Parents can now compare schools' performance records at a local, district, state, and national level with the newly launched Education Scorecard. One of the noteworthy features of the site, created by GreatSchools and NBC, is its comparison of school performance to federal test scores, which at times highlights the disparities between state standards and those set by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
By showing the percentage of students who pass state standardized tests in math and language arts, in, for example, Oakland, Calif., compared to Oakland Unified School District, to the state of California, and to the NAEP exam, parents can assess for themselves how each school stacks up to other schools in the country.
Here's why that's important, as explained on the site:
State assessments are different from the NAEP. Each state determines its own definition of proficiency, whereas the NAEP's definition is the same across the country. The national definition of proficiency is more rigorous than most states' definitions.
The site, which was announced at Education Nation conference Monday, also shows whether the state is one of 35 states that has complied with Common Core Standards, which calls for uniform standards across the country; high school graduation requirements; and a comprehensive link to how to use the data.