2019 - Latest

Product Bulletin for Customers Purchasing GreatSchools® Ratings

Product type
Product family
Enrich Boundaries > Community Boundaries
Context > GreatSchools® Ratings
Product name
Context GreatSchools
Product Bulletin for Customers Purchasing GreatSchools® Ratings
First publish date

December 2019

The breakdown_id_crosswalk, proficiency_id_crosswalk, and test_id_crosswalk files will be removed from the product delivery in the February 2020 release.

November 2019

Users may notice a change in the values for the students per counselor ratio. This is an expected change and is the result of a correction in the November feeds from an erroneous value that was loaded the previous month.

The Maine Department of Education changed the structure of both their school-level and district-level state IDs. GreatSchools is providing school and district crosswalk files to assist users in matching between the old and new IDs:

  • The old_state-id value refers to the outdated IDs (included in October 2019 and previous releases)
  • The state-id value refers to the new (current) IDs that are included in this feed release and future releases
  • The crosswalk files also contain other data (entity name, NCES ID, etc.) to further assist in successful matching

The following data feed changes were implemented this month:

The most-recent-year column in the local-gs-new-test-feed.txt files now contains year values.

A new element – state-abbrv – was introduced in the following test files:

  • local-gs-new-test-feed-flat.txt
  • local-gs-new-test-result-feed-flat.txt
  • local-gs-new-test-feed.xml

This new element allows clients to differentiate data for tests that may have the same test name and abbreviation but are not administered in the same state.

October 2019

GreatSchools will make the following changes in the November data feed:

  • The local-gs-new-test-feed.txt flat files currently contain a column labeled most-recent-year. In November, this column will include year values.
  • A new element – state-abbrv – will be introduced in both flat text and XML test tiles. This new element will allow users to differentiate data for tests that may have the same test name and abbreviation, but are not administered in the same state. The element will be introduced in the following files:
    • local-gs-new-test-feed-flat.txt
    • local-gs-new-test-result-feed-flat.txt
    • local-gs-new-test-feed.xml

May 2019

In an effort to eliminate discriminatory or otherwise vulgar reviews from the website and data feeds, GreatSchools has removed +5,000 reviews nationally, which is reflected in the data this month. Specifically, deletions were made in the gs-parent-review-feed XML file and the gs-parent-review-feed-flat text file.

The following file names changed:

  • local-gs-test-feed-flat is now local-gs-new-test-feed-flat
  • local-gs-test-result-feed-flat is now local-gs-new-test-result-feed-flat
  • local-gs-test-feed is now local-gs-new-test-feed
  • local-gs-test-feed-flat-STATE is now local-gs-new-test-feed-STATE (e.g., local-gs-new-test-feed-AK)
  • local-gs-test-result-feed-flat-STATE is now local-gs-new-test-result-feed-STATE (e.g., local-gs-new-test-result-feed-AK)

April 2019

Starting in May's feed release, GreatSchools will no longer include district-level ratings in GreatSchools data feeds. As the new multiple-measure GreatSchools 1-10 Rating methodology continues to evolve, the process of rolling school data up to the district level is now producing a misleading picture of district quality. As a non-profit organization with a social mission to help parents find the right school for their child, GreatSchools' biggest commitment is to serve families and provide them with the best and most actionable data. Continuing to provide the district ratings as they exist today is no longer in the best interests of parents and students. For this reason, GreatSchools has remove district ratings from their website (https://www.greatschools.org) and they ask that partners remove district ratings from their products as soon as possible.

GreatSchools absolutely understands the importance of district-level data and are working internally to create a new system for capturing district performance. GreatSchools' data scientists are in the beginning stages of developing that product, with the aim of having replacement data available in 2020. GreatSchools will be sure to stay in touch and share updates with partners as they move forward and finalize strategy.

GreatSchools is committed to providing you, your stakeholders, and parents across the country with the information they need to make important school choice decisions for their families. GreatSchools appreciates any and all feedback.

March 2019

The following states were updated to 2019 data:

  • AR
  • KY
  • ID
  • MN
  • MT
  • NE
  • OH
  • OK
  • VT
  • WY

The rating descriptions for these states, however, reflect 2017 instead of 2019. This error will be corrected in the April GreatSchools data feeds.

Starting in May 2019, GreatSchools is changing their test score data. This change will affect both the flat text and XML feed files. Some data types will change, and some will be removed altogether. Specific to the XML feed, each result will be contained within the test. Additionally, the XSD schema files will also be changing.

The new test feed flat file dictionary will change to the following:

Further details will be provided as they become available.

January 2019

Starting in the April 2019 GreatSchools product release, both the local-gs-census-feed-flat and the local-greatschools-feed files will have the following new attribute fields:

Students per teacher

Students per counselor

% male students

% female students

% of teachers with 3 or more years' experience

% of full-time teachers who are certified

Average teacher salary