AgentTechnology

Zillow wipes colors from school ratings after media coverage

The listing portal is the first to make the adjustment
  • The removal of traffic-light color coding from Zillow and Trulia's school ratings raises the possibility that public scrutiny can prompt real estate services to adjust their data practices.
  • Zillow Group made the change in part "to reflect that GreatSchool ratings alone do not define school quality."
  • The National Fair Housing Alliance is evaluating whether neighborhood data steers people away from neighborhoods with high concentrations of minorities.

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Green means go. Yellow means caution. And red means stop. Small wonder that some industry observers have decried the tendency of many real estate websites to rate schools -- which are reportedly treated by some as a proxy for local racial makeup -- with traffic-light colors. Following some recent media attention, Zillow Group has purged colors from school ratings on Zillow and Trulia, raising the possibility that public scrutiny can prompt real estate services to adjust their data practices. What's wrong with color codes? The change comes as the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) investigates whether school and crime ratings may steer homebuyers away from communities with high concentrations of minorities. "We made changes to the color scheme to better reflect our site branding" and "to reflect that GreatSchool ratings alone do not define school quality," said Zillow spokeswoman Amanda Woolley. GreatSchools is the provider of the school ratings that appear on Zi...