Prof. Felton deconstructs their school ratings, which are just about as boneheaded as anything we’ve heard today:
Newsweek has once again issued its list of America’s Best High Schools. They’re using the same goofy formula as before: the number of students from a school who show up for AP or IB exams, divided by the number who graduate. Just showing up for an exam raises your school’s rating; graduating lowers your school’s rating.
Seriously. Read that bold part again. (Emphasis added.)
As before, my hypothetical Monkey High is still the best high school in the universe. Monkey High has a strict admissions policy, allowing only monkeys to enroll. The monkeys are required to attend AP and IB exams; but they learn nothing and thus fail to graduate. Monkey High has an infinite rating on Newsweek’s scale.
What’s worse, they actually EXCLUDE some obviously very good schools because their students score too highly on the SAT:
Also as before, Newsweek excludes selective schools whose students have high SAT scores. Several such schools appear on a special list, with the mind-bending caption “Newsweek excluded these high performers from the list of America’s Best High Schools because so many of their students score well above the average on the SAT and ACT.” Some of these schools were relegated to the same list last year — and still, they’re not even trying to lower their SAT scores!