Home Website Review How online ratings make good schools look bad
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How online ratings make good schools look bad

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GreatSchools is America’s biggest school ratings website. But what do its scores actually measure?

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When parents are researching where to move, they typically look at the quality of a neighborhood’s schools. But good data on that is hard to find. That’s where a website called GreatSchools has thrived. GreatSchools rates almost every public school in America on a scale of 1 to 10. But when we analyzed those ratings, we found that they almost never give high scores to schools in poor neighborhoods — even though data from their own website shows that many of those schools do a good job teaching students.

This video is a collaboration with Chalkbeat, an education news site. To read more about GreatSchools’ ratings, read their story here: https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/us/2019/12/05/greatschools-ratings-poverty-race-segregation-housing

EdWeek reported on how GreatSchools changed its ratings system in 2017: https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/11/01/school-rating-site-greatschools-expands-its-measuring-stick.html

And recently, researchers have found that the GreatSchools ratings may even have an effect on housing prices, locking poor people out of more affluent neighborhoods: https://www.chalkbeat.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Digitization_and_Divergence__Paper_-2.pdf

Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what’s really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com.

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Comment(31)

  1. I don’t think the flaw is at all important in real life. The people who can check these ratings and make a choice on where to live to send their kids to public school are not poor. I knew Asian immigrant families who would move states and careers for a good school and they were def not moving to the slums.

  2. I think this is very obvious… Smarter and more educated parents produce smarter and more educated children. I know we supposed to be judging the school, but lets be honest why people use the greatschools website. They are usually evaluating an area they plan to move into, and want to see what they are moving into. You want an area where the kids are smart and educated, because that means the people in the area are probably smart and educated. A bad school usually means its a bad area.

    I think if any parent relies on the school to educate their kid, they are putting too much faith in the school. My kid comes back from school, and I see the reading, writing and math activities… and they are just sub par… and everyone is following the same common core curriculum. I can spend an hour or two a day, for a month, with my kid and get more done than the school can in 9 months. So, the point is, when you have these kids that go into school and end up under performing, that means their parents didn't teach them a thing. That's a huge warning sign. The school and the area are "bad" because of the members of that district. You don't want your smart well educated kid going there.

  3. Living in a small rural county, I appreciate that my tax money goes to my community schools that my kids & grandkids will go to one day. I like to see a direct effect in my neighborhood instead of just handing more money to the state or feds & hoping they use it appropriately.

  4. From my experience in Indonesia, the best schools have the smartest students. But it's because from the beginning the best schools accepted students with the highest national test score. Now the system's been changed. Students go to the nearest school from their home, this can reduce traffic jam too. But some people still can't adapt to this system.

  5. Remember… No matter what school you go to, the world isn’t in books! Weigh your options, take into account everything. Listen, thank them for their opinion, but don’t let it be your final decision.

  6. My school has a 4/10, but the issue is it’s not the school. It’s the kids in it. They don’t care about school and it hurts the rating. Those who do care report a over average AP enrollment and test scores, along with many achievements!

  7. Correlation is NOT Causation

    More affluent families can provide more support for education. More affluent areas are more appealing for teachers and administrators.

  8. So much relevant content has been left out of this video like obviously how schools are funded from the towns and how growth does not scale linearly. No sources linked for anything referenced in the video. You can do better Vox.

  9. In Britain it's really similar but it's normally white and Hispanic in Richer 'better' schools. On the other hand Black and Asian communities go to more rundown academies.

  10. "…Kelley Williams-Bolar, of Akron, was sentenced in 2011 to serve 10 days in jail after using her father’s address to falsify residency for her two daughters, allowing them to enroll illegally in a school district that posted better student test scores than the district in which they actually lived…"

  11. I am not entirely sure about the statement Asian are affluent since Im not from USA. Do Asian-American really have great access to resources especially for studies in America or they are just hardworking students especially with pressure from parents?

  12. Following factors matter 90 % not discussed in this video 1. Student's genetic IQ
    2. Matching teaching style with Student's preferred learning method eg I love structured & online learning & hate research
    3. Direction for success guided by parents …..parents told me go STEM/Medical
    4. Motivation to be high achiever 5. opportunity to express ie bullying free spaces 6.Choice of subjects & activities

  13. So many lies from VOX. I say not allow test scores from parents with no immigration status. This would prove VOX is wrong. Its not about rich or poor. Its about the culture.

  14. How about this, lets improve low income neighborhoods so that all students are prepared to go to school, and thus meet proficiency.

  15. But what about what people actually think about the school the "goodness" of a school shouldn't only be measured by tests that is just how much schools can force you to remember stuff for a day. Schools should be rated on the amount of bullying the niceness of the teachers and overall learning environment not just retention

  16. And here I am thinking that they'd rate them based on the actual school grounds, rooms, bathrooms, equipments, the school location (if distance isn't an issue), The teachers, other staff and other students (checking if they are depressed or if there are bullies) I didn't think Scores mattered as much smh.

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