Newsweek, websites, and local blogs- everyone seems to have a hand in rating the nation’s schools. And that little thing known as the No Child Left Behind Act does its part too. Parents browse school rankings for K-12 gen interest on the Internet with increasing frequency. Well, it’s no surprise. National and state standards are being tightened, but no one in the country actually seems happy with the state of education. So I have to ask, just how useful are the school rankings for K-12 gen interest? The long and the short of it is this. Read them. Take them with a grain of salt. Ask questions.
School Rankings for K-12 Gen Interest-Read them
I feel the same way about school rankings for K-12 general interest as I about standardized tests. They do have a place in education, but most people don’t understand what that place is. Look at school rankings for K-12 gen interest for a school you’re familiar with and you won’t get many big shocks. That’s because a lot of the information is purely factual: what sports does the school offer, where is it ranked in the state, what is the teacher student ratio…This is definitely useful information to have. Web sites and community guides that publish this information are awesome because they’ve done the legwork for you, and you can get some basic information fast.
It can also be helpful to get a feel for the neighborhood because low income or percent of children who receive reduced lunches is usually a category on school rankings for K-12 general interest. And the affluence or lack of it in a neighbor hood does impact a school’s climate and effectiveness. But here’s what worries me. Too many people will stop their search immediately if a school isn’t an “A” school, or if the low income percentages are too high. But there are other factors to consider that may or may not show up on school rankings for K-12 general interest.
School Rankings for K-12 Gen Interest-Grain of Salt
Magnet schools are a great example of why I caution you to take school rankings for K-12 gen interest with a grain of salt. Many magnet schools have innovative and progressive focuses, but these schools are usually set in a poor area of town. That’s because magnet schools were designed to draw affluent and educated families into the inner city. What if a school offers a Language immersion program that will graduate fifth graders fluent in two languages? Chances are that that school ranking for K-12 general interest is going to be low in a lot of areas. Test scores specifically are low when minority and low income children are involved. But this could still be a safe school with a unique learning experience that will prepare your child for life as a world citizen.
School Rankings for K-12 Gen Interest- Ask Questions
The only was you’ll ever know what a school is truly like is to visit it with an open mind. Maybe that inner city school just needs a few more involved parents like you to send its school rankings for K-12 gen interest through the roof.
Patricia Hawke is a staff writer for Schools K-12, providing free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. For more information please visit School Rankings