Ratings for Private Schools?

An article came out in the New York Sun
today ranking the private schools in NYC.  As Mayor Bloomberg has
assigned a rating to the public and charter schools, the Sun took it
upon themselves to rank the private schools too. 

This is how the Sun came up with the rankings.
  The New York Sun
has assigned its own letter grades, using a mathematical formula that
takes into account the school’s net assets and the number of students
it sends to Harvard and adjusts for the size of the student body

In essence, if you send kids to Harvard and have deep pockets, you rank.  If not, your score is abysmal.  BTW, not all the private schools in the city are on the rankings.  The Sun is basically stating that wealth and getting into college are the only measures worth ranking.  Anything lower than that is not going to create successful, happy adults?  Columbia Grammar gets a D because they aren’t getting the kids into Harvard? 

I only hope that this survey is where we will begin to see a turning point in the insanity of the race to the "best" college.  This generation has created a world for children where their resumes are the most important thing to focus on.  What happened to enjoying being a kid.  Hanging with your pals, doing the best you can do, not making sure you have at least 10 extra curricular activities on your chart.  The mantra is, if you don’t do what you are supposed to do, you won’t get into the best schools.  How about getting into the school of your choice which is best fitted to you as an individual, including High School which will help you grow and learn to become the person they want to be, not who the world expects them to be.   

Ranking schools based on their ability to get a kid into Harvard and how much money they can raise from their alumnae leaves me cold, empty and sad that this is what we have come to.   Think about how the kids will feel reading this article.  Shame on the Sun.  Completely irresponsible but hopefully there will be a silver lining in the path they have gone down.  We will all take a hard look, including the colleges ( as they have begun to  ) of how do we as a community create good hard working giving back grounded adults.  Not by ranking their ability to get into Harvard. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. Fardad

    So you got mad because your kids’ school is not in the list?

    Don’t you think it’s a bit arrogant of you talking about kids individuality and kids being kids while in fact YOU yourself send your kids to the private school?

    Get off the high horse will ya?

  2. J.L. Rivers

    I like the fact that this post in all in bold letter….

  3. Laura

    I don’t like the bold font.

  4. jonathan

    Rankings like the Sun’s make interesting press, but don’t mean much. Harvard matriculants and size of endowment were able to be measured easily. Other indicators of how good a school is for your child — like style of learning, course and homework load, values and community, even how good the cafeteria food is — are really hard to objectively measure. Nevertheless, kids at Harvard and endowment, while they evoke a negative reaction for being random and biased, might be correlated to other things which could be important to parents and students. For example, endowment is probably correlated with financial aid, which in turn might drive school diversity. Maybe.

    I like reading the Sun for their City news and arts. But I don’t expect them (or any newspaper or periodical) to be able to characterize and rank NYC private schools (of which our family is a generally satisfied consumer) in a way which captures all the dimensions and differences. When our kids read that article (as I am sure they will), they will laugh at how absurd and irrelevant it is. They will instinctively know to correct the figures for the kids who got into Harvard because their last name matches the library or science center’s name. They know which schools are more rigorous than others, which schools have kids who measure wealth by the size of private jets, which produce insanely competitive kids who burn out, and which can turn out interesting, motivated, well educated kids. It’s not the kids I am worried about, it’s the parents.