Equitable School Rankings – About SchoolSparrow

Our Mission

To provide equitable public K-12 school rankings for US parents. The current ranking systems out there favor privileged communities, and overlook some performing schools that have socio-economic diversity. Our recently published rankings are normalized for parent income, which elevates diverse schools to the forefront. Eventually we will integrate our rankings with property listings, helping buyers find great schools with affordable homes for sale. In this way, we hope to help all families in their search for a quality education.

Read more about how the current ranking systems out there are misleading parents.

Our History

SchoolSparrow.com was started in Chicago in 2012 to help parents find affordable homes in great school boundaries. But our school rankings were based on standardized test score data, just like most ranking sites that exist today. Over the years, SchoolSparrow started to recognize that some awesome schools had low rankings on the prevailing school ranking websites. In response, SchoolSparrow introduced a new school ranking system for Chicagoland in late 2019 that normalizes for parent income.

Then in mid 2020, SchoolSparrow released the same ranking system to 24 major metropolitan areas in the United States. We normalize for parent income because research has shown that parent income is the biggest driver of NAEP standardized test results. Our ranking system elevates diverse schools that are outperforming expectations to the forefront.

Our School + Home Search

SchoolSparrow will change the way parents look for good schools by synchronizing the home and school search. Most parents select schools for their children based on school rankings and/or word of mouth recommendations from friends and family. As a result, they overlook many quality schools with less expensive homes, shorter commutes, and more diversity. Our search functionality allows users to find the top 30 schools that have affordable homes for sale. This search uncovers hidden gem schools that are outperforming their peers.

Our Original “About Us” from 2012

Chicago families are increasingly sending their children to CPS because of a recent significant increase in the quality of education at many schools within CPS. This increase in quality comes none too soon for some families who are unable to sell their city homes (see this Crain’s Article). We interviewed dozens of parents with children in Chicago Public Schools, and they all reported shortcomings in the availability of data to sort public school performance data, as well as tools to find properties by school district. As a result of these findings, SchoolSparrow was created to solve both problems.

SchoolSparrow.com aggregates publicly available data including 1) School Performance, 2) School Boundaries, and 3) Current MLS listings to allow our affiliate agents and registered users to easily conduct a home search based on the quality of the school district in which properties are located. Our goal is not only to provide a resource to consumers that are considering Chicago Public Schools for their children, but also to match consumers up with qualified realtors that have access to our school district search resources. SchoolSparrow affiliate agents understand the importance of school districts to consumers, and they recognize the lack of resources available to truly conduct a comprehensive school district home search.

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