As parents make decisions about the schools their children attend, having access to useful performance data is informative. Jarod Apperson, a concerned resident of Atlanta and someone interested in public education is seeking to aleviate a lack of accessible information. He set out to compile a ranking of academic performance in Metro Atlanta´s public schools and recently posted his findings online.
"I have ranked each of Metro Atlanta´s public elementaryschools considering both the school´s overall performance (40%) and it´s performance relative to peer schools (60%)," Apperson said.
Peer schools are schools whose students have a similar level of needs.
"In my analysis, economic disadvantage, English language learners, ethnicity, and special education are each considered in determining a school´s level of needs."
A more technical explanation is provided in the linked methodology.
When it comes to public elementary schools in Buckhead, here are how they faired:
: ranked 23 out of 500 with an A grade
: ranked 55 with an A grade
: ranked 108 with an A grade
: ranked 195 with a B grade
: ranked 227 with a B grade
In addition to academic quality, many parents want thier children to attend diverse schools. Therefore, Apperson also presented an index of diversity for each school. The diversity index does not impact the evaluation of academic performance.
As readers review the findings, they will see the following four data points presented for each school:
- Academic Performance: A rating from 1 to 10, which reflects the school’s percentile ranking among peer and Georgia state schools.
- Grade: A rating from A – F for each school. The ratings are broken down by the following percentiles: A – Top 20 Percent; B – Next 25 Percent; C – Next 30 Percent; D – Next 15 Percent; F – Bottom 10 Percent
- Diversity Index: A rating from 1 to 10 reflecting the ethnic and socio-economic diversity of the school.
- Needs Index: A rating from 1 to 10 reflecting the level of student needs within the school. This rating is used to determine which other Gerogia State schools are peers of the school being analyzed.
As with any ranking, the results depend on the methodology, so those who are interested are encouraged to read the complete methodology here. For a Searchable PDF, click here:Grading Atlanta’s 2011 Rankings of Metro Atlanta’s Elementary Schools.
In coming weeks, Apperson hopes to provide some additional insight on the findings of this study and also provide a comprehensive ranking for middle schools.