US News Will Never Let Your Spirits Down

Per this, Sam Freedman invokes Rick James (not Rick Hess, b*tch) to comment in today’s NYT about the US News & World Reports High School Rankings. He makes 3 points.

1. The factors the ranking used appear sensible and supple — overall student achievement, academic performance of the most disadvantaged students, college readiness as reckoned by results on Advanced Placement tests.

2. But there is “a more fundamental, disturbing issue. The ranking is a centerpiece of what we might call the Anxiety Industry.”

3. And NCLB angle: “Can you blame U.S. News for filling the vacuum left by the absence of any meaningful federal standard for comparing schools,” where states under NCLB often choose the lowest possible standard.

One of my favorites, at #38, is YES College Prep in Houston. It’s a bit less known because KIPP’s local presence is significant, but YES is also a growing CMO, with 5 campuses. And if US News ever does a Top 100 list of the nation’s college counselors, I’d put YES’s Donald Kamentz in the Greg Oden slot.

-Guestblogger Mike Goldstein

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