Carmel High cracks top 1 percent nationally

U.S. News and World Report posts state and national rating for high schools annually, and this year Carmel High School placed 52nd in California and 286th in the nation, while placing 195th in the nation according to The Washington Post.

Edmund Gross, CUSD’s director of curriculum and instruction, says Carmel has moved up 46 spots since last year in the U.S. News and World Report ranking and is in the top one percent of all schools ranked, receiving a gold medal.

“This year, CHS moved up 24 spots on the [Washington Post’s] national list to 195,” Gross explains. “Given that the Post collected data on over 22,000 public and private high schools, CHS is in the top one percent.”

Teaming up with the American Institutes of Research, U.S. News and World Report follows a three-step ranking system to evaluate 19,411 public schools in the nation based on their performances on the state assessments and how prepared for college the students are.

“I guess [the ranking system] is as fair as any ranking system,” counselor Jeff Schatz notes. “By their very nature of ranking you, they’re automatically excluding factors that are of value but are not always in the methodology.”

Some factors not taken into account in the ranking systems include teacher relations, elective programs, learning environment and extracurricular activities, according to Gross.

Instead, what is taken into account are state test scores, performance of the school’s least-advantaged students—which, according to AIR, include black, Hispanic and low income families—and AP participation.

Despite CHS students having a 48 percent pass rate on the AP test, according to U.S. News and World Report, CHS is ranked highly nationally with 86 percent of students at CHS taking the AP test.

“It is important to remember that such a ranking does not fully determine the quality of the educational experience at any high school,” Gross says. “So I do believe the recognition is accurate, yet incomplete.”

-Caitlin Chappell