"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Friday, August 14, 2015

How U.S. News Calculated the 2015 Best High Schools Rankings

This was a topic of discussion at the last School Board meeting and it is timely, as we also talked about marketing and partnering with the Schools to develop a plan and strategy. It is a valid argument to say that the rankings are somewhat arbitrary and don't really reflect reality. Families do however look at these rankings when making life choices to relocate. Why not strive to be top ranked and get national recognition?

The following is pulled directly from the US News and World Report:

Step 1: The first step determined whether each school's students were performing better than statistically expected for students in their 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 percentages of economically disadvantaged students – who tend to score lower – enrolled at the schools to identify schools performing much better than statistical expectations.
U.S. News made one important methodology change to Step 1 in the 2015 rankings compared with previous editions of the rankings. We lowered the performance threshold necessary for a school to pass Step 1. To qualify for the rankings published from 2012 to 2014, schools had to meet a performance threshold of one-half of one standard deviation above the average. For this year's rankings, schools only had to reach one-third of one standard deviation above the average. 
This slightly lower threshold was applied to a school's performance compared with what would be statistically expected for that school, based on its percentage of economically disadvantaged students. The change meant that a larger percentage of high schools passed Step 1 in 2015 than in last year's rankings, and it resulted in hundreds more high schools winning medals. In the 2015 rankings, approximately one-third of eligible high schools earned a medal, compared with around one-fourth of those eligible in 2014.
Even with the lower threshold, schools still had to perform better than average to win a medal. One key reason for implementing this change is to reduce year-to-year volatility in the rankings, so fewer high-performing schools drop out of the rankings over small changes in their performance on state assessments.
• Step 2: For schools passing this first step, the second step assessed whether their disadvantaged students – black, Hispanic and low-income – were outperforming disadvantaged 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 their state averages.
• Step 3: Schools that made it through the first two steps became eligible to be judged nationally on the final step – college-readiness performance – using Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate test data as the benchmarks for success, depending on which program was largest at the school

1 comment:

Joseph Cormier said...

I probably should not post after having dinner, et al, at the Bob House, but ... what the hell, it's Friday night!


"Frequently Asked Questions: 2015 Best High Schools Rankings
Here are answers to common questions about the U.S. News Best High Schools rankings."

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/articles/rankings-faq

High school rankings ... college prep...

Is college a necessity for everyone? OOOppps...I should have said universities, not colleges any more ... = more tuition!

Who's keeping an eye on the "educators"?

Prepare students for what ... be boomerang kids, because their college majors have no demand in the market place! Look at lawyer school, even.

It's not anti-higher education to point out, that there are lucrative jobs that don't require BS or a BS in advanced basket-weaving. Vocational training may be more appropriate for certain individuals and locales, especially for those with entrepreneurial spirit. They might become employers of some the college educated.

Marketing ... MoBo ... for more kids ... more business ... ?
Hire some marketing folks, after figuring out what MoBo wants to "Sell". Have more folks move to MoBo ... not enough vacationers and retirees!

Justifying keeping the schools "more full," doesn't fly. Moving to MoBo because of the schools may have been a reason, some moved here. Doesn't mean it was a good reason, in light of other competitive schools; especially sounds prejudiced and biased, coming from the school crowd!

Have a nice weekend, I've already started ... and keep thinking about SB2!

PS: The SB2 petition being kicked around, DOES NOT, include the schools. There is no school SB2 being mentioned at this time, just the Town (different than past efforts).