Thursday, March 13, 2008

Newsweek's Ranking of Top Public Schools

The Bay Area has 9 10 schools in the top 300 "The Top Public High Schools in the Country":

Magnet school Lowell High in SF topped the list at 57, and Monta Vista in Cupertino came in second (85). The rest of your schools: Mission San Jose in Fremont (140), Saratoga (180), Burlingame High School (196), Mountain View High School (213), Andrew P. Hill in San Jose (228), Mills High in Millbrae (234), Menlo-Atherton (252), and Berkeley High (284).

This ranking is perfect by any means -- the rankings are based solely on the percentage of students who take AP or IB tests.

The rankers also carefully left out the "public elite" schools like Stuyvesant in New York from the calculation, on the theory that those schools are just too good to be included with the others. There's one Bay Area school on that list, the public charter school Pacific Collegiate in Santa Cruz.

Further adding to the Bay Area drama around the rankings, the Palo Alto school district simply refused to participate in the survey at all, saying that there was already too much emphasis on test scores at the expense of actual learning. Last year, Palo Alto's Gunn was ranked 79 (and Palo Alto High at 361).