Two Metro schools near top of Newsweek’s ‘America’s Best’ list

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 11:00am
Staff reports

Once again, Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School and Martin Luther King Academic Magnet School rank among the top of Newsweek’s list of “America’s Best High Schools.”

In the new 2010 rankings, released this week, Hume-Fogg earned the 41st ranking, a slight drop from the 29th position it received a year ago. The magazine ranked Martin Luther King 54th overall, a drop from the 30th ranking it received in 2009.

Hillsboro High School, the only other Metro school that made the list of more than 1,600 schools, is ranked 822nd.

Fourteen Tennessee schools earned a spot on the rankings, with five Williamson County schools making the list.

Newsweek compiles its list by taking the total number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Cambridge tests given at a school each year and dividing it by the number of seniors graduating in May or June.

Newsweek has been issuing its list of “America’s Best High Schools” since 1998.

 

17 Comments on this post:

By: house_of_pain on 6/15/10 at 9:40

Hume-Fogg is an absolute sh*t hole. It looks like there hasn't been any maintenance personnel working there for decades. Metro needs to clean that school up.

By: shinestx on 6/15/10 at 10:41

These lists are usually just political "bones" thrown by the liberal establishment in the media to the poor slugs who "have to attend" a public school. It's a safe bet that Jon Meacham and his ilk at the floundering Newsweek do not send their children to public schools. Notice that these schools are always the "multicultural utopias" the "progressive" left are always trying to thrust on Americans.

House_of_pain, you called this one out... H-F is a so-so school. It manages to get a handful of "elite" little liberal kids who excel in some sort of social science and get admitted to the woefully liberal Ivies... and then you have the rest of the bunch who are really unprepared for basic college curricula. The methodology is flawed. These tests can be gamed to "pump up" the numbers. If you took the number of grads who go directly to college from, say Hillsboro (at 822!) and compare it with H-F, there'd be no comparison.

I can't wait until Newsweek is no more! Then the New York Slimes!

By: gdiafante on 6/15/10 at 11:06

Someone give Shine a tissue, please. Thanks.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/15/10 at 11:34

more like hip boots, g.

By: dogmrb on 6/15/10 at 11:48

Rather than just emoting, try reading on the subject:

The Death and Life of the Great American School System by Diane Ravitch and her earlier book, Left Back--A Century of Battles Over School Reform.

By: localboy on 6/15/10 at 11:51

The Hillsboro website indicates that their rank was 677. In either case, Go Burros!

By: MamaG on 6/15/10 at 2:33

shine you are a complete idiot. The rankings are based on the number of AP programs (or classes) in place at each school. If you had been at HFA's graduation, you would also realize not many (less than 10) were attending Ivy League schools. In fact, I can only remember 2 going to Harvard. Most of the kids there are going to either UT-Knox or UT-Chatt. Neither of which are Ivy league or anywhere near that. HFA has the best teachers in the country. (The Microeconomics teacher was named best in the WORLD!) These students worked hard as hell to get ahead and if your brats at Hillsboro or wherever they go/went didn't make it, don't blame the Magnet schools. Blame yourself for not having a smarter kid.

House, the building itself is in bad need of repairs, you're right about that. It does have a certain charm that the kids grew to like. But Maplewood needed a new gym for future NBA and NFL thugs. Were you there when the bathroom fixtures were torn out of the walls by a visiting school that used the HFA building for some event? That was real mature. (No reflection on you, house. I don't mean to imply it was you or anything like that!)

By: jvh2b on 6/16/10 at 6:55

Those of you bashing HFA wouldn't be able to find your hind end with both hand tied behind your back.

Speaking from personal experience, HFA is an amazing school. Compare HFA's graduate actually going to a college vs any other Metro school. They are at 98-99%, which speaks volumes. And every one of their graduates is prepared for it too. In fact...HFA was harder than college for me.

I agree that the ranking system is a bit off, and doesn't do well for larger schools...but it doesn't take way from the fact that HFA has been and remains an excellent school.

They renovated HFA about 10 years ago, so I doubt it looks like THAT much of a dump...but considering they are working with a building over 100 years old...get a grip people. And yes, Ms. Robinson is an amazing Microecon teacher.

