California's Department of Education announced on Monday that it built a mobile app to allow parents and prospective homeowners instant access to mountains of digital school data.
“Never before have we put so much school information literally in the hands of our students, parents, and community members and made the information so accessible and user-friendly,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a written statement. The free app is called CA Schools.
Allowing the app track the user's location opens up a street map populated with pins that represent schools, including charter and private schools.
A tap on one of those pins allows the user to get a school’s basic information: phone number, address, driving directions. Another tap opens up a long list of reports, including student enrollment, scores on standardized tests, and the school’s funding.
“Home buyers can check out schools in their prospective neighborhoods. Parents heading to a child’s away game can map directions to the host school. There are all kinds of potential uses,” Torlakson's statement read.
Other online web sites such as greatschools.com and Yelp already provide some of this information - but officials said that data can be unreliable and incomplete.