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Five Top High Schools Chosen in Each State Exemplify What Makes a Great School

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - January 15, 2009 - GreatSchools -- the nonprofit that 1 in 3 parents turn to in order to find the right school for their child -- and BusinessWeek today unveiled a list of top-performing high schools throughout the country.

The GreatSchools/BusinessWeek Five Top-Performing Schools Initiative incorporates both academic performance and parent opinion to showcase high schools in all 50 states in each of the following categories:

  • Top Academic Performance (overall)
  • Top Academic Performance (among low-income schools)
  • Most Improved - Academic Performance
  • Parents' Choice - Public School
  • Parents' Choice - Private School
Announcing the launch of this initiative, Bill Jackson, president and founder of GreatSchools, highlighted the importance of both academic performance and parent opinion in identifying great schools.

"Our goal with this initiative is to spur conversation about what makes a great high school in every corner of the country. We're thrilled to work with BusinessWeek in this cause," said Jackson. "Great high schools prepare students academically - as demonstrated by high test scores. But there are other factors as well. Great high schools also engage students in learning and building a strong community. Our Parents' Choice winners are the schools that parents recognize as being particularly good at educating the whole young person."


The GreatSchools/BusinessWeek Five Top-Performing High Schools initiative is based on both academic performance and parent opinion. GreatSchools identified the Top Academic Performance (overall and low-income) and Most Improved schools by analyzing publicly available school test information. GreatSchools also highlighted the Parents' Choice for both public and private schools by analyzing the Parent Ratings and Reviews on its Web site. Parents are encouraged to share feedback about their children's schools at:

For the academic awards, GreatSchools looked at the most recent test scores available for reading, science and math. For the Most Improved award, GreatSchools compared the most recent test scores with the prior year's scores, and for the Parents' Choice awards, GreatSchools selected schools with the highest average parent rating that also had at least 10 parent reviews. In some states where there was no school with 10 reviews, GreatSchools selected the school with highest number of reviews.

The Five Top-Performing Schools lists are online at:

Webby Award-winning GreatSchools provides more ratings, facts and figures on schools - preschool through 12th grade; public, private and charter - than any other single resource. Its Web site and nationwide parent community help parents choose the best schools for their children, track school progress, access the best collection of parent reviews and expert advice, and remain effectively engaged in their children's education to best help them succeed.

More than 35 million people visited GreatSchools in the past year alone, and it has been a source of inspiration and information for parents for 10 years. Recently armed with a $20 million investment from the nation's leading education foundations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, GreatSchools is leveraging the latest technology to transform the way parents interact with schools. Its Top-Performing Schools partnership with BusinessWeek is the latest in a line of initiatives to advance GreatSchools' overall mission to inspire and empower parents to participate in their children's development and educational success.

Note to Reporters/Editors: To schedule an interview with Bill Jackson please call 415-845-5110.


About GreatSchools
GreatSchools is an independent, nonprofit organization that improves education by inspiring parents to get involved. It empowers parents with information and tools so they can choose the best school for their children, support their children's education and improve schools in their communities. Parents choose GreatSchools to connect with each other - to find the right schools, to share stories and advice, and to get their parenting questions answered. In the past year alone, more than 35 million people visited GreatSchools ( With hundreds of thousands of ratings and parent reviews about schools across the country, GreatSchools is the paramount parent-to-parent education community. A Webby Award-winning site, GreatSchools is supported by foundations and corporations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Robertson Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation.
GreatSchools - Involved parents. Successful kids.


Dave Steer - 415.977.0700, ext. 119

Brenda Dos Santos - 415-277-6974