17 August 2011

Selective High Schools Don't Matter

A new study of the impact of attending a selective high school in New York City on outcomes, overall and for many different subsets of students, suggest that they have almost no impact, except on borderline students, for whom it is a plus. If anything, attending one might be a slight minus for the average student.

This is a fit to the general notion that IQ more than educational environment drives academic performance except in cases of particularly negative environmental exposures which might be alleviated for marginal students in these cases.


Michael Malak said...

Yes, as the article says, the resulting lower class rankings, despite even high GPAs from prestigious high schools, result in denied admissions. This is short-sighted and narrow-minded on the part of college admissions, but that's the reality.

Regarding "marginally higher" Math SAT scores, at least for the case of Thomas Jefferson School for Science & Technology in Fairfax County, Virginia, the *entrance* requirements are close to the 800 maximum anyway, so there's not much headroom for improvement. TJ math electives go through the equivalent of the third year of college, and that just wouldn't show up on an SAT score.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

More analysis and a link to the underlying paper here.