The Disadvantages Of High School Rankings
In a knowledge based global economy where your educational qualifications will invariably decide your social and economic status in life, it’s not surprising that such importance is attached to categorizing schools based on high school rankings. This is the reason why parents and students scan websites and pour through literature, searching for that dream educational institution that’s placed on the top rung of the ladder for high school rankings. In fact, better education is one of the reasons people choose to move every year, looking to build a better educational foundation for their kids. You might think that while looking for schools it’s best to base your selection on a predetermined listing for high school rankings. You might not always be right though. Here’s why.
Are High School Rankings the Only Factor?
Advocates of high school rankings argue that in a situation where the public education system in the country is in a sorry state of affairs at best, parents need tools to base their decisions on. High school rankings provide parents with that tool so they can make an informed decision. While this is true to a large extent, the fact is that these high school rankings don’t always take all factors into consideration while deciding a school’s place in the scheme of things.
For instance, schools might sometimes place lower on the high school rankings largely because of their location and student demographics. Unfortunately, schools with large minority student populations have a tougher time making it to the elite top positions in high school rankings. This is also true for schools that have large or majority African American populations. Education authorities will argue that the test scores in these schools are so dismal because the students aren’t motivated enough to succeed. Well, you wouldn’t be motivated either if you had parents who worked two jobs to support your family.
The uncomfortable truth is that in lower income communities, parents might not always have the time or resources to expend on monitoring their children’s education or motivating them. Managing to pay the bills and stay afloat takes enough energy. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that schools with larger levels of such student populations will rank lower. The quality of education or the level of effort put in by teachers (who work diligently to goad their students to rise beyond any perceived limitations) is beyond reproach. One of the major reasons why such schools constantly place low on high school rankings is because of the low motivation levels of students.
And what about the success stories of disadvantaged children from such low ranked schools who go on to enjoy successful careers? They alone are enough proof that high school rankings need not always be taken as an open and shut categorization.