How does Noodle rate K-12 schools?

There is no one-size-fits-all in education. Since schools are more than just test scores, we take a more holistic approach by considering a number of characteristics across multiple categories. Noodle encourages you to consider these K-12 Report Cards as a first step in your quest to understand differences among schools. We encourage you to read a school’s full Noodle profile and to seek additional information from other trusted experts.

Noodle aggregates a wide variety of data sources to provide an overview of every public K-12 school. We compile data from the federal government, state agencies, and other providers of education data. Available data for the report cards vary widely from state to state, and so comparisons should only be made among schools within a state.

At Noodle, we aim to be neutral and allow you to decide the factors that are important to you. Therefore, we use raw data from trusted institutions rather than sources that assign subjective weights to certain measures.

Noodle provides detailed information on over 100,000 elementary, middle, and high schools. You can see the report cards at the top of the school profile.

Here is an in-depth look at how we compile our Report Card:

Education Quality
Educational Quality

Educational quality is an index that consists of several elements pertaining to academic performance of students. Although the primary focus is on test scores, these are generally not the only measures one may consider. Where data points are available, the index takes into account state standardized test scores at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, Advanced Placement participation and test results, average class size, teacher-to-student ratios, high school exit exams, high school core completion rates, and student growth measures (from Student Growth Percentiles (SGP) or Value-added Models (VAM)).

Cost Of Living
Cost of Living We often do not think of costs associated with attending public schools, but for much of the United States, students attend a school that is located near their home. Ultimately, access to many schools is dependent on one’s ability to reside in a certain area. Therefore, we introduce a cost index that takes into account home value, rental prices, and median incomes of the district or attendance zone associated with a school. Higher values on this index are associated with relatively higher costs of living.



This index summarizes several aspects of a school’s learning environment. It focuses on school safety and measures of student engagement. Where data points are available, the index considers absentee and attendance rates, mobility, retention, dropout rates, suspensions, expulsions, violence, bullying harassment, and parental involvement.



The Outcomes index is for schools that offer instruction up to grade 12. It focuses on the transition from high school to college. Where data points are available, the index considers four-year high school graduation rates, SAT and ACT scores and participation, and college attendance rates.

Also to note: For each category, we compute a school’s metrics relative to the entire state and then relative to a peer group. Peer groups are schools that are similar both geographically and demographically. A school’s score is a weighted average of its position in the state and peer comparison groups. For example, within a peer group, a school may score 90 on an index; and within the state, the school may score 80. The final score for the school would fall between 80 and 90. Schools in different states cannot be compared because each state uses different tests to assess students.

For additional details on data availability from each state, please click here

Our K-12 Report Cards are generated from various data sources such as government surveys and major publications. These results are based on objective quantitative and qualitative analysis. They are not affected by compensation received from partnerships or advertisers.