We picked our school but it's the only one I could chose from BUT important things for me, which our school does have
The attitude and approachability of the principal and a firm but fair stance
Friendliness of teachers and how well they "get on" with the kids
Approach to bullying
Approach to dealing with children who are falling behind for whatever reason
School programs such as sport and music
How well parents are included into the school community
School size and class numbers.
I had a look at myschool yesterday (only because of the other thread, I kind of forgot it was a thing) and our school doesn't rate very well for NAPLAN. It's in the red a lot. But there are quite a few children who can't speak properly let alone read or write before starting school. The old principal was disinterested in bringing those children up to standard (they weren't going to amount to anything anyway, right?) so those children are still disinterested, and their younger siblings who are coming into primary now, are coping them. Our new principal is pushing really hard to implement new programs to really help them out. These programs are great for challenging my "average" eldest child and he has come forward leaps and bounds. These programs will be amazing for my ASD child (starting next year) who is one of the ones who needs help. So whilst on paper, we may not look great, a large percentage of our school is starting from behind to begin with, and if you could just spend a bit of time in the school, you would see the amazing work they are doing with these kids.
Our senior classes aren't as good (a central school, k-12) but that's more to do with resources etc due to lack on enrolments. However our principal is currently trying to get it so that our children can go to a nearby (4 hours away) boarding school, which is an amazing school, on full scholarship. That won't affect us as we don't want to send our children away so will unfortunately have to move before then. But it just goes to show how dedicated our principal is to making sure our kids get the best education. Myschool didn't mention any of this when dishing out those little red marks.