Numerious has certified SchoolSparrow's algorithm as valid to use for rating public schools in the United States.
SchoolSparrow’s algorithm calculates the number of students, on average, that should be deemed proficient on the Reading/Language Arts (RLA) section of the standardized test at any given school. Among other variables, the algorithm takes into account the number of economically disadvantaged students (ECD) and the number of students with disabilities (CWD).
Using the data set provided by the US Dept of Education, Numerious was able to replicate SchoolSparrow’s model. Numerious also looked at indicators of how correlated the test scores are to income demographics, and the model’s goodness of fit.
The actual distribution of the number of kids deemed proficient at US schools and the distribution of the model's predictions is remarkably strong. The predictions are nearly 84% correlated.
Numerious’ review of SchoolSparrow’s algorithm indicates a high correlation between a school’s economic demographics and population of children with disabilities. Our analysis shows that SchoolSparrow’s algorithm also displays goodness of fit based on several indicators.
Our score is derived from each schools final percentile ranking for the State.
|Percentile Range||SchoolSparrow Score|
First, an imporant note: a low percentile DOES NOT mean a school is "bad". Maybe the school doesn't focus on the test. Maybe the environment on the day of test taking had an impact. School's are complex ecosystems, and one number cannot possibly encapture all that makes a child love her school. School's are not "bad" or "good". School's have strengths and weaknesses. After our system is more established, we will move away from giving one grade to schools in the US, and instead create a customizable rating system based on what YOU as a parent think are the the important factors.
Income Adjusted Percentile describes where this school ranks among schools in the entire State in which the school is located. School's are ranked by the difference between each school's expected and actual scores. The percentile's are rounded up to the nearest whole number.
For example, A school at the 60th percentile (60%) is exceeeding expectations to a greater degree than 60% of schools in the state. This same school is in the top 40% of schools in the state when it comes to exceeding test score expectations.
Another way to think about our percentile score is "among other schools where parents have similar income profiles, this school is at X percentile"
The expected score of a school is a function of the socio-economic profile of the school, and the school's population of CWD (Children With Disabilities) students that took the test. Other ratings sites don't do this, resulting in biased ratings that don't tell the truth about the quality of the school.
To further illustrate this point, imagine two schools with the same test scores. When it comes to the test score component of the ratings system on other websites, these two schools are indistinguishable.
But what if you then receive information that one school is located in a ritzy suburb and the students primarily come from high income families, and the other is located in the inner city and the students primarily come from lower income families?
On our system, the school in the inner city gets recognized with a higher score. Their success is more likely due to the impact of the school, and they are not simply benefiting from high performing students from high income households. Other ratings sites do not allow this school to be illuminated, and as a result, some parents are steered away from the homes and neighborhoods that this school serves.
The expected score is the score predicted by SchoolSparrow's algorithm. This score represents the average or expected score on the RLA portion of the test dependent on, among other variables, each school's popluation of ECD (Economically Disadvantaged) and CWD (Children With Disabilities) test takers.
SchoolSparrow's algorithm provides more truth about school quality because the impact of economic demographics on student test scores vastly outweigh the impact of teachers/schools. By controlling for economic demographics in our unique algorithm, SchoolSparrow's rating system delivers more equitable and fair ratings when it comes to student performance. In addition, a school's population of children with disabilities can have an effect on test scores. Our system accounts for schools that have low or high populations of children with disabilities.
When the expected score is compared to any school's actual scores, the schools at which teachers are truly making a difference can be more easily identified.
The diversity score is informational and provides an indication of the racial diversity of each school. The max score is 40 points. Schools where at least 2 races are represented by at least 10% of the student body receive a 10/40. When there are 3 races each represented by at least 10%, the score is 20. 4 races represented by at least 10% or 3 represented by at least 15%, the score is 30. Finally if 5 races have 10%, or 3 races have 20% each then the score is 40/40.
School's that have high diversity, if it's done right (an important caveat), deliver measurable benefits to children. Research has shown that these environments instill better social-emotional and decision making skills, more empathy and acceptance of others, and possibly even higher IQ's.
But where can you find school's where diversity is done right? Start at our outperforming schools with high diversity. These schools tend to have strong leaders with a positive culture where racism takes a back seat to inclusion and celebration of differences, and where high morale exists among the school community resulting in low teacher turnover. Children thrive in these environments.
This is the percentage of children at each school that were deemed economically disadvantaged as reported by the US Dept of Education.
SchoolSparrow calculates a price_score that describes the relationship between the SchoolSparrow Rating and the Average Price of currently listed 3-Bedroom homes in the attendance boundaries of the school. The SchoolSparrow Value Index is the percentile rank of the price score within each state or area. Schools with no Value Index do not have an attendance boundary (i.e. Magnet or Charter Schools). The higher the score, the better the value. (Chicagoland only at the moment).
click for table explainer
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|School Name||School Level||Grades||City||School
|SchoolSparrow Rating||Difference||Income Adj
|% ECD||% CWD||SchoolSparrow Value Index™||Lat||Lng||ID|
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ECD is short for economically disadvantaged. Research has shown that high standardized test scores have more to do with the socio-economic status of the parents of children at a school as opposed to how well the school is teaching. Ranking schools according to how well economically disadvantaged students are performing on standardized testing could be more informative about how effective a school is at teaching. This article is the inspiration for this new ECD ranking option
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