US News Ranks the High Schools. See How Yours Fared

Abington School District
Lets think this through

The US News and World Report high school rankings just issued its report card for the nation’s and for Pennsylvania’s high schools. Here’s how our public high schools fared against 673 schools in the Keystone state rankings:

Abington High School: #47

Jenkintown Middle & High School: #48

Cheltenham High School: #110

Number one on the list is Julia R. Masterman Secondary School in Philadelphia. Good luck determining who came in last.

If you have an issue with how US News determines the rankings, you are in good company.

These rankings in general provide a rather flawed yardstick to determining “best” and “worst,” since they heavily rely upon test scores and published curriculum standards, neither of which take into account the actual educational experience of the high school. In the author’s own words:

…high schools whose students make the most progress are the ones that should be deemed the best and imitated, not the ones that use selectivity to get the best outcomes.

Speaking from a personal perspective, I’ve had family members who worked as teachers in an inner-city high school. What they would tell you is that the kids with involved parents who advocated for them got the resources they needed. The districts with the better overall results likely have more involved parents overall.

The rankings provided by US News and by others provide much more than mere bragging rights. They have a profound affect on property values, rightly or wrongly.

Incidentally, US News doesn’t seem to readily make past year’s rankings available, so there’s no way to determine the trend. I’m pretty sure both Abington and Jenkintown ranked in the lower 40s in the middle part of this decade.

What do you think of these rankings?