Disappointment at the Top

 for 100 Best High Schools


Have you ever been in a waiting room with reading materials older than the Moses himself?  I had the this experience the other day, picked up 2007 issue of U.S. News and World report that ranked “Americas Best Schools”, and it was an eye-opener. One part of this feature article listed the top 100 high schools in the nation. The criterion was to select schools that best prepare students for college. Living in Nassau County, with the highest school taxes and compensation costs in the nation, I expected that Long Island would blow it out of the park on this list. But that was clearly not the case.


Analyzing the top 25 of these high schools revealed the following:  None were from Long Island. The #1 School on the list was from Alexandria, Virginia with comparatively few administrators and school districts- at least by Long Island standards.  California, which is criticized by educators for its school tax cap- claiming that it ruins education, had five of these twenty-five schools represented on the short list!  The #7 spot was held by New Jersey, also a tax cap state. Three states that have no state income tax, modest property taxes and comparatively lower salary expense (Florida, Texas, and Washington) were represented by eleven of the top twenty-five schools! The New York City School System, that enjoys relatively less salary and administrative bloat than its Long Island neighbor, was represented by three of the top twenty-five high schools. The NYC schools were Stuyvesant High School, Bronx High School of Science, and Staten Island Tech High. If one were look toward the middle and upper quadrants on the full list of one hundred, we do get Great Neck (#43) and Jericho (#58), Cold Spring Harbor (#71), and Manhasset (#78).  However, the capped tax states, no income tax states, low tax states, and NYC continued to hog the lion’s share of the whole list of “America’s Best High Schools”.