Given what we do at EdNavigator, people often ask us a variation of this question: “What makes parents think a school is good?”
There isn’t a simple e=mc squared formula that defines a good school because, as you might guess, parents aren’t all the same. Each family’s view of schools depends on the family’s own situation and preferences. Families with more than one child often think about school differently for each one.
We’ve written before that four topics about schools tend to come up in our discussions with families again and again:
1. Overall student performance
Sometimes called “proficiency.” It means, how many of the students in this school can do all the academic stuff that’s expected of them in their current grade level? Parents care about it mostly because it helps them understand how well all the other students their child will be around in school are doing overall
2. Student learning growth
Regardless of where students were performing when they entered a school, how much are they progressing from one year to the next? After all, a school can’t control whether a student is ahead/behind when she enrolls. It can only ensure that she advances while...