May 14, 2013
has released its newest ranking of the top performing public high schools in the country. The rankings are compiled by the news publication annually to help students and parents discover the best high school choices in their states. Rankings are determined by a precise set of criteria that looks at student performance and college readiness. A special look is taken at how well a high school serves its least-advantaged students in these areas.
The Method behind the Research
To assess thousands of schools throughout the United States, U.S. News teams up with the American Institutes for Research. This DC-based organization is considered a foremost authority on behavioral and social sciences research across the globe. AIR is responsible for the new criteria utilized by U.S. News this year, which were based on the idea that top schools should effectively serve all the students in their population. This explains the specific examination of student performance by disadvantaged students at each school.
Researchers perused data from more than 21,000 high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia. States had to provide adequate data and 12-grade enrollment to be included in the rankings. Nebraska did not submit sufficient data on the state’s high schools to be considered. Rankings were completed on a statewide and national basis, to provide the best framework for parents and students who use the rankings to choose the best local high school for their needs.
Criteria Used in Rankings
According to a report at U.S. News
, the first...
February 10, 2013
The numbers are in that indicate how well the education system in the United States is serving its students. Education Week has released its 17th
annual ratings for the quality of education in each of the 50 states, awarding letter grades to schools
similar to those found on student report cards. Unfortunately, the report card indicated there is still plenty of work to do for most states across the country, with an average national grade of a C+ overall. However, there were a number of bright spots across the survey as well, particularly in the top rated states where education appears to be thriving in many ways.
The survey, titled, “Quality Counts,” uses six key metrics to grade the quality of education in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The metrics are as follows:
· K-12 Achievement
· Assessment and Accountability
· Transitions and Alignment
· Students’ Chances for Long-Term Success
· The Teaching Profession
Within these six metrics are more than 100 indicators that include such factors as graduation rates
, education funding
and achievement gaps
, according to a report on the survey at the Washington Post
. Data was collected from sources like the U.S. Department of Education and the Census Bureau to compile these recent rankings.
Interesting Note on Findings
When discussions on education quality arise, many of them tend to center on school funding. The general school of thought is that the more money that is pumped into public schools, the higher the education quality...read more
December 29, 2012
were recently released for the 1,750 schools in the state of Oklahoma, under the new evaluation system implemented by the state’s Department of Education. While most schools were not entirely surprised with their marks, some districts complained that the new system did not provide a fair assessment of some of their schools. Others are busy celebrating the high marks they received, attributing their outstanding academic performance to a wide variety of factors.
New Grading System Overview
The Oklahoma legislature created the new method of grading schools to create “accountability and transparency among schools,” according to the Oklahoma Daily
. Lawmakers also wanted to make the grading system easy for parents to understand, so they can make educated decisions about the best schools for their children. It was also designed to help schools identify specific weaknesses so that targeted solutions for strengthening and improving schools could be implemented.
“These report cards are user-friendly, straightforward and fair,” Janet Barresi, State Superintendent of Public Instruction for Oklahoma, told the Oklahoma Daily. “It is high time for parents to have access to this information as they seek to make the best educational choices for their children. Parents have a basic right to this information, and they should be able to find it easily.”
The new grading system employs a formula that takes a number of factors into consideration when determining overall school performance. Oklahoma Gazette
explains that the new grading system looks at five core academic areas, including math, reading, writing, science and...
December 09, 2012
High school is an important time of life that sets the stage for the rest of a child’s academic and professional future. Simply sending your son or daughter to the high school down the street may work in some instances, but definitely not in all. The key to choosing the best high school for your child lies first in understanding your child’s specific needs, but it also requires you to learn about the various options available. To help you in this seemingly daunting task, we have 10 tips to help you choose the best fit in high schools for your child.
Define Your Child’s Needs
Some children work better in a structured learning environment, while others thrive in classrooms that allow students to guide the process
. Look at a school’s curriculum and disciplinary policies to determine whether the environment will be a good fit for your child. Education.com
suggests specifically looking at factors like whether the school stresses group projects over individual assignments, homework policies and discipline practices
. Find out if the school is doing everything it can to help students learn, regardless of students’ backgrounds, disabilities
and learning styles
Determine Your Child’s Learning Style
Identify your child’s learning style
, whether your child is a visual or auditory learner, and whether he works better in groups or individually. Does your child have any learning disabilities
the school will need to address? If so, does the school offer specific programs for those types of disabilities? If possible,...
November 03, 2012
As No Child Left Behind waivers
are doled out to states nationwide, the next question becomes what will take the place of the federal mandate to assure parents schools are up to par in meeting the academic needs of students. Each state is left to its own devices in this regard, creating a sort of scorecards – or report card, if you will – to assess the performance of each individual school in a district. But while report cards may work reasonably well for individual students, grading an entire school
district by a single rating system is proving much more challenging.
Conflicts within the Grading System
New grading systems within school districts offer parents a more accurate glimpse into the individual performance of schools much better than national test scores alone. In some states, these grades incorporate a number of factors, which might include standardized test scores
, attendance and graduation rates
, among others. Parents say the grades are important for helping them choose the best schools for their children. Schools, on the other hand, are concerned that this information may not be an accurate reflection of an individual school’s performance.
Another concern is that new grading systems had to be implemented much too quickly to provide a real snapshot into the performance of an individual school. The fast deadlines, combined with more rigorous standards, may reflect an inaccurate assessment of the number of underperforming schools
in any district. Some states are also in the process of creating...
Recent Public School Articles:
May 14, 2013
As graduation draws near, high school graduates are turning their sights to the next phase of their academic career. We provide some tips to help them choose the best college for now and for the future.
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