, it’s going to be a little larger than the house in Cupertino. The fact that the lot is twice as large is also a hint.

But just look at all those photos – can you smell the desperation? It’s practically begging people to buy it – those poor poor houses.

Let’s face it, the house is shockingly cheap. It’s even got a built in oak library! Everyone in California knows that libraries are unnecessary – I get all my information from the wikipedia. Don’t you?

But most importantly, let’s look at the elephant in the room: the property tax. New Yorkers aren’t smart enough to give themselves Prop 13 – so every year that tax is going to soar. 40 years from now, in 2048, when you pay off your mortgage – you will be paying just $21k a year in property tax if you bought the Cupertino house. If you buy the Jericho house? $70k a year.

Will your children still be going to school? Of course not. Will their children? Who cares! You’ll be able to reap the benefits of other people’s eagerness to get into districts with good schools with your sustained housing price, and they can pay for it. After all, you helped to establish the community.

So once again, Monta Vista wins by a landslide.

Congrats Cupertino!

Comments (23) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:44 am

23 Responses to “Follow up: Jericho High School versus Monta Vista, Cupertino”

  1. SiO2 Says:

    you know what else is funny? Because of earthquakes, the walls are more likely to come tumbling down in Cupertino than in Jericho.

  2. nomadic Says:

    How can a realtard not know the meaning of “cul de sac?” Er, I mean “cu-de-sac” for this listing.

  3. SanMatean Says:

    Regarding the Newsweek rankings, does anyone else find it surprising that Palo Alto High School is ranked lower than the San Mateo High schools (Aragon, San Mateo, Hillsdale)? Here’s a breakdown of Peninsula schools (you SV guys can do your own work!)

    Gunn 117
    Mills (Millbrae) 290
    Burlingame 331
    Aragon (SM) 349
    Los Altos 372
    Menlo-Atherton 381
    San Mateo 407
    Hillsdale (SM) 487
    Mountain View 540
    Palo Alto 554
    Sequoia (RWC) 916
    Carlmont (Belmont) 1041

    It should be pointed out that the rankings are based on how many AP classes are taken per student on average. It does not assess the pass rate, so really this scale is a better measurement of ambition than performance.

    The “E&E” data are perhaps more informative, and report the percentage of all students that have passed at least 1 AP test. Here, Jericho, Gunn, and Monta Vista all score similarly with ~80% of graduating seniors passing at least 1 AP. Hillsdale comes in much lower at 33%.

  4. cardinal2007 Says:

    Here is the US News rankings for 2009:

    The Top Schools in the Bay Area are:
    #39 Lowell HS. (San Francisco)
    #60 Mission San Jose HS(Fremont)
    #64 Piedmont HS(Piedmont)
    #73 Monta Vista (Cupertino)
    #74 Henry M. Gunn HS (Palo Alto)
    #80 Saratoga HS (Saratoga)

    Notice the top 3 in the Bay Area aren’t even in the RBA, this shows how bad US News rankings are.
    Here is their criteria:
    “This was done by computing a “college readiness index” based on the weighted average of the AP and/or IB participation rate (the number of 12th-grade students who took at least one AP and/or IB test before or during their senior year, divided by the number of 12th graders) along with how well the students did on those tests. The latter part, called quality-adjusted AP and/or IB participation, is the number of 12th-grade students who took and passed (received an AP score of 3 or higher or an IB score of 4 or higher) at least one of the tests before or during their senior year, divided by the number of 12th graders at that school. For the college readiness index, the quality-adjusted participation rate was weighted 75 percent in the calculation, and 25 percent of the weight was placed on the simple AP and/or IB participation rate”

    It’s a joke, my high school got a 100% “College
    Readiness” score (AP Calculus is a requirement for the TJ diploma), simply due to the number of APs people take.

  5. nomadic Says:

    Sounds like a better system than basing it solely on participation.

    What’s IB?

  6. SanMatean Says:

    San Francisco and Piedmont aren’t RBA! Wowsers, the of RBA must be really shrinking! Piedmont’s average list price is $1.6 Million! If you cut out District 10 (Bayview, Sunnydale, etc), San Francisco’s average list price for a SFH is >$1 M.

    Cardinal, it sounds like you are restricting RBA to Silicon Valley. Tsk, tsk!

    (but agreed on your main point- the Newsweek ranking criteria are not terribly informative)

  7. SanMatean Says:

    IB = International Baccalaureate

  8. CB Says:

    Even the students at Mission SJ in Fremont laugh at this result. The structures are in taters, and half of them are portables. Buildings are surrounded by hard-packed dirt and weeds. The bathrooms are rarely cleaned and have leaky fixtures. Academic materials are rationed, and students are expected to procure the necessities themselves. There’s a dismal sports program, booster funds are below par. But, the students come mostly from Chinese families who put a great deal of pressure on their children to excel. And this translates to Mission being a top rated high school?

