2020 - 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

November 2020

References to Maponics have been removed from file naming.

October 2020

Methodology updates were incorporated nationwide in this release. The schema and formatting of the 1-10 ratings will stay the same. Customers licensing the subrating data will note that the Low-Income rating has been removed from the file.

Starting in November 2020, all references to Maponics will be removed from all file names.

September 2020

GreatSchools is implementing adjustments to its rating methodology, with an emphasis on equity and student growth measures. In this month's release, the new methodology is reflected in California and Michigan. A full nationwide rollout will occur in October.

The schema and formatting of the GreatSchools 1-10 ratings will stay the same.

The Subratings data feed will see the Low-Income rating removed, as the way the data is incorporated has changed.

August 2020

Please note this important update regarding changes to GreatSchools Ratings .

Changes GreatSchools is making: This summer, we are making two important adjustments to our GreatSchools Rating methodology. We are adjusting the way we rate schools to incorporate measures of school quality that are less correlated with race and income, and better align with the current evidence base. How well a school serves students from historically marginalized populations is about more than test scores, so we added additional data about student outcomes to our Equity Rating. Secondly, we have updated our Summary Rating to emphasize student growth over test scores. A mounting body of evidence suggests that student growth is a more accurate measure of the value that a school adds for its students.

Outcomes to the changes: As a result of these changes, you should expect to see ratings that are less correlated with race and income, and rating increases for many schools serving large portions of Black, Latinx, and Native American students, and students living in poverty. This is an important first step toward richer, multifaceted information that is not only based on research, but also reflective of what parents find meaningful.

What this means for your data feeds: You will see these methodology updates reflected in California and Michigan in our September feed release, and the changes will be reflected nationally on our October release. Because these changes are reflected in our methodology, most of our partners will experience no technical changes needed on your end to ingest the GreatSchools 1-10 Rating updates. The schema and formatting of our GreatSchools 1-10 Rating files will stay the same. For partners licensing our subrating data, however, you will see the Low Income Rating remove from that file (as we've changed the way we are incorporating out data into our larger methodology). We strongly recommend that you update our data as soon as possible after the October release is live in order to avoid discrepancies between the data on your site/product and the data displayed on greatschools.org.

Looking ahead: Going forward, we believe that there is even more we can do. We are collaborating with research partners to develop an expanded definition of school quality that considers inputs, resources, activities, and opportunities, as well as outcomes, and how these factors relate to each other. As part of our work moving forward, we'll continue to advocate for the quality and types of data that help parents better understand how schools are doing in their state. Where data is not available, we'll continue to push state departments of education toward transparency, as we have done for years.

As always, please don't hesitate to reach out to feedsupport@greatschools.org with any questions on this month's release, or the rating methodology changes outlined above.

June 2020

In an ongoing effort to remove outdated data from data feeds, GreatSchools recently removed all data that was older than 2010 from their Census database. As a result, customers may notice a file size decrease in the local-greatschools-feed XML files and the local-gs-census-feed-flat files.

In addition to removing old data described in the previous paragraph, GreatSchools changed how they classify ethnic groups. For example, multiracial is now two or more races. The following is a complete list of ethnic groups in the local-greatschools-feed XML files and the local-gs-census-feed-flat files:

  • Asian
  • Asian or Pacific Islander
  • Black
  • Filipino
  • Hawaiian
  • Hispanic
  • Native American
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
  • Other ethnicity
  • Pacific Islander
  • Race unspecified
  • Two or more races
  • White

May 2020

GreatSchools released a minor change to subratings description language. The change was applicable to the local-gs-subrating-feed.xml and local-gs-subrating-description-feed.txt files.

February 2020

The following files may show file size decreases due to planned maintenance by GreatSchools:

  • local-gs-parent-review-feed
  • local-gs-parent-review-feed-flat
  • local-gs-parent-rating-feed-flat

The breakdown_id_crosswalk, proficiency_id_crosswalk, and test_id_crosswalk files were removed from this delivery.