Top U.S. High Schools
Newsweek ranks the Top 1500 U.S. high schools by a rather odd formula “the number of Advanced Placement, Intl. Baccalaureate and/or Cambridge tests taken by all students at a school in 2008 divided by the number of graduating seniors.” Aside from taking of tests — and not, say, scores on said tests — is the sole criteria strikes me as more than a tad strange. Betsy Newmark and Dan Brown agree, with the latter especially agitated on the matter. Jay Matthews, who devised the measure, defends it.
Another thing strikes me as odd from a quick look at the rankings:
It’s dominated by schools in Red states. Dallas holds down the top two spots, followed by a school in the Birmingham suburbs. Only two schools in traditional Blue states make the top 10 — at numbers 8 and 10.
Do Red states have more magnet schools, which siphon off the best students? Are they more likely to push taking these particular tests? Or is it just an anomaly of some sort?