Is Somerville An Undesirable Place to Raise Children?

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Trulia says yes. Somerville fires back.

If you’re planning to mess with Somerville, be prepared for a fight.

According to Census data analyzed by real estate site Trulia, Somerville joins Cambridge and Watertown on the list of America’s “least attractive school districts.”

In the report – School Districts People Flock to — and Flee From – one of the main statistical indicators Trulia points to is that Somerville districts are losing a good percentage of families before kids enter elementary school.

Cambridge and Watertown may be willing to accept this. Not Somerville.

Somerville is firing back with a letter to the editor from Daniel Hadley, director of Somerville’s statistics department. Hadley proclaims that Somerville school enrollment numbers are on the rise, questions Trulia’s evaluations process and cites some compelling facts to refute Trulia’s claim.

Did you go read the letter? It’s kind of a good statistical smack down of Trulia – not to mention Mr. Hadley upholding the idea that Somerville is cool (especially Davis Square).

You can add this to the list of reasons why I love Boston. Communities like Somerville defend themselves in public relentlessly. I dig it. Makes me feel part of a team. And I love being part of a team.

Also, for what it’s worth, my personal “gut call” here is that Somerville is keeping more young parents than people think – certainly more now than it was years ago. I’ve lived in Somerville five years, and I have a lot of neighbors with kids in middle school and high school. I also have several friends – married couples in their 30s– who recently bought homes in Somerville. They all seem to be getting pretty settled for the long haul.

Somerville is surrounded by some of the nation’s top universities. I was thinking about it on my run tonight around this side of town. As I ran past Somerville High School, up to Winter Hill, down to Powderhouse Square and back through Davis Square, I kept running past students at coffee shops, young business professionals coming home from work, 20-somethings playing basketball…soccer…ultimate frisbee – and I thought about this article I was writing and I said to myself: “I don’t have kids, but if I did I sure as hell would love to raise them in Somerville.”

And whatever side of the fence you fall on this, just remember the lesson we learned today: if you mess with Somerville, you better be prepared for a fight.