Of all the responsibilities that fall to a parent or guardian, few are as nerve-wracking as trying to find a good school for your child. I speak from experience. I could tell you quite a few stories about the difficulties I faced trying to find a decent school for my then-12-year-old daughter in Upper Manhattan in 2013.

Of course, being an education journalist at the time, I relied heavily on several websites for information about various schools’ academic performance. One thing I never asked about – because I didn’t know much about it at the time – was a given school’s academic growth from one year to the next.

That’s one reason I was so eager to have David Houston, an education policy scholar, write about what he found when he conducted an experiment that enabled parents or caregivers to select schools for their children based on a school’s academic growth data. What he found has implications not just for individual families but for the diversity and demographics of schools throughout the United States.

Also today:

Jamaal Abdul-Alim

Education Editor

Different types of data can influence how parents select schools for their children. Viktorcvetkovic/E+ via Getty Images

A new way to pick the best school for your child

David M. Houston, George Mason University

An education researcher explains how most school rating websites lack a key piece of information about school performance.

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