Ranking our schools for better effect

Last week we had this piece of news in the Netherlands: “Scholenranglijst van Trouw heeft effect” (School ranking by Dutch newspaper Trouw sorts effect):

Trouw has a database on their website with the statistics from our board of education which they editorialize and republish on their Schoolprestaties site. The news piece reports on research that shows this ranking has a real effect both in prospective school choice and in school improvement.

This week BERG release their Schooloscope (formerly Ashdown) site that makes statistics about school quality accessible. The story about how it works is particularly worth reading. The entire thing is a beautiful work of insight.

The Guardian has a profile of BERG’s work and about Schooloscope and it raises the question if there is no end to the goodness that will come from the 4ip funds.

The Trouw school site we have, though it could have been more beautiful, more legible and more open, does get the job done quite well.

But I’m reminded of the concept we made for a school search engine using government data: Schoolvinder (with many similar goals: to remove jargon and to make school information accessible and beautiful). We applied for a grant to further improve that site, but that was awarded to another party from whom we have not seen any results since.

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