Gallup and GreatSchools Bring Youth Insights to School Reviews

New Survey Tracks Student Views on Hope, Engagement, Wellbeing

San Francisco, CA — June 11, 2013 — Gallup and GreatSchools are launching a new partnership to bring a crucial — and often missing — voice into national discussions about school quality and education success: the voice of America’s students.

Through this innovative partnership, Gallup will gather the perspectives of thousands of public school students in grades 5 through 12 and GreatSchools, the leading national online school guide, will share those insights on its profiles of K-12 schools. The Gallup Student Poll is a landmark new survey tracking the hope, engagement, and wellbeing of public school students across the U.S.

“Hope, engagement, and wellbeing are key factors that have been shown to drive students’ grades, achievement scores, retention, and success in future employment,” says Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallup Education. “The Gallup Student Poll is an important way to inform discussions about education with the voices of students, who are too often not included. We’re excited about this partnership and the opportunity to bring these insights to the many families and educators who rely on GreatSchools.”

“The Gallup-GreatSchools partnership will help families, educators, and others better understand key factors that help students succeed, using insights from kids themselves,” says Bill Jackson, founder and CEO of GreatSchools. “Hope, engagement, and wellbeing connect to the future success of our kids, and also provide insights about school environments, which will help families consider whether a school is a good fit.”

In 2012, 1,700 public schools participated, enabling their students to take the free Gallup Student Poll. Beginning in fall 2013, the highest-scoring schools that take the Gallup Student Poll will receive a “Gallup Kids Approved” badge on their GreatSchools profiles.

Over a 10-year period, the Gallup Student Poll will use anonymous student surveys to measure:

  • Hope — fuels problem solving and persistence, and helps students channel ideas and energy into producing positive outcomes.
  • Engagement — includes factors like feeling welcomed, encouraged, and recognized for working hard.
  • Wellbeing — measures how students are doing in multiple aspects of their lives, including their health, energy level and enjoyment.

About Gallup

Gallup experts work with leaders in education to hire and develop talented educators, identify the strengths of each student, and create engaging learning environments — fostering long-term student success in the classroom and in future careers. The best educators know that for students to achieve meaningful, lasting success in the classroom and beyond, they must be emotionally engaged in the educational experience. This means educators must focus on students’ hope, engagement, and wellbeing — the predictors Gallup has discovered matter the most. Measuring and moving the needle on these outcomes transforms educational institutions into places where students — and educators — thrive.

For more information, visit, follow @GallupEducation, or contact

About GreatSchools

Founded in 1998, GreatSchools is a national nonprofit that helps parents get a great education for their children. Our Webby award-winning website,, helps families make crucial decisions about where to live and where to send their children to school. is the nation’s leading guide to preK-12 schools, with profiles of 200,000 public and private schools and more than one million ratings and reviews by parents, teachers, and students. In addition, offers thousands of articles, videos, and worksheets that give parents practical ways to support their children’s learning. Last year we reached 44 million people, including half of all U.S. families with school-age children. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, GreatSchools has local chapters in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Washington, DC.

Follow @GreatSchools, like GreatSchools on Facebook at, or see what GreatSchools has to share on Pinterest at


GreatSchools Milwaukee Offers Free Resources to 17,000 Families Choosing Schools, Joined by Mayor and Governor at School Choice Event

Group co-hosts National School Choice Week event on January 30th, kicking off the most important open application period in the school selection season.

Milwaukee, WI – January 28, 2013 – GreatSchools Milwaukee will co-host a special National School Choice Week event on January 30th from 8:30-10:00 a.m. at the Grain Exchange. More than 350 students, parents, teachers, community members, and elected officials are expected to attend. The January 30th Milwaukee stop will bring together an unprecedented bipartisan coalition of educators and education reformers with representatives from all school sectors – private, public and charter. Governor Scott Walker, Mayor Tom Barrett and others are scheduled to speak and students from eight local schools will perform. Now in its third year, National School Choice Week is Jan. 27- Feb. 2 and boasts 3,500 local events spanning all 50 states.

The Milwaukee chapter of GreatSchools, a national nonprofit that promotes parental engagement in education, offers free resources to local families choosing a K-12 school. Interested families can call the organization’s bilingual hotline at 414-748-1211 or visit their website at for the most up-to- date information about the city’s more than 300 public, private and charter schools. The website includes profiles of every elementary, middle and high school in the city, performance ratings for all schools—public and private—interactive maps, school visit checklists and more. Parents can even read reviews of schools posted by real parents, students, and teachers to get the inside scoop. The site is mobile-friendly, so it works on either a computer or a smartphone.
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Evolution of the GreatSchools Rating

Since its inception back in 2006, the GreatSchools Rating has helped millions of parents evaluate their neighborhood schools, make clear and simple comparisons, and find a great school for their child. In a world of dizzying education data, the GreatSchools Rating offers an easy-to-understand measure of overall test score performance. The value of the rating is its simplicity and scale; the 1-to-10 rating is straightforward, while maintaining methodological integrity and scalability.

However, we know that parents care about more than test scores alone, so we’ve begun to test ways to include multiple measures of school quality in the GreatSchools Rating. Just as a doctor wouldn’t give a patient a clean bill of health based on blood pressure alone, it is important to evaluate various factors of a school’s overall performance. Here are a few concepts we’re beginning to test with an eye toward scaling the innovations that look most promising:
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Introducing our new school profiles

While measures of a school’s academic performance (such as test scores) are important, we know from experience that parents crave a far broader perspective on the schools they’re considering. In response, we at GreatSchools have enhanced our school profiles by collecting and providing details on school culture, climate, and programs. And, we’ve made this information available to readers in a simpler, more comprehensible format.

“School Profiles” have always been the core of the GreatSchools mission, and with the roll out of our new profile design, we have already begun to see parents spending more time on the site, viewing more pages, and considering more options than ever before. We’ve created a new feature that allows representatives of schools and organizations to contribute to their schools’ profile and provide details about their institution’s strengths and unique programs. If you are a school leader or influence school leaders, we’d appreciate you passing information about this feature along so we can keep improving our school profiles.
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Proof of impact

A Stanford study finds that GreatSchools Local has a real impact on how parents of elementary age kids choose schools

For the past five years, GreatSchools has been operating local programs in select cities to help parents who might not otherwise have access to resources and knowhow find the right schools for their children. As we have collected feedback that parents appreciate and use our services, our local offices have expanded and evolved. Milwaukee’s office opened in November 2007 followed by ones in Washington, DC in 2009 and Indianapolis in 2011. All three communities have open enrollment, abundant charter options, and voucher programs for low-income families. We reach predominantly low-income families. In 2011-12, 60% of families we served in Washington, DC and 70% in Milwaukee, WI were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

Yet without a well-designed rigorous study conducted by a neutral party, it’s been difficult to measure the impact of our programs. This fall, with the preliminary release of findings from a randomized control trial (RCT) conducted through Stanford University’s Center for Education Policy Analysis (CEPA), we can finally point to strong evidence that GreatSchools Local is influencing parents to choose higher performing schools.
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