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09/28/2010

NBC News Releases Education Nation Scorecard for Over 100,000 Schools Across America

NBC News Releases Education Nation Scorecard for Over 100,000 Schools Across America

Scorecard Enables Families to Learn How Their Schools Are Doing, Navigate the System, and Take Action to Demand a Quality Education for All Students

New York, NY — September 28, 2010 — NBC News today presented the Education Nation Scorecard, a new online tool that puts easy-to-understand performance information about schools, districts, states and the nation at parents' fingertips.  The Scorecard is designed to help families and citizens better understand how well their local schools are performing, to ask questions, and to get involved so all schools are held to high expectations. The tool was created by GreatSchools, a leading national source of education information, in collaboration with a team of data partners.  It was released today at NBC News' "Education Nation."

"Parental involvement is a critical factor in a child's educational success. The Scorecard gives parents information that can help parents get involved and partner with educators to take action," said Lisa Gersh, President of Strategic Initiative at NBC News. "We hope the Scorecards will prompt conversations in kitchens, classrooms, school board meetings, and conference rooms across America."

"We must demand the best possible education for all of our students," said National PTA CEO Byron Garrett. "This tool gives parents access to clear information, making it easier for them to become active partners in their children's education."

The Scorecard provides local, national, and international data that has never before been easily accessible and available in a single place. When someone searches for a school at http://NBCscorecard.greatschools.org, he or she is presented with multiple layers of information. Specifically, the Scorecard provides data on: 

SCHOOLS

  • The performance of students on state standardized reading and math exams relative to other schools and districts nearby and statewide
  • High school graduation rates

STATES

  • The success of states at graduating students on time and preparing them to meet standards on national reading and math exams
  • An indication of the size of the gap separating state results from national results on math, reading, and graduation
  • Information about whether states have adopted clear, consistent academic standards and whether they require students to pass high level courses before graduating from high school 

THE NATION

  • American students' performance on math, science, and reading exams compared to the performance of their international peers

The Scorecard is not simply a data resource. It is designed to spark questions and discussions across America—in homes, in schools, and in businesses. It includes recommended questions that families and others can use to begin answering the questions: 

  • How well are students performing at my local school?
  • How do my school, district, and state compare to others?
  • How well is America educating its students compared to the rest of the world?

The tool also gives parents and others users a tailored list of links to organizations in their state and across the country that they can explore if they want to learn more or get involved.

"The stakes are high for students and families in America," Bill Jackson, CEO and founder of GreatSchools, said. "Getting a good job today requires a higher level of education than a generation ago. The Scorecard is designed to provide a reality check on how schools and states are doing today and what we need to be aiming for."

"In order for parents and community leaders to be effective advocates for their students, they need to be armed with the facts," Vicki Philips, the Director of Education, College-Ready, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said. "We believe it is possible to dramatically improve our schools, but it is going to take everyone getting involved at the local, state and national level."

The Scorecard is a project of GreatSchools, the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Education Week (EPE), Achieve, and the Alliance for Excellent Education. The partners drew on their own data sources as well as new information from the U.S. Department of Education. The website was designed and developed by Fathom Information Design and funded by The Gates Foundation.

GreatSchools is a national nonprofit that inspires and guides parents to become effective champions of their children’s education at home and in their communities. Parents turn to GreatSchools to find the right schools for their children, to get practical advice and information that will help them raise successful, college-ready kids, and to support the schools in their communities. Founded in 1998, GreatSchools reaches more than 37 million visitors each year — approximately one-in-three American families with school-age children.

Fathom Information Design, founded by Ben Fry, is a data visualization firm that helps clients understand complex data through information graphics, interactive tools, and software for installations, the web, and mobile devices.

NBC News' Education Nation seeks to engage the public, through thoughtful dialogue, in pursuit of the shared goal of providing every American with an opportunity to achieve the best education in the world. For more information visit EducationNation.com, or follow on twitter @EducationNation or find "Education Nation" on Facebook at Facebook.com/EducationNation.

Press Contacts:

Kristan Kirsh
GreatSchools
(415)-983-3863
[email protected]

Summer Wilke
NBC News
[email protected]

 

 

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