Online Reviews Are Leading Indicators of Changes in K-12 School Attributes

In this paper, we investigate to what extent the language used in online reviews of a school is predictive of changes in the attributes of that school, such as its socio-economic makeup and student test scores.

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Parents increasingly use School rating websites to assess the quality and fit of U.S. K-12 schools for their children. These online reviews often contain detailed descriptions of a school’s strengths and weaknesses, reflecting and informing perceptions of a school. Existing work on these text reviews has focused on finding words or themes that underlie these perceptions but has stopped short of using the textual reviews as leading indicators of school performance.

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