November 30, 2007

More pure as the driven up the wall chart rankings

In commenting on the new U.S. News & World Report "best high schools" list  and comparing it with Newsweek's (aka Jay Mathews's), Alexander Russo says,

The Newsweek list is more pure, focusing on the rigorous and more uniform Advanced Placement courses and tests.

Never mind that AP courses evidently aren't as uniform as one might suppose. More pure? Didn't Secretary Spellings say something about 99.99% pure? Reminds me of the More Pure 80s collection (does anyone still listen to Tears for Fears or Culture Club?). Kudos and kumquats:

  • Kudos to U.S. News for trying to identify schools who did better than average for their students (overall and for historically disadvantaged groups).
  • Kudos to the newsmagazine staff for trying to figure out a better way to look at AP participation/achievement.
  • Kumquats to U.S. News for scaling the AP results to the 12th grade class rather than the enrollment; their measure still rewards schools with lower graduation rates.
  • One kumquat seed to Robert Morse for using the word methodology to describe the formula's method. (It's a minor gripe, but he's lucky that there's no 70s-hits collection with a title like Methodoxology. Hmm: that sounds like the title of a Thelonius Monk composition.)

I like kumquats, unless they're being thrown at me.

Listen to this article
Posted in Education policy on November 30, 2007 7:40 PM |