Lost in Big Apple Ed
February 15th, 2011
For anyone who fights their way through the Department of Education web site looking for data, Big Apple Ed seems like a godsend. None of those pesky PDFs DOE loves. Instead, type in a school and get an attractive page with lots of data: from admission to average class size, from admissions criteria to special programs. And it has a nice feature that lets the user compare school s– which is exactly what parents want to do when they seek a place for their children.
Unfortunately Big Apple Ed seems to have released itself on the world before it was quite ready for prime time. The search by school name just does not seem to work. Looking for a popular elementary school I tried P.S. 321, ps 321 and 321 each time the site responded, “We couldn’t find any schools for you.”
I then went to the school search site where a visitor can enter one of a number of fields. I typed in Midwood. Once again no schools. Midwood High School. Same answer. Looking for a public (not charter) school near my Brooklyn address, the site recommended two charter schools in the Bronx and an elementary school in Queens.
And so on.
The site boasts it won third prize in the NYC Big Apps competition for Best Overall Application. People must so hungry for facts on schools, they’ll give a prize to something that does not work.
One hopes Big Apple Ed will fix the glitches. Until then, there’s DOE and for the real low down on city schools, always Inside Schools, which fleshes out the stats with narrative and comments.By Gail Robinson on February 15, 2011, 5:35 pm
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