Change school ranking criteria

Editing Staff

When determining the rankings for high schools, a lot of unnecessary emphasis is placed on standardized testing, primarily the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP).
Credible non-profit organizations, that provide insight about the quality of education at California schools, give a perspective on which schools are considered “good” or “bad” based on scores.
Academic rankings are mainly focused on the CAASPP and California Science Test (CAST), which are administered to K-12 students to determine students’ academic progress in basic subjects such as English, math and science.
But in addition to the CAASPP, nonprofits should primarily base school rankings on the GPA performance of students to determine high school rankings. This is because students are more inclined to try in their existing classes rather than a standardized test like the CAASPP because it has no bearing on college admissions.
For example, when the non-profit determines the rating for Cal High, it primarily looks at test scores in English and math from the CAASPP and science from the CAST. But this does not provide a full in-depth review of the overall academic performance of Cal students since there is no consideration of GPAs.
Students simply don’t consider the CAASPP and CAST as importance as their own performance in the classes they are taking in school.
The simple reason for this is that students know their performance on these state-wide administered tests will have no bearing on their college applications, unlike their GPA which carries huge weight.
By overlooking the GPA performances of students, school rankings do not provide an accurate and thorough reflection of the school and how students are performing academically.
Additionally, factors such as performance in AP and honors classes should also be considered when factoring in GPA performance, not just participation in those classes as many non-profits focus on.
Since the school would already have the data on the student population’s grades, a simple average GPA in both weighted and unweighted classes would significantly help non-profits in determining high school rankings, and how the students are performing.