With the kindergarten and middle school enrollment fair this Saturday (9 am to noon at the Stanford Center) and the open enrollment period beginning on January 16th, this seems like a good time to point out some of the data that is available about Seattle schools.
The Seattle Public Schools website does a good job of providing a lot of information about each school, including annual reports, links to the school's website if one exists, and standardized testing data.
But by far, my favorite data to explore is the survey data of teachers and students at each school. Looking at staff surveys, you can get a good picture of their opinion of the principal, the working relationship among teachers, and some of the core beliefs held among teachers at the school. Looking at student surveys, you can see whether students feel safe at school, how they feel about their teachers, and can get a general sense of the overall atmosphere at the school. You can also look at several years of survey data to see any trends happening in the school.
If any of this sounds interesting to you, go to the Research, Evaluation and Assessment page at the Seattle Public Schools website. From the drop-down menus near the bottom of the page, select a school that interests you. A page is then displayed with links to all the demographic profiles, test and survey data.