SchoolGrades.org was created in 2015 by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (MI) and scholars Jacob Vigdor and Josh McGee to provide a model of what a nationwide, standardized database of school performance might look like. It pioneered methodologies to make each state’s achievement test scores equivalent across the country, then adjusted these ratings to account for the impact of individual schools’ socioeconomic profiles on overall scores—in essence, giving “extra credit” to schools demonstrating strong performance while serving underprivileged students. This allowed often lesser-known (but high-performing) schools to rise to the top, giving MI scholars and others new insights into the ways teachers and school leaders are ensuring every student can succeed. Over the course of several years, the site was updated and expanded to include every K-8 and public high school in America. This pilot program ended in 2019.
If you would like to stay up to date with MI’s work on K-12 education policy—with regard to public, charter, or private schools, as well as higher education—please visit us here.