Hingham Public High School is the only South Shore public high school to rank in the top 25 in all of Massachusetts. Progressive research site Niche.com lists Hingham Public High School at #24 on their list of Massachusetts public high schools. The detailed profile shows strengths, some weaker areas and includes 23 pages of personal commentary by mostly Hingham high school students.
Niche is a rank and review research site that is comparing, among other things, every school district in the United States. With over 27 million opinions, and growing, Niche data includes community reviews with numerical data to compare over 100,000 public and private schools and districts. In a unique method, Niche also incorporates student opinions and outcomes, and no single measure accounts for more than 15 percent of the overall ranking. Niche is able to bring multiple threads of information together to present readable paragraphs that are
Niche gets the details in multiple categories, and from multiple sources. Rather than provide one-dimensional state test score comparisons that sites like Zillow rely on, Niche’s CEO Luke Sherman uses cross-referencing as its guiding principle. The K-12 beta site was launched in 2013 using primarily hard data, but recently interjects reviews from over 300,000 parents and students. Aside from rankings, searchers can compare individual profiles and student outcomes. Niche’s data gathering methods give users a deeper, multi-faceted look at the communities they might relocate to.
For example, when generating a profile for a high school, a student or parent can give grades in multiple categories like food, extracurricular activities, health and safety, and sports. This methodology leads to a comprehensive report based on qualitative and quantitative data.
Certainly one would not make a life changing decision based only on student feedback, but an argument can be made that the same is true for using just parental input, or just test scores. By incorporating all of the information, Niche stresses transparency as their goal in helping people make these bug decisions.
Initially a college review service at CollegeProwler.com, Niche expanded its talents to become one of the largest content startups in the United States. The site provides a beefed up version of this where college-ready students can read over 1 million reviews on over 8,000 colleges, and even match up to 3.2 million scholarships. Niche information also includes rankings on every neighborhood and city in the country in order to help people find the best places to live, visit, or raise a family.
Getting information about individual towns is made more difficult by the massive amount of information on the internet. At the top of a Google search are websites with uninspiring population numbers and slightly more colorful town government sites. It is challenging to find out what it’s like to actually live, or got to high school, or Kindergarten in any given community and Niche is positioned to change this.
Niche plans to gather more layers of information in a soon-to-be-released survey, and it seems this process is ongoing. Rather than settle with information already gleaned, the attitude at Niche is that there is always more, and that opinions are always changing. There is a section here on their site to participate in a survey as a parent or a student.