launches ratings update California and Michigan

New ratings emphasize educational equity and elevate student academic progress, or “growth,” as a measure of school quality

OAKLAND, CA (August 13, 2020), the leading provider of school information, is launching an updated Equity Rating and Summary Rating for most K-12 schools in California and Michigan. The new methodology, piloted first in Michigan and California with a national launch planned for the fall, will give parents, advocacy organizations, and other community stakeholders a more nuanced view of school quality that prioritizes equitable outcomes. The new Equity Rating will now include student growth and college readiness metrics in addition to proficiency rates. The Summary Rating will also shift to emphasize student growth relative to standardized test scores.

GreatSchools launched new multi-measured school ratings including the Equity Rating in 2017. The updated Summary Rating and Equity Rating methodology is a result of a thorough process of consulting with parents, education researchers, policymakers and civil rights advocates. Additionally, GreatSchools conducted a review of the current research and available data that shed light on how schools provide equitable outcomes for all students.

”We recognize that schools are complex and that the definition of ‘success’ is as diverse as the millions of parents who visit GreatSchools each year,” said Orville Jackson, Vice President of Data Strategy at “Our aim is to develop a broader view of school quality that increasingly reflects a focus on equity, better accounts for the complexities inherent in building just systems of education, and provides the parents we serve, who have few resources, the information they need to set their child up for success.”

Key changes to GreatSchools Summary Ratings include;

  • Elevating the relative weight of data that measures student learning (Student Progress or growth data and Academic Progress or growth proxy).
  • Elevating the relative weight of the Equity Rating.
  • Continuing to display a red flag for schools with significant disparities in discipline and attendance but removing this factor from the Summary Rating.

The GreatSchools Equity Rating measures a school’s success in serving historically underserved students compared to other similar schools in the state and in-school achievement gaps between underserved student groups and other students. Changes to the GreatSchools Equity Ratings include:

  • Adding college readiness metrics such as college entrance exam performance (SAT/ACT), high school graduation rates, and percentage of graduates who meet UC/CSU entrance requirements (also known as A-G course requirements).
  • Adding measurements of student learning (Student Progress or growth data and Academic Progress or growth proxy).

As more education data become available and research continues to broaden the definition of school quality, will continue to expand its data sets and rating system. The current changes paint a more accurate picture of which schools are providing equitable outcomes for Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native American students, and students living in poverty.

In addition to school information, also offers parents free resources to support the academic and social emotional development of their children including articles, worksheets, videos, podcasts, and grade-by-grade newsletters in English and Spanish. During these unprecedented times families can also use GreatSchools’ school closure learning guide, in English and Spanish, to access grade-based tools, resource recommendations, and guidance for learning at home.’s experts are available for media interviews. For more information about their ratings and methodology visit

About GreatSchools:
GreatSchools is the leading national nonprofit empowering parents with essential information to improve educational opportunities for their child. Using GreatSchools’ trusted ratings and school quality information, parents can find the right school for their family and take action to improve schools in their communities. Thousands of articles, tips and interactive tools offer parents easy-to-use resources to support their child’s learning and wellbeing every day. Families, community leaders and policymakers turn to GreatSchools for the school information they need to guide children to great futures.


GreatSchools is the leading nonprofit providing high-quality information that supports parents pursuing a great education for their child, schools striving for excellence, and communities working to diminish inequities in education. We are the only national organization that collects and analyzes data from all 51 state departments of education and the federal government to provide analysis, insights, and school quality ratings for parents, partners, researchers, and policymakers. Over 49 million users visit GreatSchools’ award-winning website annually to learn about schools in their area, explore research insights, and access thousands of free, evidence-based parenting resources to support their child’s learning and well-being.

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