Sunday, July 1, 2007

They Must Be Doing Something Right in Bellevue

A few weeks back Newsweek published their annual list of the best high school in America, using a rubric developed by omnipresent education authority Jay Mathews. Here are the Washington state schools that made the list, with ranking and city:

11) The International School, Bellevue
33) Bellevue High School, Bellevue
50) Newport High School, Bellevue
61) Interlake High, Bellevue
107) Sammamish High, Bellevue
109) International Community School, Kirkland
374) Garfield High, Seattle
415) Central Kitsap High, Silverdale
615) Bainbridge High, Bainbridge
752) Blaine HS, Blaine
870) Olympia HS, Olympia
900) Pasco HS, Pasco
912) Sehome HS, Bellingham
969) Inglemoor HS, Kenmore
1041) Kamiak HS, Mukilteo
1106) Issaquah HS, Issaquah
1107) Lewis and Clark HS, Spokane
1122) Kamiakin HS, Kennewick
1138) Emerald Ridge HS, Puyallup
1194) Mountain View HS, Vancouver
1235) Redmond HS, Redmond
1261) Mount Spokane HS, Mead (Spokane)

It seems pretty apparent that the rubric Mathews uses is skewed towards larger schools--I think Blaine is the smallest one on this list--but all the same, it paints a nice picture of Washington.

Especially Bellevue.


Nuss said...

It's not that complicated: "Public schools are ranked according to a ratio devised by Jay Mathews: the number of Advanced Placement, Intl. Baccalaureate and/or Cambridge tests taken by all students at a school in 2006 divided by the number of graduating seniors."

So, take a look at the schools on that list, and ask yourself what they all have in common, besides being big? Almost all of them are in affluent areas.

I taught at Emerald Ridge -- try saying "We're number 1138!" five times fast -- and it is a school in an area where the kids simply can afford to take all those AP tests. This came after a major push by administration two years ago to get more kids into AP. The expectation at ER is that if you take an AP class, you take the test.

They must be doing something right in Bellevue? Their students' parents must be making a lot of money ...

TeacherRefPoet said...

To say that the percentage of AP tests given is the sole measure that makes a high school "good" is a slap in the face to so many people...special ed teachers, coaches, electives teachers...that it gets my dander up every time Mathews' list comes out under that title.

"Most rigorous"? I'll buy it. "Best?" Give me a damn break. It's journalistic malpractice to run this under that headline, and I can't believe Newsweek continues to do it.