U.S. News and World Report publishes an annual list of the best high schools based on a metric involving mostly AP tests. Two months ago I noticed something strange when examining the data for a KIPP high school in New York that was ranked 29th in the country and 4th in the state on this list. Though there is just one KIPP high school in New York, there were four KIPP high schools in the rankings. These schools were actually middle schools. One of those schools had 100% of their students passing an AP while the other three had 0%. The only logical explanation for this is that KIPP manipulated their rosters, assigning kids who passed APs to one ‘school’ and kids who didn’t to the other three ‘schools’ even though they were all just part of one high school.
I wrote a post about this and some people suggested I somehow report this to US News and World Report. I didn’t want to get into a wild goose chase about this. I didn’t think that US News and World Report really cared if their metric had been gamed or not.
So I was pleased to learn, the other day, that US News and World Report has this update on the main page now.
And on the page for the formerly 4th rated school in New York, KIPP Academy it has this update.
When the original US News ranking came out, the now disqualified KIPP Academy ranking was celebrated in The New York Post :
Here in the city, KIPP Academy in The Bronx came in 10th among charters and 29th among all US high schools. Keep it up, KIPP!
Check out Number 29 on the list, New York City’s KIPP Academy Charter School (KIPP NYC College Prep High School), located in the Bronx. Its student body is 44 percent black and 54 percent Latino. Eighty-seven percent of them qualify for free lunches, and an additional 13 percent qualify for reduced-priced lunches. Yet, they are excelling, and U.S. News rates the school as the fourth-best public high school in New York state.
And in The National Review :
These new rankings buttress school reformers’ case that genuine improvement comes when families have options. Every magnet or charter does not rise to the level of BASIS schools in Arizona or KIPP Academy in New York City, but their outsized representation among the nation’s best suggests that their models work.
Surely these other publications are not going to print corrections now that the KIPP Academy school has been removed from the top schools list.
In my years of blogging and uncovering things like this, this is a nice tangible ‘victory.’ I’m pretty sure that if I had never discovered this discrepancy, this correction would have not happened. KIPP had done the same thing with this school for a few years and have surely been using it in fund raising materials and maybe even grants. In the scheme of things it is a pretty small victory but still worth feeling good about.