Thursday, July 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Op-Ed: What School Rankings Can't Tell You About School Quality

Every Bergen County school administrator we spoke with cringes at every school ranking that is presented to the public. There are many publications that provide school rankings. None of them are really about education. The ranking never focuses on the big educational picture.

Op-Ed: What School Rankings Can't Tell You About School Quality

Every Bergen County school administrator we spoke with cringes at every school ranking that is presented to the public. There are many publications that provide school rankings. None of them are really about education. The ranking never focuses on the big educational picture.

School rankings have become an important measurement used by the public. Real estate firms use them. Community members use them to evaluate their investment in property taxes. School rankings sell magazines. People depend on them. They are very likely here to stay.

Teachers and school leaders are committed to the whole child. Beyond academic proficiency there are factors and needs unique to every student that cannot be ranked. In the context of the individual needs of children, ranking schools is meaningless. Education is about creative and critical thinking. It is often about individual solutions to individual educational needs and situations. This can’t be fit into a one-size-fits-all evaluation. The public should not use school rankings data as a definitive measure for comparison of quality between schools.

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