How much stock should people place on the new list of the nation's best public high schools that was released this week by U.S. News & World Report.
As noted in today's article, the rankings saw some schools that do well on other lists such as Raleigh Charter High, Enloe High and East Chapel Hill High not getting ranked. Less academically heralded schools such as Garner High and Southern Wake Academy were honored on this new list.
The difference from the lists done by Newsweek and The Washington Post seems to be that U.S. News requires schools to do well with their low-income and minority students.
According to the methodology, U.S. News first looked to see whether a school was exceeding overall academic expectations on state reading and math exams. They made adjustments for a school's percentage of low-income students.
They then looked to see whether the school's black, Hispanic and low-income students exceeded state averages.
If schools met the first two steps, U.S. News then assessed their college readiness by looking at data from Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams.
School schools have questioned how many North Carolina schools are listed as N/A in their English I and Algebra I exams that were used for the rankings.
Robert Morse, director of data research for U.S. News, said the N/A listings didn’t hurt a school’s ranking.
Morse said they determined that for some schools the Algebra I and English I exams weren't sufficient. He said they wound up using other state test data to determine the rankings in those cases. But they're not publishing online what other data they used.
Overall, the Wake County school system had three schools do well enough to achieve rankings. That's out of 73 North Carolina schools and 4,877 schools nationally to get rankings.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system had nine schools receive rankings.
There were none ranked in Durham, Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Johnston or Orange counties.