How Are Number One Schools Decided?


El Schader

When parents are looking to buy a new house in a new neighbourhood, school districts will advertise their ranking with pride to entice buyers. They will parade statements like “Ranked #1 on,” but how is this determined, and how much does that really tell buyers?  

How are rankings decided?

What buyers aren’t told is that these rankings are mostly based on state test scores. The Harvard Graduate School of Education finds that, “test scores often indicate much more about demography than about schools.” Therefore families will often not gain the full picture based on these ratings. 

“Schools with more affluent student bodies tend to produce high test scores. Perceived as ‘good,’ they become the objects of desire for well-resourced and quality-conscious parents. Conversely, schools with more diverse student bodies are dismissed as bad.”

So, what decides a good school? Some people would say the true indicator is college acceptance rates or the overall mental health of students. Cambridge School in Greater Noida asserts that a fair indicator should be defined with these categories:

  • A quality plan and policy
  •  High expectations and standards for every student
  • Reliable support staff and well-organized service providers
  • A safe learning environment for students
  • Supportive administrators and quality teachers
  •  Clean and well-organized school premises that are conducive to learning
  •  Frequent monitoring of the teaching and learning process
  •  High levels of communication and collaboration

I would say the most important aspect of a good school is all about how they prepare the students to enter the world. Does the school cultivate well-rounded human beings? Are they independent – do they know how to function without teachers and parents? I believe these are the factors that makes a good school.