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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GreatSchools Takes Silver at Gates-Facebook Hackathon

GreatSchools recently participated in and won 2nd place at HackEd, an inspiring 1-day education “hackathon” sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, CA.  College Summit and King Center Charter School co-sponsored the event.

The goal of the hackathon was to encourage developers, education experts, and nonprofits to prototype Facebook apps that help low-income and first-generation students get into and graduate from college.  HackEd was also the official kickoff for the College Knowledge Challenge, a broader challenge issued by the Gates Foundation with 30 more prizes totaling $2.5M.

More than 150 people attended HackEd, including representatives from organizations such as iMentor, 4.0 Schools, EverFiMytonomy, Unigo, and more.
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Giving parents more and better information about schools

Reaching nearly half of all American K-12 households, GreatSchools is the leading source of information about schools for parents nationally. For more than a decade, we’ve published data to help families understand how schools are performing academically and we’ve coupled that with an unparalleled collection of community ratings and reviews – more than one million at last count.

While our ratings and reviews are one of the best ways to learn about a school, we know that parents must also look beyond the numbers in order to fairly assess whether a particular school will be a good fit for their child and family. They need reliable information about a school’s programs, culture, and unique features – information that is hard to come by at scale.
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GreatSchools and Maponics Team Up to Offer New School Ratings and Attendance Zones Mapping Tool

Partnership delivers the most comprehensive school-level data coverage available

Location-based data provider Maponics announced today that education and parenting website, GreatSchools, has launched an interactive school ratings and attendance zones mapping tool featuring Maponics School BoundariesTM. Now, GreatSchools visitors can enter an address and see school locations, attendance zone boundaries, district lines, and ratings for all nearby schools on one map. The partnership marries two best in class datasets to deliver a powerful tool that will help millions of families plan for their future.

“With Maponics school attendance zones visually displayed we can finally show people a more complete view of their real school options,” said Bill Jackson, Founder and CEO of GreatSchools. “We have always had school pinpoints on our maps. But before, if parents wanted to know whether an address was assigned to a specific school, they had to do their own research. Showing mapped school attendance zones alongside our school ratings adds significant value and saves parents a lot of time.”
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GreatSchools Receives $250,000 Donation from Target as Part of the Retailer’s Longstanding Commitment to Education and Reading

Funds Support Program to Help Parents Improve Their Children’s Reading Skills in Bay Area Schools

San Francisco, CA —  March 20, 2012  — GreatSchools today announced its receipt of a $250,000 donation from Target, which will be used to bring the College Bound parent education program to eight elementary schools in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2012. This contribution is part of Target’s commitment to helping more U.S. children reach the critical academic milestone of reading proficiently by the end of third grade. Target has donated millions of dollars to educators, schools and nonprofit organizations across the country to help ignite a love of learning among children.

“We are excited to announce our partnership with Target to help parents support and inspire their children in reading achievement through our College Bound program,” said Bill Jackson, CEO, GreatSchools. “GreatSchools has empowered thousands of parents across the country to support literacy efforts at home and at school. Target’s support not only ensures that young children in the Bay Area will become better readers, it also dramatically increases the likelihood that those children will graduate from high school with a world of opportunity ahead.”
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