Best Rhode Island Public High Schools
New (Citadel?) media site GoLocalProv has compiled a ranking of the Rhode Island Public High Schools. The top 10 comprise some of the usual suspects and some that may surprise:
1) East Greenwich
2) Block Island
5) South Kingstown
7) Exeter-West Greenwich
10) Mt. Hope
HOW WE DETERMINED VALUE: Our rankings were computed by a statistical method created at Babson College and utilized by Boston Magazine in its annual rankings of schools. We gathered data on area schools by consulting school officials and Web sites, as well as the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. With this information, we calculated mean scores for each data category and then ranked schools based on their distance from the averages.
For schools that did not provide figures, the average was used as a placeholder when computing the rankings.
Public Schools Category Weight Breakdown
* Student/Teacher Ratio 15%
* Per Pupil Spending 15%
* NECAP-English 10%
* NECAP-Math 10%
* NECAP-Science 10%
* SAT-Verbal 10%
* SAT-Math 10%
* SAT-Writing 10%
* Graduation Rate 10%
One quibble I have is with their weighting of Per Pupil Spending at 15%: at some point going too far above the state average isn’t necessarily a good thing, is it? That could also apply–if less so–to the student/teacher ratio. For example, Narragansett came in third overall, but with the exception of Reading SAT (5th), it is no better than 9th in the other academic categories. But it is fifth in per pupil spending ($17,587) and second in student/teacher ratio (7.5/1), which, thanks to the positive weighting that fewer students, more teachers and more cost GoLocalProv has assigned, put it in the top 3. Is that cost effective or an adequate return on investment?
On the other hand, East Greenwich was middle-of-the-pack in both the student/teacher ratio (a little better than average) and per pupil spending (a little below average) categories, but in the top three in each of the academic categories. Finally, Coventry was the average RI High School–average scores, average student/teacher ratio–though they spend a couple grand less/student than average, which could be viewed as getting more than you paid for, I suppose.