From the Alabama Department of Education
MONTGOMERY, AL - Twenty-five Alabama public school systems have been nationally recognized by SchoolMatch's 17th annual "What Parents Want Award." These awards are presented to only 2,529 of America's 15,571 public school districts for making noteworthy strides to meet the needs of their communities. Alabama also had 25 school systems make the list in 2007.
SchoolMatch, the nation's largest school selection consulting firm, helps corporate employee families find schools that match the needs of their children. The majority of Alabama's recognized school systems have consistently received the "What Parents Want Award" for most of the last decade. The award, which originated in 1992, recognizes systems that meet standards of excellence in seven criteria:
- Competitive academic test scores
- Recognition for excellence by a national foundation or the U.S. Department of Education
- Competitive teacher salaries
- Above (national) average instructional expenditures
- Above (national) average expenditures for library/media services
- Small class sizes
An April 1, 2008, search of the twenty-two field SchoolMatch® Database revealed that only 16% of the nation's public schools consistently provide "What Parents Want" in public education. The SchoolMatch® staff of school experts salutes those school districts which are meeting the needs and desires of both students and parents.
Corporations and consumers use SchoolMatch® when moving across town, up-grading residences, relocating to a new area, when negotiating child custody issues and for general information about schools.
School administrators use SchoolMatch® to focus on goals for school system improvement based upon the performance of other "mean matched" schools, a method of comparing their school system with those that have similar characteristics. SchoolMatch® has successfully conducted more than 1,000 Educational Effectiveness Audits of school systems throughout the country.
A collection of over 97,000 parent questionnaires completed by SchoolMatch clients reveals that the seven items are the qualities parents most often look for in school systems. Only secondary schools are eligible for this distinction since parents usually try to find school systems that produce quality high school graduates. The systems were judged using auditable information gathered annually state-by-state from sources including county assessors, county auditors, state taxing authorities, and state departments of education.
For more information about SchoolMatch, call (614) 890-1573 or visit the Web site at www.schoolmatch.com.