Our work with the D.C. Public Charter School Board has captured the attention of Education Watchdog. Watchdog.org, a project of the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, lauded the parental involvement in the website update project.

A newly updated D.C. charter school directory launched in June added new search functions to simplify families’ school selection process.

Previously a long page of alphabetized charter schools, the D.C. Public Charter School Board’s directory allows families to search by neighborhood. They can search by type of education or grade level. They can even search by school performance, where the PCSB grades schools by tiers in an annual review.

According to PCSB spokeswoman Sara Maldonado, the board updated the website based on user testing feedback from a parent, school leader, stakeholder and two government officials.

Read more by Emily Leayman | From Watchdog.org

Taoti conducted user testing to better respond to user needs. What’s notable in this case is the inclusion of a D.C. parent in that process.

Parents need to use the DCPCSB website to target the District’s best schools. Their experience was critical to the redesign effort. Groups like Education Watchdog take notice when the right people are involved. However, it takes a truly successful project to get them to acknowledge that “the new search tools could have aided [a parent] search for a language-based school for her 6-year-old daughter.” That’s how we know we’re doing our job.

There’s something to be said for inclusion at every step of the process. If there’s a project you have in mind, contact us. We’ll help you think about who needs to be in the room, starting from day one.