Moving Away From Public School Rankings

Our society is​ made up of​ near-constant comparisons. We want to​ know who’s doing better in​ the polls. We want to​ know which car gets the best gas mileage. We want to​ know what team is​ superior in​ football, basketball, soccer, baseball and​ so on. We want to​ know which town is​ the most family-friendly, which one has the highest average income, and​ we want to​ know what kind of​ ice cream has the lowest amount of​ carbs without losing the taste. We even compare our bodies to​ those on​ TV and​ in​ the movies. Are we thin​ enough? is​ our hair long enough? Do we drive the fastest car; have the biggest house, the nicest lawn? Even newborns are compared to​ others at​ birth to​ determine how good their color is! and​ of​ course, we want to​ know how great the school is​ that our kids are going to. After all, we rank everything else; why not have public school rankings as​ well?

Some schools systems, a​ handful, at​ best, are moving away from public school rankings or​ eliminating them altogether. The reasoning behind this​ is​ simple. These districts believe, and​ can prove, that the schools with their boundaries are ALL excellent. Refusing to​ put public school rankings into use in​ their districts, these courageous districts are stepping out of​ the box and​ simply requiring ALL their schools and​ students to​ be the best. No need for​ public school rankings. to​ some, this​ may seem too “namby-pamby”. After all, isn’t being the best part of​ the “American Way”? Not using public school rankings to​ determine which school is​ the best and​ which is​ the worst – eliminating comparisons altogether is​ maverick, indeed.

School systems that have forgone public school rankings have rigorous standards for​ all their schools. They have certain​ expectations and​ goals for​ their schools, and​ make sure they are met, year after year, without fail, without regard for​ public school rankings.

Teachers: Talented teachers who are committed to​ their professions – and​ the students – are a​ must. Districts are striving for​ a​ majority of​ their teachers to​ hold certification​ with the National Boards for​ Professional Teaching Standards.

Curriculum: Designed to​ meet and​ exceed state as​ well as​ federal guidelines, districts that decline to​ measure achievement using public school rankings demand​ excellent programs of​ study for​ their students.

Facilities: Because it’s hard to​ learn in​ a​ school infested with mold, out-of-date technology, or​ buildings in​ disrepair, these schools that refuse to​ put together public school rankings are committed to​ making sure that all school buildings are state-of-the-art.

Students: Students are required to​ meet and​ exceed rigorous academic expectations. in​ these districts that refuse to​ participate in​ public school rankings, individual students as​ well as​ groups of​ students are winning recognition, honors and​ awards in​ all areas – academic, extracurricular, and​ athletic – at​ multiple levels.

While many school systems still rely on​ public school rankings to​ determine the successes and​ failures of​ their schools, a​ brave few know that if​ they expect excellence from all, they are likely to​ get it​ – without public school rankings.

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