SHS drops in magazine’s public school ranking

September 19, 2012 — by Arman Vaziri and Sanj Nalwa
BestHighSchoolsinMichiganU

Saratoga High saw its ranking fall in the latest survey by the magazine.

The school is widely reputed as a high-performing school, and a large portion of the student body is extremely academically oriented. It’s a place where it’s cool to be smart. However, as of late, the school’s ranking as a public school has been dropping, at least according to U.S. News and World Report.
The school is widely reputed as a high-performing school, and a large portion of the student body is extremely academically oriented. It’s a place where it’s cool to be smart.
However, as of late, the school’s ranking as a public school has been dropping, at least according to U.S. News and World Report.
    According to the magazine, the school was ranked at No. 72 out of over 22,000 public high schools in 2008. Currently, the school places at 157 out of the same pool. 
The ranking was based on a variety of criteria. First, schools were ranked based on how their students fared on statewide standardized tests. If their students did well on the state tests, the representing schools went on to be ranked based on their “college readiness.” In other words, they were judged by their Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate test scores.
Even though the school’s U.S. News rank is dropping, the school’s API scores have increased from 928 in 2008 to 933 in 2011.
    Assistant principal Kerry Mohnike said that she does not think the school should fret over the magazine’s rankings.
”I think it’s interesting, but I don’t think it’s that important if you prepare the students well,” Mohnike said. “Usually it’s a fluctuation between classes.”
    Many students are unaware about where the school stands in comparison to other schools in the nation.
    Senior Greg Harriman said the school’s ranking in no way configures into his perception of it.
“Even if the school’s rank was dropping, I would still go to this school because rankings don’t define a school; there are other things that define a school such as the people and the teachers,” Harriman said.
Junior Janey Heyman agreed.
    "I know it's not a good thing to go down in rank,” Heyman said, “but I wouldn't consider the school to be any worse from when I was a freshman. Saratoga is still a very good school as far as I'm concerned.”
    Still, there are still some students who feel the ranking has a lot of weight to it.
“It might mean we’re all starting to slack off so we should try harder to do well,” said sophomore Michael Lee.
Nonetheless, the administration is not worried whatsoever.
“If a magazine or a website was looking at strictly quantifiable measures, our test scores have gone up,” said Brian Safine. “The SAT, the ACT, the STAR test have gone up. Our API has gone up, our rate of four-year college attendance has gone up. So why would we drop in our ranking is completely unclear to me.”
Principal Paul Robinson thinks that students should just try to learn to the best of their ability, not to try to raise the school’s ranking.
“We just want our students to learn to the best of their ability and if it shows up that we’re high in ranking, great,” Robinson said. “If it doesn’t show up for some reason, then it’s okay. It’s something for us to take notice of, but I don’t think it’s anything for us to lose sleep over.”
 
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