The US News and World Report came out with their 2013 top high school rankings today. They do this every year and every year we see the same thing: when you can cherry-pick your students your school rankings skyrocket.
In public education we are not all cut from the same bolt of cloth. The grand majority of the top schools, listed here and for an additional 196 pages, are academies, specialty schools and magnet schools. For the most part students who want to attend these schools have to apply for a position, and be accepted after the school examines their academic records.
Or score well on an entrance exam.
But these schools are rated on the same scale as schools which admit all who live within their attendance zone. Schools with no waiting lists and no entrance exams.
Someday I’d like to see an honest rating system. One where schools of like kind are rated together and separately rated from magnet schools.
And someday I’d like to see a rating system that also lists the school’s level of funding. Because I can guarantee you what that will reveal is already known to all: you get what you pay for.