A Niche of Our Own

In a few days, the Niche list of Best Private High Schools will come out. Our competitors are on it, and St. Luke’s is not. Why? Below is an explanation from the Managing Editor of Niche:

“Our K12 school lists come from the U.S. Department of Education’s NCES database, and St. Luke’s School was not previously included in the data. The way our system is currently structured, we can’t add schools that don’t come from this source.”

After much back and forthing with Niche—we’ve been added to their database and will be ranked on next year’s list.

I’m not waiting with bated breath. I appreciate good data and dig into research before making big decisions. But this is just shoddy work. The National Association of Independent Schools forcefully discredited the Niche ranking as Bad Data, calling it the “least competent ranking system” with “horrific” indicators.

That said, some people still place value on this and other  “best of” lists and will be disappointed. To those folks I recommend a quick read of When Knowledge is the Prize, by College Counseling Director Sonia Bell…

“When I was growing up, we defined ourselves as students. Our job was to learn. Now, many students define themselves as college applicants. Once they get to college, they define themselves as applicants to internships, graduate schools or high-paying companies…Our job at St. Luke’s is to recapture an idea that has fallen into extinction: Knowledge is the prize.”

Thank you Ms. Bell for reminding us all what matters most.

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