    On the topic of real bay area, what makes a RBA high school RBA? Look at Menlo-Atherton High, where they have the mojo to erect an in-your-face-we-have-more-money-than-you homage to affluence in the form of their massive modern performing arts center.

  9. anon Says:

    “Notice the top 3 in the Bay Area aren’t even in the RBA, this shows how bad US News rankings are.”

    Wow. Have you been to either San Francisco or Piedmont before? SF is ghetto in parts, but it is also nice in other parts. Piedmont, on the other hand, makes shallow alto look like the garbage dump that it is.

  10. cardinal2007 Says:

    Piedmont certainly is nice, (and so is the Mission San Jose part of Fremont), both places are fairly expensive, (though Mission San Jose has large houses), but since RE who coined the term RBA doesn’t include East Bay in it I don’t count it in RBA. Afterall I honestly don’t take that label seriously.

    Lowell is near Stonestown Galleria, and Park Merced, I never thought of that area as the top rung in SF. Maybe the Marina, Cow Hollow and Pacific Heights, and some other select areas of SF.

  11. anon estater Says:

    Hey – I’m only bein’ real.

  12. DreamT Says:

    Arcata, CA is pretty highly ranked (#31). Wikipedia says: Median reported household income in Arcata was $22,315 and median house sale price $260,000.
    So, burbed’s relentless search for an inverse correlation between school ranking and real estate prices seems as reasonable as his/her quest for pink houses…

  13. Pralay Says:

    More interesting thing for Arcata. According to city-data, median resident age of Arcata is 25 (compare to 33 in California). Significant population works in education related industry – most likely Humboldt State University.

    On the other hand, median resident age of Palo Alto is 40. Looks like Palo Alto has become a ghetto for middle aged people. No wonder some people there try to overcome their midlife crisis using materialistic stuffs like B&O phone, Rolex, name-engraved bricks, built-to-order furnitures and exotic plants.

  14. sonarrat Says:

    You get into Lowell High by examination only. Proximity to the school has nothing to do with it. The rest of SF schools are on a lottery system which favors siblings.

  15. anon Says:

    DreamT, correct me if I am wrong, but it appears to me as though the point burbed is (sarcastically) making is that there is no real correlation between quality of schools and housing prices. Lots of people want to tout the GREAT SCHOOLS as reasons to overpay for housing, but in fact, such a rationale is horse shit.

  16. DreamT Says:

    anon – yes but I wanted to bring up pink houses again. 🙂

  17. nomadic Says:

    But anon, you have to evaluate on a local basis for relative housing prices and their school districts. Obviously someone working in Sunnyvale isn’t going to consider a home in Jericho, NY as an alternative to Cupertino. Local markets will always show some sort of premium for good schools versus nearby crappy schools. To me that premium should be on the order of 10-15% rather than what we see around here, so I somewhat agree with your point.

  18. cardinal2007 Says:

    Well, it might work in other parts of the country, afterall, the top schools in the Newsweek ranking that are from Northern Virginia are H-B Woodlawn in Arlington, and Langley, and McLean HS in McLean. I can’t say that Arlington is necessarily pricier than McLean, but McLean/Great Falls is the most expensive part of Fairfax Co.

    There is nothing wrong with Lowell having an examination, if that improves the educational experience in the county, all the better for them, that also shows you don’t have to buy an expensive house to have your kids go to a good HS. My parents never bought a house in McLean or Great Falls, and my brother and I still went to the best HS in the county.

    A good reason to take AP courses though is that most schools give you credit out of some courses if you get a 4 or 5 in the AP. I managed to get a semester worth of credit coming into CMU when I started, and subsequently graduated a semester early, saving some $6-8k, and getting a job there.

  19. anon Says:

    Nomadic, its all about location, location, location…

  20. steve Says:

    No. VA schools have been excellent for a long time, so it is nice to see they are still going strong. what is suprising to me in the list is the current low rank for the Chicago suburb schools: Highland Park HS, New Trier, GBN, GBS, etc. 20 years ago these all would have been top 100. anyone know what happened? they are in very affluent areas.

  21. SB123 Says:

    Another view of Cupertino schools:

  22. SanMatean Says:

    Wow SB123, that’s quite an article. Is Suein Hwang still working as a reporter? Talk about race-baiting. I’m surprised the WSJ let something like that make it through. The editor must have been distracted by something…

    Here’s an interesting discussion spawned by the article-

  23. nomadic Says:

    OMG – the article in #21 even cites Tenafly, NJ, a burbed favorite. 😉 It certainly baiting, but I’ve heard this before:

    Many white parents say they’re leaving because the schools are too academically driven and too narrowly invested in subjects such as math and science at the expense of liberal arts and extracurriculars like sports and other personal interests.

    I had a conversation with a mother of two who said she wished she could send her kids to private school (instead of another heavily Asian RBA school) to have more extra-curricular activities available. However, race wasn’t a consideration in the least. The kids had spent some years growing up in an Asian country (well, the whole family lived overseas), love the culture, but again, wanted more theater & sports in school.

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