Ten Massachusetts High Schools in Newsweek’s Top 500

This year ten schools from across the Commonwealth have been rated a spot in Newsweek’s top 500 best high schools: Boston Latin (63), Hopkinton (95); Belmont (110); Mystic Valley Regional Charter, Malden (116); Westwood (134); Manchester/Essex Regional (138); Longmeadow (241); Sturgis Charter, Hyannis (301); Tahanto Regional, Boylston (449); Sandwich (484) and University Park Campus, Worcester (495).

There are a number of lists of top high schools and many ways to arrive at these rankings. Newsweek has been ranking high schools as “best” for many years now but this year the magazine has employed a different approach.

NEWSWEEK, which has been ranking the top public high schools in America for more than a decade, revamped its methodology this year in hopes of highlighting solutions. We enlisted a panel of experts—Wendy Kopp of Teach For America, Tom Vander Ark of Open Education Solutions (formerly executive director for education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), and Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford professor of education and founder of the School Redesign Network—to develop a yardstick that fully reflects a school’s success turning out college-ready (and life-ready) students. To this end, each school’s score is comprised of six components: graduation rate (25%), college matriculation rate (25%), AP tests taken per graduate (25%), average SAT/ACT scores (10%), average AP/IB/AICE scores (10%), and AP courses offered (5%).

Read the full article and list here at newsweek.com.

3 Responses to Ten Massachusetts High Schools in Newsweek’s Top 500

  1. Marie says:

    Mea culpa – I don’t know how I missed another Massachusetts high school ranked on this list. (Maybe the very small print!). Longmeadow High School is ranked #241. This is the high school that my two youngest granddaughters will attend. That makes eleven MA high schools in th Top 500 of the Best.

  2. David Joyce says:

    75% of the rating has nothing to do with academic success. Graduation, going to your first day of college and taking an A/P course but not scoring 3 or above on the test tells you What exactly. SAT and A/P score represent 15% of the rating laughable.

  3. Robert says:

    There is an easy thought experiment to show the problem with these “expert” rankings. Let’s say that you could send your child to any high school in the Commonwealth, with full inclusion in all that high school has to offer, thereby conferring on your child all the advantages to be gained from attendance at said high school. Would you really choose half of these schools over Weston, Lexington, or Dover-Sherborn? It is disturbing when a national ranking like this falls afield of our locally-generated rankings (based not only on what kids do, but how they do what they do, and where they end up). If they ever want to get serious about a ranking like this, they have to have a college matriculation to graduation rate as the primary index of the quality of a high school education. Good high schools prepare kids to complete college, not just matriculate. Good high schools prepare kids to get fours or fives on APs, not just take them. (Their ratio weightings are backwards, as David above notes.) Other factors that are more meaningful, but harder to measure, would include incarceration rates, job-readiness, age of initial child bearing (which is heavily influenced by education), smoking rates (ditto), median income (which could be tied to high school education through regression analyses), etc. Those are the social outcomes that really matter. Until those sorts of studies are done, these things are little more than Chamber of Commerce and real estate advertising tools.