Newsweek magazine is out with the top 1,500 public high schools in the U.S. No Minnesota school is on the top 100. “It’s only based on advanced placement and international baccalaureate,” says MPR education reporter Tom Weber.
The note on methodology attached to the rankings is depressing:
We take the total number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Cambridge tests given at a school in May, and divide by the number of seniors graduating in May or June. All public schools that NEWSWEEK researchers Amy Novak and Dan Brillman and I found that achieved a ratio of at least 1.000, meaning they had as many tests in 2008 as they had graduates, are put on the list on the NEWSWEEK Web site, Newsweek.com.
NEWSWEEK published national lists based on this formula in 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. In The Washington Post, I have reported the Challenge Index ratings for every public school in the Washington area every year since 1998. I think 1.000 is a modest standard. A school can reach that level if only half of its students take one AP, IB or Cambridge test in their junior year and one in their senior year. But this year, less than 6 percent of the approximately 27,000 U.S. public high schools managed to reach that standard and be placed on the NEWSWEEK list.
Twenty-eight Minnesota schools made the list. Of the twenty-one Minnesota schools that were ranked previously, only 11 improved from their previous ranking:
Patrick Henry in Minneapolis
Irondale in New Brighton
Century in Rochester
St. Anthony Village in St. Anthony
St. Louis Park
South in Minneapolis
South St. Paul