GreatSchools strives to ensure every school that's eligible in the US receives a rating, primarily based on school test scores. (Read more about our rating methodology here.)
However, some schools do not receive a GreatSchools rating, which is usually for several reasons. If you are unsure why a school has not received a GreatSchools rating, read on.
(Please note: a school's GreatSchools rating (between 1 and 10) is not the same as its Community Rating (between 1 and 5 stars). A Community Rating is determined by user submitted ratings, from engaged users with immediate experience of the school.)
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 test score 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 official school profile, 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.
Without test scores, we do not assign a GreatSchools rating to a school. Some schools do not test students, for various reasons, so do not receive a 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
- In states with enhanced ratings, if a school does not have student growth data or college readiness data, we do not assign a rating
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) Test scores are not yet available, because the school is newly established.
If a school has been recently established, it's possible they have not yet completed a year's worth of tests. Without test scores supplied by the state, we cannot assign a GreatSchools rating.
If you are still unsure why a school does not have a GreatSchools rating after reading the above, feel free to contact us.