I saw a recent Mashable article on ProPublica's new tool to compare public schools across the US, so parents now have another source to turn to when evaluating school systems. If you're moving to a new area or if you're debating public schools versus private schools, give this resource a try. The information comes from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights and gathers together statistics such as the percentage of students getting free or reduced lunches and how many students are taking AP classes. The initial search is as quick as entering a ZIP code, address, or school. You can also browse by state on the left to get a brief overview. You can compare individual schools and share your findings on Facebook if you wish.
There is also a website called GreatSchools, which includes both public and private institutions. It focuses on test scores but also has demographics, funding, and other information, so between the two resources parents can get a good idea of their locale's educational system.