New Data Tool Rates ‘Educational Opportunity’ Offered in Nation’s Schools, Districts

An interactive data tool from the Educational Opportunity Project at Stanford University creates the first database that attempts to measure the performance of every elementary and middle school in the country.  

The data set not only provides academic achievement for schools, districts, and states around the country, but it also allows those entities to be compared to one another, even though they don’t all use the same state tests. The data were collected for grades 3 through 8, between 2008-09 and 2015-16.

Schools, Districts and States can be compared on the following measures:

Average Test Scores – The educational opportunities available in a community, both in and out of school, are reflected in students’ average test scores. They are influenced by opportunities to learn at home, in neighborhoods, in child-care, preschool, and after-school programs, from peers and friends, and at school.

Learning Rates – Learning rates measure how much students’ scores improve each year while they are in school. They are a better indicator of school quality than average test scores, which are influenced by a range of experiences outside of school.

Trends in Test Scores – Tracking average test scores over time shows growth or decline in educational opportunity. These trends reflect shifts in school quality as well as changes in family and community characteristics.

For the interactive data tool, see:

In addition to the interactive tool, researcher Sean Reardon has compiled two analyses of the data, which provide very intriguing interpretations:

Affluent Schools are not Always the Best Schools. See: 

What Explains White-Black Differences in Average Test Scores? See: