Newsweek posts top 1200 high schools

Newsweek has posted the results for the top 1200 high schools. What’s great is that this year, two of our local high schools has made it to the list: newcomer Western Guilford (80) and Grimsley (84).
One interesting thing to note though. Grimsley over the years has actually dropped in national ranking:

  • 2005 – rank 67
  • 2006 – rank 72
  • 2007 – rank 84
In the top 100, but still it’s a little bit disconcerting that the rank has been dropping over the last three years.

  • As meaningless as the college rankings in places like US News are…the HS rankings are moreso. Think about it — how did Newsweek get any kind of accurate picture of 1200 high schools across the country? Hint: they don’t.

  • As meaningless as the college rankings in places like US News are…the HS rankings are moreso. Think about it — how did Newsweek get any kind of accurate picture of 1200 high schools across the country? Hint: they don’t.

  • “Public schools are ranked according to a ratio devised by Jay Mathews: the number of Advanced Placement, Intl. Baccalaureate and/or Cambridge tests taken by all students at a school in 2006 divided by the number of graduating seniors.”
    It’s not totally accurate, but it does show how many seniors have taken upper level coursework. That’s no different from ranking colleges, from the statistics.
    And let’s be truthful here, the college rankings are meaningless to “you” but many pay attention to school rankings since it’s the closest statistics you can get. It’s no different from running the statistics on college ball players, or even high school football to see who’s ranked where.

  • darkmoon

    “Public schools are ranked according to a ratio devised by Jay Mathews: the number of Advanced Placement, Intl. Baccalaureate and/or Cambridge tests taken by all students at a school in 2006 divided by the number of graduating seniors.”
    It’s not totally accurate, but it does show how many seniors have taken upper level coursework. That’s no different from ranking colleges, from the statistics.
    And let’s be truthful here, the college rankings are meaningless to “you” but many pay attention to school rankings since it’s the closest statistics you can get. It’s no different from running the statistics on college ball players, or even high school football to see who’s ranked where.

  • jw

    Colleges administrators pay close attention to the college rankings as well.

  • jw

    Colleges administrators pay close attention to the college rankings as well.

  • I’m familiar with the methodology.
    That’s why I’m questioning its value.

  • I’m familiar with the methodology.
    That’s why I’m questioning its value.

  • What objective method would you use then?
    The method used doesn’t measure intelligence by any means, but academics wise, it’s as good as any method. It’s the same concept as if you take wealthy families and look at the offspring, the chance of offspring being in the same tax brackets or higher are a lot more likely than someone that doesn’t come from the same family.
    Similarly, if you look at academics, those that take more advanced classes usually have a larger chance of success than others.
    It’s not a 100% method, but there isn’t one of those so you have to settle for what data you can acquire.

  • darkmoon

    What objective method would you use then?
    The method used doesn’t measure intelligence by any means, but academics wise, it’s as good as any method. It’s the same concept as if you take wealthy families and look at the offspring, the chance of offspring being in the same tax brackets or higher are a lot more likely than someone that doesn’t come from the same family.
    Similarly, if you look at academics, those that take more advanced classes usually have a larger chance of success than others.
    It’s not a 100% method, but there isn’t one of those so you have to settle for what data you can acquire.

  • By what method would I rate an enormous number of wildly disparate schools?
    I don’t know that I want to play the game in the first place.
    There are so many variables that it is just that — a game, a list for the sake of having a list, because everything must be listed and quantified and packaged for sale.
    Calling them the “top schools” is bogus.
    To choose one example, some good schools are moving away from AP classes, for the same reason educators dislike other standardized tests — people teach to the test, and kids may not learn as much.
    A great school that drops APs is by this measure no longer a great school.
    It’s silly, and it’s pernicious.

  • By what method would I rate an enormous number of wildly disparate schools?
    I don’t know that I want to play the game in the first place.
    There are so many variables that it is just that — a game, a list for the sake of having a list, because everything must be listed and quantified and packaged for sale.
    Calling them the “top schools” is bogus.
    To choose one example, some good schools are moving away from AP classes, for the same reason educators dislike other standardized tests — people teach to the test, and kids may not learn as much.
    A great school that drops APs is by this measure no longer a great school.
    It’s silly, and it’s pernicious.