Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Finding the better high school

Jay Mathews
Washington Post

On the second page of the Post's Metro section, and on this Web site, you see the results of the 12th annual Washington Post survey of high school student participation in college-level tests, what I call the Challenge Index.

The ranked list of public schools -- both the Washington area version in the Post and the national version in Newsweek each June -- gets lots of attention, but the outrage and acclaim usually swirls around the issue of whether ranking schools is good for you. With much support from Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate teachers around the country, I think it is. But how can you use it?

I invented the list to show that some schools in good neighborhoods don’t deserve their great reputations, and some schools in poor neighborhoods don’t deserve their terrible ones. Opening up AP and IB courses to everyone who wants to work hard -- the philosophy of the teachers who inspired me to do this -- is a relatively new idea. Ten years ago, most schools in the United States did not let students take these courses unless they had strong grade point averages or teachers’ recommendations.

Many still have those rules, or at least don’t encourage students to challenge themselves as much as they could. The list helps you find the ones that have shed those old, bad habits.

Read more HERE

No comments: