The Boston Globe worked with two professors from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester to build an online tool, Dreamschool Finder, to help parents locate the public school system that best suits their kids. It’s available at www.boston.com/dreamschool.
The tool stresses flexibility, allowing parents to decide how much weight to give the topics they consider important. It also emphasizes student growth, which helps measure the improvement of a student and a school over time, and deemphasizes raw test scores, which tend to reflect socioeconomic status, according to the professors.
Using Dreamschool Finder, parents can look at how schools stack up in college readiness, resources, diversity, and growth in math and English. The tool even attempts to measure the school climate — how focused and committed students are at a given school.