By: truth-be-told on 6/16/10 at 7:44

I am a proud graduate of HFA, and I cannot speak highly enough of their program. Anyone who calls Hume Fogg a "so-so school" or one with a "handful of elite little liberal kids" obviously does not have any first-hand knowledge of the school. (I am far from elite or liberal.) There are several things that set HFA apart, not the least of which is the fact that it is an academic magnet school with a lottery system. As such, the students don't have to be there - they choose to be there rather than their zoned school. I am a licensed attorney, and I can honestly say that my senior year at HFA was more academically rigorous than anything else I have ever encountered, including undergrad, law school, and even the bar exam. And though it certainly needs work, the heart and soul of the school are its faculty and students, not the warped floors. It just goes to show that you can sink millions of dollars into facilities, but if you do not have a dedicated faculty and students who want to succeed, it's all for naught. I was lucky enough to have Mrs. Robinson for several classes, and she is by far the most dedicated teacher I've ever encountered.

By: SirKnight on 6/16/10 at 7:49

house and shinestx, you guys HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.

I'm a parent of two kids who are attending magnet schools here in Nashville. We've been lucky that they even got in, because despite excellent grades in middle school, one is NOT guaranteed admission to a magnet HS unless his number called in the lottery in January of each year. Some great students NEVER get in -- my youngest is one of them.

She is attending our local zoned high school. I am a middle class Nashvillian and hardcore conservative. I graduated from a local private school, but I will tell you right now, my older two kids have recieved as good, if not better, an education despite their building's run-down exterior. MLK magnet HS (originally Pearl HS) on 17th and Jefferson also looks like crap from the outside, but the school inside is a wonderful and exciting place to learn. They also consistently place 99% or more of their kids in college scholarships and grants.

A great school is not just made up of bricks and mortar!

I just wish ALL of Metro high schools were magnet high schools. It actually blows my mind that we can only have these for a select few schools. Why is that!??

By: localboy on 6/16/10 at 8:39

Good thought that all Metro schools should be magnet schools - but would similar outcomes result? It seems that the magnet school concept works, in part, because students must apply/be picked to attend - it would seem to be key that the student has the drive and desire to be there - if all schools were made magnets, then that becomes core curriculum - not every student desires to be what we might wish them to be. If you make each school a specialty school, then the logistics of student placement and transportation that you see with the current magnet program becomes magnified. Not to mention - what's the additional cost and are we willing to pay it? Great concept, but I can see how a system would struggle to implement it.

By: house_of_pain on 6/16/10 at 8:50

SirKnight, I was inside Hogwarts...er, Hume-Fogg, recently.
I know exactly what I'm talking about, Mr. Smug.

By: Pegleg on 6/16/10 at 9:33

I am excited for all of the schools named. Arguing which is best is like two mules fighting over a turnip....who cares. If you want to try to send your kids to the magnet, then you have an opportunity to do that. If not, send them to their zoned school and get involved.

We should be propping our schools up and not tearing them down. Sure, many can use improvement so get involved. The character of your child is not dependent on a building but rather good parenting and teachers who care.

It won't matter where your child goes to school if they have the hateful attitudes of some of you on this board. They will surely fail at life.

By: Walter Sobchak on 6/16/10 at 11:53

ShineSTX is just another blowhard that politicizes EVERYTHING without even a shred of knowledge or objectivity. He even politicizes children in his post. It must be miserable being you, with all the scarey liberals and their little "liberal children" out to get you. Geez what a facist mini-Hitler. I guess I'll just chalk another uneducated post up to stupidity, ignorance, racism and narrow-mindedness.

By: nvestnbna on 6/17/10 at 6:31

By: Pegleg on 6/16/10 at 10:33
I am excited for all of the schools named. Arguing which is best is like two mules fighting over a turnip....who cares. If you want to try to send your kids to the magnet, then you have an opportunity to do that. If not, send them to their zoned school and get involved.We should be propping our schools up and not tearing them down. Sure, many can use improvement so get involved. The character of your child is not dependent on a building but rather good parenting and teachers who care. It won't matter where your child goes to school if they have the hateful attitudes of some of you on this board. They will surely fail at life.

Best post of the day.

By: TNReader on 6/17/10 at 8:57

My comment does not related to the quality of the schools, but the flaw in the ranking system. The magnet schools restrict who can come to the school, taking only the brightest students. As a result, the ratio of those students taking AP courses to the total student body is obviously going to be higher than at the public schools who take in all students in the area. Magnet schools SHOULD be at the top of this list. Comparing magnet schools to other public schools in this manner is not a fair comparison.

By: SirKnight on 6/17/10 at 9:05

Who's arguing about which school is best?? Answer: no one. We were debating that the quality of the education and the building in which magnet school's are housed are two different things.

TNReader, just so you know, not ALL of the best students in Nashville public schools attend magnet schools. But you are right that magnet schools should be ranked higher due their AP course requirements. Maybe there is a survey of non-magnet schools out there? I know Metro has a ranking system based on a number of different factors.