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U.S. News & World Report, working with the American Institute for Research, is out with its list of the top high schools in the U.S. San Marcos High School comes in 11th in the country, and the Preuss School at the University of California San Diego comes in 44th among the top 100. The schools were rated on college-readiness preparation, how least-advantaged students perform, and whether students perform better than the statistically expected average for the state. The magazine and institute studied 21,776 U.S. high schools for the 2009–2010 school year.

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Don Bauder May 8, 2012 @ 7:23 p.m.

Brand left San Marcos in 2006 and went right into the fire: Sweetwater. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh May 8, 2012 @ 9:48 p.m.

Actually Brand, after a brief tenure as supe for the San Marcos schools, went into a holding pattern in some vague non-profit affiliated with CSU, San Marcos for some years, and recently headed back to Sweetwater. But these USN&WR rankings, just like those in Newsweek and a host of other publications, come up with some really strange ratings. At one point in the past two or three years, humble Orange Glen HS in Escondido got ranked very high, even as its own boosters were admitting that it was very challenged. It doesn't hurt to look at those ratings, but nobody should take one like this very seriously, especially if it fails to repeat next year (a very likely outcome), or shows up in only one publication. In recent years the San Marcos USD has managed some wonderful press-agentry and shows up in such spots as Wikipedia with descriptions of how it is a superior system. It simply is no such thing, being just another one of the run-of-the-mill districts in suburban San Diego.

This research institute gets some stats of dubious accuracy and even more dubious applicability and delivers a rating. Also be aware that if a local school comes out in the ratings as woefully bad, that never gets noticed or reported. Folks, take this one with a big (one pound at least) grain of salt, and judge for yourself before stampeding to the SMUSD with your kids in tow.

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Don Bauder May 9, 2012 @ 6:23 a.m.

I agree that rankings such as those published by USN&WR -- of both colleges and high schools -- should be taken with a grain of salt. That doesn't mean they don't make interesting news items, though. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh May 14, 2012 @ 12:12 p.m.

There's now an online report out on USNews on msnbc.com about a high school principal in Henderson, NV telling the world that his school's ranking of #13 in that same piece is just plain wrong. He pulled up the stats they used and found them deeply flawed. What do you think that the chances are that the stats for ALL of the top ranked schools are similarly flawed? High, I'd guess. More like certainty. But will SMHS own up similarly? LOL

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Don Bauder May 14, 2012 @ 7:30 p.m.

Yes, flawed stats are commonly used in these magazine compilations. I remember one time that some magazine listed Coronado as one of the great cities for young swingers. The mag must have counted all the military people, and included their ages in the compilation, and figured the place must rock. It doesn't. Best, Don Bauder

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