High school rankings up for audit

Earlier today, Education Week reported that last week’s U.S. News rankings, which placed five Fairfield County high schools in the state’s top 10, is going to be audited in light of questions about the rankings of several schools.

There has been a good amount of discussion about the merits of the study, including a Las Vegas Sun report, which questioned the validity of a Las Vegas school being ranked in the top 15 in the nation. The Sun pointed out several errors in the report:

The U.S. News rankings showed that the Henderson school had 477 students and 111 teachers, making its student-teacher ratio 4-to-1. The school also had a 100 percent passing rate on the Advanced Placement exam, according to the rankings.

Green Valley actually has 2,850 students, a student-teacher ratio closer to 24-to-1 and a 64 percent AP passing rate, Horn said. He added that he believed the data for several other Las Vegas high schools were incorrect in the U.S. News rankings.

Furthermore, U.S. News’ state profile of Nevada had several incorrect data points.

U.S. News erroneously reported that there are only 5,864 teachers and 123,697 students in the entire state. The Clark County School District, which is one of 17 districts in the state, has more than three times the number of teachers and more than double the number of students reported by U.S. News.

But Las Vegas wasn’t the only community that found errors in reports relating to its schools; two California districts also publicly questioned their place in the rankings on account of faulty data, according to Ed Week. The National Center for Education Statistics will review the data for the almost 5,000 schools examined in the rankings.

Maggie Gordon