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Saturday, December 08, 2007

US News and World Report Rankings for Puget Sound Schools

U.S. News and World Report came out with its rankings of U.S. high schools in this article. There were 2 Puget Sound schools in the top 100 with a gold ranking. Those were the International School in Kirkland (#12) and Newport High in Bellevue (#44). Five other Puget Sound high schools, including two in Seattle, received silver rankings. Those were Bainbridge, Garfield, Issaquah, Mercer Island and Roosevelt. (The Board honored Roosevelt and Garfield at the last Board meeting.)

The article has many good side articles including their methodology and a good article on a border school in Texas that is doing very well and yet may still get on the NCLB's underperforming list.

2 comments:

dan dermpsey said...

There is so much baloney in all these rankings. The purpose is to sell magazines.

Consider the Pacific Collegiate charter in Santa Cruz. Ranked #2

In CA a charter must accept all students via lottery when not enrolling everyone that applies.
This might lead one to think that makes a level playing field. Hardly the case.

At PCC in SC, they run a Lakeside type school. Students who are not very talented will never get any credit as they will not pass classes. Few less than highly talented individuals now apply.

This leads to the Julliard effect, when you accept only 2% of your applicants you produce wonderful results. This is not a knock on the school - just a fact of the system.

I believe that PCC probably offers a great education but without their practices that are exclusionary the results would not merit a ranking of #2.

I have no quarrel with the fact that PCC's practices are clearly within CA law.

My difficulty would lie in the idea that as #2 nationally in US News this school might be held up as an argument for charters.

Seattle could certainly do close to the same with a highly exclusionary magnet school.

Usually these rankings fail to take into account the academic growth in the population served as well as any cultural deficits that exist within that population.

These ranking have as much to do with communities and selection criteria as about what takes place during the school day.

Based solely on year to year WASL improvement from Spring 2006 to Spring 2007, Rainier Beach is far and away the best high school in Seattle. This is all a game to sell magazines and perhaps push an agenda.

Leslie said...

I hate to sound like a broken record but I wonder if Newport would have made "the list" if it had not shifted so many "average" or "non-stellar" middle schoolers against their will to Robinswood "Alternative" school.

Mike Riley has left and Patty whose last name escapes me, Principal at Newport, are moving on now - I wonder if next year: a) the number of kids assigned to Robinswood will decrease and b) if Newport will make the latest and greatest list in 08

The heavy-handedness on assignment at Newport and Bellevue PS would NEVER be tolerated in SPS with our justified concerns for diversity and access.

It's only a matter of time before someone brings on litigation on this issue and will be most intersting to watch the data come out.