A dropout factory or one of the nation's best?
Last month, we told you in The Sun and on this blog about the high schools labeled "dropout factories" by Johns Hopkins University and the Associated Press. One of them was Baltimore's Edmondson-Westside High School.
Now, U.S. News and World Report has issued a list of what it calls the nation's "best high schools." And guess what? Edmondson-Westside is on that one, too.
The newsmagazine named 1,600 high schools either gold, silver or bronze medalists based on whether they "exceed statistical expectations" on tests given their level of student poverty, their test scores for disadvantaged student groups, and their students' participation in, and performance on, A.P. exams. Edmondson-Westside won a bronze medal. Another school in that category also raised my eyebrows: Laurence G. Paquin Middle/High, the city's school for pregnant girls and teenage moms. Don't get me wrong: Paquin is providing some wonderful services for a vulnerable population. But many of its students aren't even there long enough to take the annual standardized tests, and those who are tested have posted extremely low scores.
This, from the source that brings us the annual college rankings over which the nation obsesses.
Not that the "dropout factory" rankings are necessarily any more credible. One school on that list, which looked at the number of ninth graders who graduated four years later, was Ft. Meade High. Apparently the people doing the rankings didn't take into account the fact that the school serves a lot of military families who move frequently.
Still wondering which Maryland high schools U.S. News calls the nation's best? Keep reading.
Thomas S. Wootton High (Montgomery County)
Walt Whitman High (Montgomery County)
Winston Churchill High (Montgomery County)
Baltimore City College
Baltimore Polytechnic Institute
Centennial High (Howard County)
Eastern Technical High (Baltimore County)
Eleanor Roosevelt High (Prince George's County)
Hereford High (Baltimore County)
North Hagerstown High (Washington County)
River Hill High (Howard County)
Smithsburg Senior High (Washington County)
Williamsport High (Washington County)
Clear Spring High (Washington County
Crisfield High (Somerset County)
Digital Harbor High (Baltimore City)
Edmondson-Westside High (Baltimore City)
Hancock Middle/Senior High (Washington County)
Laurence G. Paquin Middle/High (Baltimore City)
Northern Garrett High (Garrett County)
Paul Laurence Dunbar High (Baltimore City)
Snow Hill High (Worcester County)
Southern Garrett High (Garrett County)
South Hagerstown Senior High (Washington County)
Washington High (Somerset County)
Western High (Baltimore City)