Unlike some other parts of the country, the majority of parents in this market choose to send their children to the public schools. If you prefer, there is a also a good selection of both private and charter schools to consider.
School choice is a very personal matter and parents have very strong opinions about what makes a good school. All sorts of state and national, public and private web sites, and rating services attempt to offer guidelines. Be aware that many of them are nothing more than advertising websites trying to gather your contact information. Their "ratings" are often completely bogus or superficial. Parents should do lots of research. However, no statistics will ever replace visiting schools and making your own determinations. I strongly encourage parents moving to a new area to do their research but then go and visit all schools in areas they like before jumping to any conclusions. Much of the information online is out-of-date or biased.
Be aware that new public, charter, and private schools are opening all the time and school assignment boundaries can change at any time. Statistics for recently opened schools will not be available online until more than a year after opening. When you read the "reviews" of parents on public rating web sites, make note of how old the comments are. Anything more than a year or two old may not be relevant -- especially where parents are discussing over-crowding. Many new public and charter schools opened in the Charlotte and the suburbs the last few years.
Home listings have fields for listing the Elementary, Middle, and High School assignments for the specific home. Be warned that not all listing agents put the school information in the listing, some agents that do, don't get it right, and assignments that are correct today, could change tomorrow.
Be sure to contact each school of interest directly for the most current information and to schedule to tour the schools and meet the staff.
To research area school ratings, you can start with these official state sites:
The ABC's Accountability Model - How North Carolina Schools are graded
North Carolina Schools Report Card - Enrollment & Performance Scores
NC Department of Education - School Reports, Statistics, Demographics
However, data is not always available for the most current years. Contact individual schools to request current data.
Some Individual School Systems' Sites:
Cabarrus County Schools - Concord, Harrisburg, Kannapolis
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools - Charlotte, Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson.
Catawba County Schools - Conover, Newton, Sherrills Ford
Gaston County Schools - Gastonia, Kings Mountain, Belmont
Iredell County Schools - Lake Norman, Troutman, Statesville
Lincoln County Schools - Lincolnton, Denver, Maiden
Mooresville Graded Schools - City of Mooresville in Iredell County
Rowan - Salisbury School System - Salisbury, China Grove, Cleveland
I can tell you which schools are the most popular (and, therefore, best for property values), but the final decision is yours to make.