Responses to More Questions on the 2008 America's Best High Schools Rankings

If you post a query, I will provide the answer.


These are some of the questions that have been posted on my blog recently. If you have other queries about the 2008 America's Best High Schools rankings, please continue to post them in the comments part of this blog, and I will try to answer them.

I was fortunate enough to have taught in both International Baccalaureate and AP mathematics programs over a nine-year period. While I absolutely love the AP Calculus AB syllabus, I have never seen anything that prepares students to think critically like the IB program...Will IB be included in the rankings next time?

U.S. News has been in contact with some of the top officials who run the IB program in the United States, and we plan to meet with them in early 2008. Our goal continues to be that we will work with IB officials so that we will be able to factor in IB statistics on participation as well as some indicator of IB success in the next America's Best High Schools rankings. Are all high schools ranked, or is there an application procedure involved to request to be ranked?

One hundred percent of the 18,790 public high schools in the 40 states were included in the 2008 America's Best High Schools rankings. There was no application procedure, and no request was needed. Our hope for the next edition of the America's Best High Schools rankings is that more states will be included. Why were independent and religious schools both left out of the rankings?

Independent and religious schools (or private schools) were not part of the 2008 America's Best High Schools rankings because the state-level testing data used in Step 1 and Step 2 of the rankings are not available for them. Generally speaking, private schools do not tend to get state aid and, in exchange, are not strictly regulated by the state and are not subject to the statewide accountability testing we used in Step 1 and Step 2. Is there is a difference between "public high schools" and plain "high schools"? You seem to use the words interchangeably.

There is no difference between public high schools and high schools in the way we used the terms in the 2008 America's Best High Schools rankings. It seems that all the schools that ranked in Tennessee were the lower enrollment schools. Were all schools ranked, including the larger schools?

All the public schools, both large and small, in a state that was ranked were included in the rankings. Is there any type of "recognition" that our high school could use to advertise our "bronze" status? Given the current trend in our state toward consolidation...this type of recognition is very important to us.

Yes, there is. High schools that received gold, silver, or bronze status can go to this site and fill out a form to receive a badge on the Web or in print.