The GreatSchools Summary Rating is based on a combination of test scores, college readiness, growth, advanced courses, equity, and discipline/attendance data, depending on a state or school’s data availability. A school will not get a summary rating if it is missing sufficient data to generate one.
Here are some examples of what we consider insufficient data to produce a summary rating:
1) In most cases, we do not assign private schools a GreatSchools rating, because independent data is unavailable.
While we know there are many excellent private schools across the country, there is no consistent data source available to us to independently verify test scores. For public schools (whether district or charter) we rely on data sourced from the Department of Education for each state. With private schools, we're unable to source similar data from an independent source. We made the decision to not assign a rating to private schools as a result. If you're interested in a private school's test scores, we would suggest you contact them directly to ask for details.
If you are a school official for a private school, we would encourage you to claim your school by signing up for a School Account, which allows you to add many details about your school for potential parents. In addition, you can always let the community rate your school by encouraging them to leave reviews.
2) The school does not test students, or does not test specific grades.
Generally, schools without test score data do not receive a Summary Rating.
For schools that admit students from kindergarten to second grade only, as testing usually begins in the third grade, there are no test scores to share. If a school changes admissions and adds later grades, then we will assign a rating after test scores are received from the state.
3) The school is currently missing some information which prevents us from assigning a GreatSchools rating.
Sometimes we do not have enough information on a school to assign a rating. There can be various reasons for this, including (but not limited to) the following:
- If not enough students are served in tested grades
- We did not receive data from the state Department of Education (see below)
- Alternative schools that do not test students, such as special education schools
- The school is missing other data components like student or academic progress, or college readiness information
Because we are not given an explanation for incomplete data on specific schools from the DOE, we are not able to determine the cause for missing data that is preventing a school from being rated.
4) Data is not yet available, because the school is newly established.
If a school just recently opened, there is likely no updated data yet. That would prevent us from rating a new school.
If you are still unsure why a school does not have a GreatSchools rating after reading the above, feel free to contact us.