This infographic is a follow up to a recent article published on Enable Teachers titled: This Is What Parents Need To Know About greatschools.org Ratings.
After talking with several parents about the article, many said they did not know about the various data that greatschools.org used in their ratings. Additionally, parents did not understand how to apply the scores in a meaningful way. To help decrease confusion on this website’s ratings, and increase knowledge and parent empowerment, I have created this infographic to help.
Next to each link title, there is a small picture that can help direct you to the correct page. Additionally, each link has a small explanation to help direct you in usage of the data.
While each of these areas are important to weigh into parent’s school choice, it’s also important to review the sources. Make sure you understand where the statistic came from. Most of data from this website come directly from standardized tests scores. While standardized tests do show some amount of data, they may not actually be testing student achievement well.
Review standardized testing issues more from these resources:
- Buffalo State’s Education Week’s Article: Standardized Testing and It’s Victims
- The book: Contradictions of School Reform, by Linda M McNeil
Poverty is not necessarily a reason to flee from a school. Most times, schools with high rates of poverty are struggling because the environmental factors are greater than most schools can combat. Make sure to look at the behavior and attendance data before writing off a school with lots of students in poverty. After a quick investigation, I have found several schools that had large populations of poverty but virtually no behavior issues.
It’s important to be aware of the poverty in a school because it guides the parent’s ability to analyze a school. If the school has ranked low due to test score, there are a lot of students in poverty, and there are low behavioral issues, parents can assume that the low school is simply due to increased student needs.
Look more at the data on poverty and student achievement from these resources:
- Newleader’s article titled: The Complicated Correlation Between Poverty and Lower Test Scores
- The Atlantic’s article titled: Why Poor Schools Can’t Win At Standardized Testing
- The Notebook’s article titled: How Race and Class Relate To Standardized Tests
Ultimately, parents should make choices that fit their family’s and student’s needs. Whether it’s online school, traditional brick and mortar, homeschool, or private settings, there are pros and cons to any choice. However, if a family is choosing another setting because they are rating their public school too harshly, I hope that this information was found helpful.
Public school is not nearly as broken as it is often portrayed in the media, and, as I have often counseled parents, you can potentially have a poor experience with a teacher in any setting. Check back to my previous post, link given in the first paragraph, for ways to determine if a public school will be a good fit for your family.
Leave a comment about your school choice. Have you liked it? Why or why not?