Insideschools aims to provide up-to-date data on New York City public schools. We rely on official statistics and information from the New York City Department of Education(DOE) and the New York State Education Department(NYSED), which monitor most public schools. While some data was provided by special request, much of it is available to the public from the sites we link to below.
Insidestats is a tool on Insideschools giving families one easy place to review and compare school quality and outcomes. It uses color-coded apples to show how well a school is doing compared to other New York City schools with the same grade levels. Schools that are better than the citywide average on a given indicator get a green apple. Schools that are worse than the citywide average get a red apple. Those that are around the citywide average get a neutral blue apple.
We used a common statistical calculation to determine whether a given school is below average, near the average, or better than average on each data point. This calculation is called a "standard deviation." It allows us to easily see if a number is near the citywide average or substantially better or worse than the citywide average. We used the following curve to assign the apple colors. For each measure, one-third of schools are above average, one-third are below and one-third are in the middle. (The blue section is taller because many more schools tend to be near the average. The blue section is one-half of a standard deviation from the average in each direction.)
Figure 1: A statistical illustration of how our apples were color-coded:
We calculate the citywide average for each type of school separately, so elementary schools are not compared to schools with grades K-8, for example. In many cases, this results in a difference between official citywide averages published by the DOE or NYSED. It is also important to note that the averages we calculated do not include data from transfer schools or schools that primarily serve students with special needs (though we do hope to include these schools in the future).
If you have any questions about the numbers, datasets or our calculations, please email Nicole Mader at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also let us know if you see errors or miscalculations in your school's numbers. We will correct any problems as soon as possible.
Sources and links:
Almost every statistic displayed in InsideStats comes from one of the following publicly available datasets. To identify the source of a particular statistic, hover your cursor over the data and the title and year of the dataset will pop up. For those who wish to delve deeper into the numbers, we link to those citywide datasets below. In addition, much of this information is available on your school’s DOE website. Click “View More DOE Statistics and Info” at the top of each Insideschools profile to see more.
We pull general school information from the DOE Office of Organizational Data LCGMS Database, including:
- Telephone number
- Grade range
- Shared campus
- Principal name
The DOE's Demographics Snapshot contains information on:
- Student ethnicity
- Free/reduced lunch
- Special education
- English language learners
The DOE School Directories are designed for famililes making school enrollment decisions at each school level...
- The Pre-K Directory provides our information on
- Number of seats
- Length of school day
- Language programs
- Additional income requirements
- The Kindergarten and Middle School Directories contain information on
- Uniform requirements
- Special admissions programs such as Gifted and Talented, Dual Language and Magnet programs
- The High School Directory provides:
- Subway and bus routes
- Uniform requirements
- And all information in the blue Programs and Admissions, Academics, and Sports and Clubs tabs below InsideStats.
The DOE's School Quality Guide, which is the more detailed version of their School Quality Snapshots, provides school performance data, such as:
- Grades 3-8 New York State Math and ELA exam scores
- Average daily attendance rates
- Chronic absenteeism rates
- Performance on New York State Regents examinations
- College readiness indicators
The NYSED Graduation Dataset gives us:
- 4- and 6-year graduation rates for all students, special education students and English language learners
- Advanced Regents diploma earners
- Drop-out rates
The DOE's Class Size Report contains the following:
- The number of students in each grade and/or subject
- The types of special education classes provided
And the DOE's annual School Survey (formerly the Learning Environment Survey) asks students, parents and teachers dozens of questions on their school's climate, such as:
- How effective is the leadership of the school?
- Do students feel safe in the hallways and bathrooms?
- Would parents recommend this school to other parents?