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How is the US news high school rankings calculated?

I am a freshman at the University of Chicago. Yesterday we were given an assignment that should be handed in by Friday. The homework entails writing a reflection paper about one of the trending issues in the school news articles. This issue, “us news high school rankings” is now trending on the social media like bush fire. I need help with this latest education news issue that has struck the attention of all education stakeholders in America. I would like someone to help me understand how these high school rankings are created. Also, do not hesitate to give any helpful information about the merits and demerits of this practice.

Alexa Spicer

in Education News

1 answer

1 answer

Bethany Evans on January 5, 2018

To start with, I would like to first explain to you how the US news high school raking is calculated. The ranking starts by reviewing 28,496 public high schools in all the 50 states. I would like you to note that not all schools are included. Some are eliminated because they are too small to be analyzed. There are four steps that are followed in determining the best high school. The first step entails checking whether each student in the school was performing better than expected statistically by the state. According to the recent studies, rankers start by looking at maths results for all students after doing proficiency test in each state. This criteria factors out learners who are disadvantaged economically. For instance, in 2017, absolute figures were used to rank schools. An automatic pass is given to schools that have the best absolute performance in maths and reading test. On the other hand, the bottom 10% in reading and maths will fail.

Schools that passed in the first step proceed to the next step. In this step, each school’s maths and reading proficiency rates are compared. This comparison entails disadvantaged schools with statewide results for all. To determine which schools have performed better than the state average, top students from the participating schools are selected. The completion of this step gives line clear for the third step. This is a very important stage for all schools involved. According to a school news article, high schools only pass this step if their rounded graduation rated 75% or greater. This measure was also observed during the 2017 ranking. This rate has been increased compared to 2016, which was 68%.

Then there is step 4. This final step entails national judging of all schools that successfully went through step one to three. Advanced placement data is done to determine the benchmark for success is used to determine college readiness performance. This AP is a college-board program that helps to offer college-level courses at high schools across the nation. The latest news on education indicates that the 2017 rankings did not include the International Baccalaureate test data. This is why the 1B organization was formed to enable supply 1B data for 12th-grade students in 2014, 2015 and the previous years. Every high school has to pass steps 1 to 3 of the ranking methodology. High schools with 1B are awarded a bronze medal, while schools with both 1B and AP courses are awarded gold and silver medals respectively.

Kurt Pricea year ago

I like the comprehensive description that you have given about the high school rankings. However, you forgot to discuss an important element about the ranking. I would like to expand a little on the merits and demerits of this ranking practice. I will start with the benefits although educationists have tried to discourage ranking, the findings of the school news article indicate that ranking motivates the teachers and students from the top-ranked schools. These teachers and students are not only motivated intrinsically but also extrinsically. The awards and medals they receive provide them with extrinsic motivation. On the other hand, the prestige that comes with these medals motivates teachers and students intrinsically. Secondly, when schools rank high, they become popular. This popularity attracts more students into those schools. Also, when a school performs well, education stakeholders feel free to provide any support for development. This support can be in the form of learning resources or funds. On the other hand, ranking introduces some bias. This is because schools are not endowed equally in terms of resources and student entry behavior.

Noel Byrd5 months ago

From time to time I take a glimpse at those US news high school rankings to know how good our high schools are. The school that my son attends is very small, and that’s why it isn’t included in most rankings. I think that those rankings are very useful, because they give us a general idea about the success of the national school system. It’s good to hear that the national graduation rate has increased. I also like to read the latest education news to know more about the field of education.  

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