Challenging Index

Every year Newsweek anoints America’s 100-best high schools using the Challenge Index, a measure devised by WaPo’s Jay Mathews. Problem is, as a new Education Sector “Evidence Suggests Otherwise” analysis shows, many of the schools on the list are not among what presumably is the top less than one percent of all American high schools. The Challenge Index measures AP and IB test taking in relation to the number of graduating seniors. It’s one measure of one thing that’s important but a flawed way to pick the 100 best high schools in the nation and consequently unfair to other good public high schools and it’s misleading for readers. The paper includes a response from Mathews.

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