Family searching for a new home

Search for Homes by School District

One of the most common questions we field at our small Chicago brokerage office is how to search for homes by school district . While it seems like a simple enough request, the reality is that it’s actually quite the process and varies considerably across cities. Online Marketplaces Have Data Integrity and Supply Issues Some of the major online real estate sites have begun to display school boundaries on their sites, the issue with these sites is that they only display a fraction of ...

Continue Reading

CPS publishes new school data on the school district's website

Challenges in Collecting & Aggregating Public School Data

One of the most critical (and difficult) aspect of maintaining our site is to work to ensure our school data is as accurate as possible. One thing that makes things marginally easier is the ability to receive email notifications if / when there is a change (e.g. new school data has been posted) to a school district's website. While is collecting school data so challenging? Well it turns out there is no 1 master data source. In Chicago for example, there is critical school data collected ...

Continue Reading

CPS High School Rankings

CPS High School Rankings

We are pleased to release SchoolSparrow's 2016-2017 CPS High School Rankings. While we would certainly like to believe that we publish the "best" school rankings available, that's a subjective claim we'd prefer not to make. That said, we are very proud by the fact that our CPS High school rankings are the most comprehensive on the "market" - as they go well beyond static test scores. We give significant weighting to score growth along with a myriad of other academic and environment...

Continue Reading

Why I Chose to Send My Children to Bell Elementary

One of the things I enjoy most about my job as a Chicago real estate agent is how it empowers me to strike a unique balance between career and family. As a mother of three triplets, I had to become an expert on the education options that exist here in Chicago and I’ve maintained that wealth of knowledge as I’ve found a big part of my job is rooted in helping families navigate through the maze of schools that Chicago has created for us. It’s for this reason that I’ve decided to partner ...

Continue Reading

SchoolSparrow releases new school rankings methodology

Finally, Public School Rankings that Go Beyond Test Scores!

Generating a new and differentiated set of public school rankings has been one of our top priorities as we've worked to overhaul SchoolSparrow and launch version 2.0. The school rankings that we released in the original version of SchoolSparrow back in 2011 ranked Chicago's public schools by average ISAT score. We knew that our rankings were a bit limited - and as you can hear in our WBEZ interview, we received some justifiable criticism for using standardized test scores as our sole ...

Continue Reading

Students-Boycott-PARCC-Exams.

Students from Lindblom and Other Top CPS Schools Skip PARCC Exams

We recently discovered while working to update our high school rankings page that students from Lindblom and other top CPS Schools had abnormally (extremely) low participation rates for the 2015 PARCC  exams. This was pretty baffling for us as we've been working diligently on creating a custom scoring rubric for SchoolSparrow. While our goal is for this rubric to provide an objective assessment of CPS schools that incorporate more than just test scores, test scores are undoubtedly an ...

Continue Reading

Young victim of school bullying

Which Chicago Schools Have a Bullying Problem?

The topic of “bullying” has gained national attention in recent years as the number of instances as well as the severity appears to be increasing throughout the United States. While it’s tough to really get a sense of which Chicago schools have a bullying problem from the outside looking in, we thought one way in which we might get a proxy for how and where bullying is manifesting in Chicago schools was to look to the parents. As such, we did some digging in last year’s CPS parent ...

Continue Reading

Quality school districts influence home values

Home Search: School Quality is a Key Driver of Real Estate Demand and Home Values

There area a myriad of factors that help determine the demand (and thus the price) of a particular home. There are of course a number of logistical factors including layout, price, parking, pets, etc., but it’s really the external or environmental variables that people often start with when looking for a new home. These factors include things like commute time(s), walkability, access to public transportation, and of course the subject of this post – school districts. School District ...

Continue Reading