Navigating the New York City public school system can be daunting for even the most research-savvy parent. An app created by a local parent in partnership with the Department of Education tries to make things easier.
“I’m a member of the Community Education Council, and at our meetings, people were constantly asking about schools,” says Eric Goldberg, a Murray Hill father whose two children attend P.S. 116.
Speaking to these parents inspired Goldberg to create School Central NYC, a new app that compares data from 1,600 schools in the city.
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“The DOE had made the information available, but they hadn’t taken that second step by making it digital,” says Goldberg. Working with a developer, he released the app’s first version last year. After that the DOE offered to partner with him. Goldberg says. Parents, he said, want to learn about the schools before enrolling their children. For high schools, parents want to know what is the graduation rate and what are the average SAT scores.
The categories: Goldberg explains that the app allows parents to sort data by categories including test scores, evaluations and admissions rates. “Parents can also search for a school by its name or by a neighborhood if you are considering moving.” Users are also able to see how a particular school compares to the entire district at large. “It gives you context,” he adds.”
A guide for Spanish-speaking parents: One of features of the app Goldberg is most proud of is that all of the data has been translated into Spanish. “That was part of the help the DOE provided,” he says. “We’re hoping to add more languages and more data in the future.”
Follow Lakshmi Gandhi on Twitter @LakshmiGandhi.