There are numerous first-rate informational websites related to education; these are just a few that I have found particularly helpful. If you are looking for data on general educational levels of a community, I recommend starting first with Social Explorer or Kids Count. If you want to know about academic achievement in particular localities (districts) or schools, then you should consult either the Richmond-Times Data Center or the Virginia Department of Education Report Card. The Report Card is more complete (and includes statistics on teacher qualifications and behavioral problems) that you can’t find with the RTD, but the RTD is more user-friendly. It’s best used for SOL scores and graduation and dropout rates. The National Center for Education Statistics is also a very rich source, but it is a lot and can be intimidating to search for a novice. Let me know, and I will help you. Government overviews of policy and indexes of scholarly journals specializing in education issues round out this section.
Interactive Map of Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield School Districts with Schools — The frame is small and has annoying ads, but the map pinpoints each school. You can zoom in on the map if needed.
Map of the Richmond Public School District — When you scroll over the district, to the right, you will see the names of the public schools in that area. Elementary school zones, middle school zones, high school zones, and the location of charter, magnet, and specialty schools.
Map of the Henrico County School District — Colored map of Henrico County with the location of schools noted by managerial district.
Social Explorer — This site is a web-based interface that allows you to map Census data on a range of social indicators by state, locality, and even as detailed as the Census block and Census tract.
PolicyMap — This site is a web-based interface, much like Social Explorer, but it draws from a wider base of government data. Beyond the Census and the American Community Survey, you will also be able to map variables pertaining to health, income, labor, education, and so forth.
Kids Count Data Center — A site put together by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Kids Count includes a variety of indicators that track demographics, education, economic well-being, family and community well-being, health, safety, and more. This link will take you to Virginia and community-level data. To see data for Richmond, click on the button that says “Community-Level Profiles” and search for Richmond City under “Counties” not “Cities” (counterintuitive, I know).
Education Nation Scorecard for Schools — Sponsored by NBC and Great Schools, this site allows you to look up testing and achievement information about specific schools, school districts, and states. Even better, it will show you how rigorous state standards are relative to other states in the nation.
Richmond-Times Dispatch Data Center, 2013-2014 Virginia Public School Test Scores — From this site, you can view the AYP and accreditation status and poverty status of any school in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Richmond-Times Dispatch Data Center, 2015 Virginia Graduation and Dropout Rates — From this site, you can view the graduation and dropout rates of any school in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The 2010 rates can be found here.
Richmond-Times Dispatch Data Center, 2013-2014 Virginia School Accreditation Status — See if your school or district was accredited, based on the results of testing during the 2013-14 school year.
Virginia Education Statistics: Virginia School Report Card report – This site houses data results for school, district (city or county), and commonwealth. Report Cards include test scores on subjects, test scores by subgroup, behavioral infractions, compliance with No Child requirements that teachers be “highly qualified,” and compliance with test score targets and federal graduation rate targets. To get the report card on a school, find the district, then the school. Then ask for the PDF to generate the report.
National Center for Education Statistics – A site maintained by the U.S. Department of Education that provides education statistics and reports on national, state, and local level trends.
Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools – This site offers an in-depth description of the standards by areas of study and by grade used in the state of Virginia. To see what testing benchmarks schools must meet in order to be deemed in compliant with state and federal law and therefore remain accredited, see the accountability rules for the Virginia Department of Education.
No Child Left Behind policy overview – This resource provides information on NCLB, states’ implementation of the policy, and the budget of the U.S. Department of Education.
Social Science Full Text – This database contains scholarly research on the cultural, social, and political behaviors of people. It also has studies about education policies and effects of education standards on children, families, and teachers.
ERIC – This is the authoritative database of scholarly studies covering the field of education, including research on education practice on students and teachers, descriptions of teaching methods, and analysis of education policies.