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The SchoolMatch® Advantage
Other school information providers have proven their ability to market and sell self-reported school and community information to real estate brokers and agents. SchoolMatch®, on the other hand, is a credentialed and credible research-based organization that collects, audits, integrates, processes and manages information about elementary and secondary schools and communities. Since 1986, SchoolMatch® data has held up under the scrutiny of many judges. It has been used by experts in courts in over 30 states. SchoolMatch® is also the school data source of choice when The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, American Demographics, MONEY magazine and hundreds of newspaper editors want reliable and defensible information.
Firms such as Publix, Walt Disney World, Fleet Bank, Allstate Insurance, AT&T, Bank One, Bell Atlantic, Coca-Cola, Eastman Kodak, Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, Merck, Pfizer, Pepsi-Cola, State Farm Insurance, UPS, Lexis-Nexis, Ernst & Young, Chase Manhattan Mortgage, Fidelity, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, American Demographics, MONEY magazine and others knowledgeable in data collection have relied on SchoolMatch® for school evaluation and information.
SchoolMatch® is the only school information provider that employs credentialed, experienced and seasoned educational researchers to compile and audit school data. More than 30 professionals with doctorates in educational research or related fields and experience in tests and measurements, school finance and accreditation collect SchoolMatch® data. More than 900 "Audits of Educational Effectiveness" have been conducted by SchoolMatch® staff, on site, in school systems.
SchoolMatch® begins with the research, and prepares its reports using the accepted building blocks of credible educational research. Other known school information purveyors tend to "skip to the end number," ignoring the research process that turns "data" into "information", and appear to spend little if any time validating data. They assume that if the school system provided the data it must be correct. "Raw numbers," oftentimes collected over the telephone by seasonal employees with little or no educational training, appear to be the basis of their efforts. The data user could have a serious liability when challenged if, for example, the sum of the parts in a particular data field greatly exceed the whole. In other words, if expenditures per pupil are totaled, the end result might be much greater than annual national expenditure on education.
In contrast, the SchoolMatch® ethic mandates careful screening of each data item in each school system in each state before presenting information to clients upon which they rely to help make important, life-changing decisions for their families. SchoolMatch does this with confidence and credibility, since data are collected from sources to which school systems must certify accuracy, completeness and timeliness. By definition, data collected merely by telephone or mail survey cannot be certified. In short, SchoolMatch® data is auditable. "Raw data" from other firms is not.
A "research-first" approach allows SchoolMatch® to provide its clients with information not available from other firms anywhere. For example, the "pupil performance on scholarship examinations" data element is the only uniform comparison of academic achievement of all the nation's schools. No other firm can make that claim.
SchoolMatch® validates comparability, assures continuity, focuses on school effectiveness criteria and makes sure clients can easily understand results. In contrast, "raw data"-based firms often face situations where information without context can be misleading and not easily interpreted by the average individual.