Wednesday, May 09, 2012

US News's Laughable School Ranking Entrenches the Educational Status Quo

US News ranks the Best High Schools With Alot of Poor Kids and calls it Best High Schools in America.

If you read it and you wonder why some crappy schools are on the list and many fantastic schools are not, you can probably guess why, this being US News.  They statistically adjusted data to juice schools with alot of poor kids.  In fact, it seems that they mostly eliminated predominately white, suburban schools through statistical legerdemain.

Here is the methodolgy:
• Step 1: The first step determined whether each school's students were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in the state. We started by looking at reading and math results for all students on each state's high school proficiency tests. We then factored in the percentage of economically disadvantaged students (who tend to score lower) enrolled at the school to identify the schools that were performing better than statistical expectations.
• Step 2: For those schools that made it past this first step, the second step determined whether the school's least-advantaged students (black, Hispanic, and low-income) were performing better than average for similar students in the state. We compared each school's math and reading proficiency rates for disadvantaged students with the statewide results for these student groups and then selected schools that were performing better than this state average.
So, if you have a school of entirely middle class white kids, this methodology will toss that school out of the analysis.  This is how you wind up with silly results like Yonkers Middle High School as #24 and Elizabeth (NJ) High School as the sixth best in NJ and 134th nationally.  Laughable, but this is what liberals do. That is why the US is routinely shown to have a crappy healthcare system by outfits like the World Health Organization because they overweight "access" and "affordability" in order to demote more free-market based health systems.  But this is journalistic malpractice, people rely on these ratings to make important decisions about where to live.  Furthermore it tells mediocre schools that they can rest on their laurels, that no changes are needed.  Too bad, I doubt students and parents at, say, Yonkers Middle High School feel that they actually have the 24th best school in the country, but their teachers and administrators will act as if they do and resist any critique of the status quo.


Blogger THEMICK7 said...

These are the problems in a nut shell

8:31 PM  

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