Top Schools Rankings: The Math
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
How'd we do it?
Carefully. We gathered hundreds of pieces data related to school quality: reading, math, and writing test scores (both the New England Common Assessment Program, or NECAP, scores, as well as SATs), student-teacher ratios, spending per pupil, and graduation rates for 52 public, charter, and technical schools in the state.
What followed was precise statistical analysis, guided by a methodology used in similar rankings created elsewhere in New England. After collecting the relevant data, we calculated the average values in each of the categories and the degree to which each school either exceeded or failed to reach those averages.
Those deviations from the average were standardized so that different categories could be compared meaningfully, and then we used a weighting formula to give certain categories more importance than others. We wanted, for example, a school’s student-teacher ratio to matter more in our ranking than its Math SAT scores – though test scores all together account for 60% of the weighting.
Each school’s weighted numbers were added into a single evaluative number, which, when ordered from highest to lowest, gave us our ranking.
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