Our recently published America's Best High Schools 2008 has triggered a debate about how to rank high schools and what factors should be used. So far, numerous articles have been written about our new rankings. I have picked some of the more notable ones I've read.
Samuel G. Freedman, a journalism professor at Columbia University, wrote a New York Times article titled "Putting a Curious Eye on a High School Ranking System." Freedman said that "the factors the ranking used appear sensible and supple—overall student achievement, academic performance of the most disadvantaged students, college readiness as reckoned by results on Advanced Placement tests." Freedman's article also has extensive commentary on the U.S. News strategy of publishing rankings.
He said of the U.S. News methodology that "it's a big improvement over Newsweek's high-school ranking."
The Washington Post's education writer Jay Mathews, who does the Post's and Newsweek's annual high school ranking called the Challenge Index, weighed in with a story called "Andy and Me: Two Ways to Rate High Schools."
Mathews also hosted an online discussion about the two high school ranking systems, which you can read by going here. This online discussion drew many interesting questions.
U.S. News would like this blog to be a vehicle for discussions of the high school rankings as well as our other education rankings. Starting now, readers of this blog will be able to post comments and offer their own insights, either positive or negative. You are invited to add your views to what has so far been a mostly one-way conversation. What do you have to do? Just go to the bottom of this blog entry (or other previous posts that I have done) and click on "Comments," then follow the rules.