About Our Data

How we evaluate schools

Our school reviews are based on both quantitative and qualitative information. For each school, we analyze the schools stats we publish from the Department of Education, listed in more detail below. We also read through the school's most recent Quality Review (formal evaluations by trained educators) and Comprehensive Educational Plan (annual plans written by school staff).

As often as possible, we visit schools in person to write reviews. These visits usually take 3 to 6 hours to sit in on classes and interview the principal, teachers, and sometimes parents and students. We look for well-equipped classrooms, a high level of engagement among the students, lively class discussions, good examples of student work, imaginative lessons and a well-rounded curriculum that includes art, music, science and social studies. We ask and observe how teachers reach a range of pupils, how they handle discipline, and whether the school welcomes children and parents of all different backgrounds. Some of our staff have visited and reviewed hundreds of schools.

We list as Staff Picks schools that do well on all or almost all these measures. Staff picks for special education are schools with high academic standards (reflected by better-than-average test scores among children with disabilities), that treat all children kindly, and that serve a substantial number of special needs students.

We list as Noteworthy schools that do well on many but not all of the measures we take into account. These include new schools (which may not yet have a full complement of grades or a graduating class) and schools we have not visited recently. These lists are not exhaustive and we welcome additional suggestions.

School Stats

Most of our statistics come from the city Department of Education or the state Education Department. To see city data for each school, click on “more statistics for this school” at the bottom of each school profile page. To download citywide spreadsheets or to look at state data, click on links below.

Is this school safe and well-run?
• How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
• How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
• How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
• How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
• How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
2022-23 NYC School Survey

• How many students were suspended
• Teacher turnover rate (data is only available for charter schools)
2019-20 NY State Report Card

Teacher effectiveness data comes from section 1.2 of the school’s most recent Quality Review: “Develop teacher pedagogy from a coherent set of beliefs about how students learn best that is informed by the instructional shifts and Danielson Framework for Teaching, aligned to the curricula, engaging, engaging, and meets the needs of all learners so that all students produce meaningful work products.” We assign stars based on the school’s rating: underdeveloped = 1 star; developing = 2 stars; proficient = 3 stars; well-developed = 4 stars. (To see an individual school’s Quality Review, click on “more statistics for this school” at the bottom of that school's profile page.)

• How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
• Years of principal experience at this school
2022-23 School Quality Guide

How do students perform academically?
• Test scores in math and English language arts (ELA)
New York State 2022-23 3-8 Assessment Database

• How many 8th-graders earn high school credit (schools with grades 6-8)
• How many students graduate within in four years (schools with grades 9-12)
2022-23 School Quality Guide

What is Pre-K like?
We assign stars based on the school's rating for Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) and Early Childhood Environmental Rating System (ECERS-R) (1 star = "inadequate or minimal, low-range", 2 stars = "developmentally appropriate, mid-range", or 3 stars = "strengths, high range")
• Instruction: Teachers ask kids to explain their reasoning when they solve problems.
• Activities: Children explore art, music, sand/water, dramatic play and more.
• Interaction: Teachers ask kids good questions and invite back-and-forth conversation.
• Language: Teachers talk and listen to kids in a supportive way.
2019-20 Program Assessments for Pre-K Programs

Who does this school serve?
• Enrollment
• Percent of students in each race/ethnicity category
• Free or reduced price lunch (schools that participate in the universal free lunch program are marked as 100%)
• Students with disabilities
• English language learners
2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

• Average daily attendance
• How many students miss 18 or more days of school
2022-23 School Quality Guide

• Are uniforms required
• If dual-language instruction is provided
• If transitional bilingual education is provided
• Number of Pre-K seats
• Preference is given to low income families (for Pre-K)
Pre-K Directory; Kindergarten Directory; Middle school Directory; High School Directory

How does this school serve special populations?
• How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years (schools with grades 9-12)
• How many English language learners graduate in 4 years (schools with grades 9-12)
2022-23 School Quality Guide

• New York State exam scores in ELA and math for students with disabilities and English language learners in grades 3-8
New York State 2022-23 3-8 Assessment Database

Faculty and Staff
• Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity
2021-22 Report on School-Based Staff Demographics
• Number of students for each guidance counselor
2023 Guidance Counselor Report

Advanced Courses (schools with grades 9-12)
• Which students have access to advanced courses at this school?
From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2021-22 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, provided by EdTrustNY and the Heckscher Foundation for Children

College Readiness (schools with grades 9-12)
• How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help? This metric was unavailable in the 2021-22 School Quality Guide
• How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
2022-23 School Quality Guide

• How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
2022-23 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, provided by EdTrustNY and the Heckscher Foundation for Children

• How many graduates of this school received Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding to attend a NYS college?
• How many of those TAP recipients made it through college?
From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2014 provided by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) in coordination with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), provided by EdTrustNY and the Heckscher Foundation for Children

Programs and Admissions
• Descriptions of each program
• Admissions methods
• Foreign language and Advanced Placement courses offered
• PSAL sports teams
2023 High School Directory

You can also view information from the High School Directory online at www.myschools.nyc.

Contact and Location
• Grade range
• Principal name
• Parent coordinator name and email address
• Street address
• Telephone number
• Subway and bus routes
• Shared buildings
DOE's LCGMS database

Data on metal detectors was originally collected as a joint project with the New York Civil Liberties Union and was updated by WNYC.

The 2019-20 zone maps for elementary, middle and high schools are pulled from NYC Open Data.

About our apples

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 yellow apple.

We use a common statistical calculation called a standard deviation to determine whether a given school is below average, near the average, or better than average on each data point. It allows us to easily see if a number is near the citywide average or substantially better or worse than the citywide average.

We calculate the citywide average for each type of school separately, so elementary schools serving grades k-5 are not compared to schools with grades k-8 and stand-alone high schools serving grades 9-12 are not compared to schools with grades 6-12, for example. In many cases, this results in a difference between our averages and the official citywide averages published by the DOE.

For Questions or Data Requests

If you have any questions about the numbers, datasets or our calculations, please email us at contact@insideschools.org. If you see errors or miscalculations in your school's numbers, let us know and we will correct any problems as soon as possible.

We are also happy to assist school leaders, researchers or policymakers who are interested in working with this data. A long-term goal as we continue to improve our site is to make all our data available for download or through an API. Until then, feel free to reach out with any requests or questions.