Education, along with health and taxes, is a principal public concern; politicians win elections because of it, and therefore it's vital that newspapers provide good coverage of it.
Both The Guardian and The New York Times have launched crowd-sourcing projects on their websites, which intend to provide readers with information relating to the quality of schools.
As it is GCSE results day in the UK, The Guardian has appealed to teachers on its website to fill in a simple online form, which will then allow them to map the exam results of schools across the country.
Parents in the U.K. are fairly well informed about the exam results produced in their area, as official league tables, which rank local schools based on exam performance, have been widely available and The Department for Education makes performance tables form as far back as 1994 available to the public on its website.
So how is The Guardian's project different? Creating a map of school results is a means of seeing how the country is doing as a whole, allowing readers to easily recognising geographical pockets of academic failure and success. The Guardian's questionnaire also has section which allows teachers to tell the success stories of individual pupils, so students get the chance to have their personal stories told and don't simply become a statistic.
The New York Times initiative is somewhat similar, but with greater regional focus.
Schoolbook is a collaboration with New York radio station WNYC and aims to provide information about schools in the New York area, combining content from existing data bases, such as GothamSchools and Inside Schools, with original user generated content. The site will allow visitors to look up and compare schools their results to get a better idea of how the school is performing.
While the project will be hosted on the NYT site, it will not be behind a paywall, as this will hopefully encourage more visitors to both utilise and contribute to the database.