Education suffers because of poor coverage by the media. For years, the media have been interested only in sensationalism and bad news.
Many newspapers do not have regular education writers, so when they do publish a story about schools, they don’t have a deep understanding of education issues.
I just read a story in the Buffalo News that said that a local high school succeeds because it gives tougher tests than other high schools.
Buffalo is a low-performing district with many poor students.
The high school in the story, called City Honors, is a college-prep magnet high school with selective admissions. It enrolls students from grades 5-12. This year, more than 1,100 students competed for 150 openings in the school.
All students are required to take AP and IB courses. Many succeed. City Honors does very well in the rankings of Newsweek and U.S. News, which are based on how many students take those courses.
If you read this story carefully, you understand that the school succeeds because it attracts and selects the very highest-achieving students in the city of Buffalo. You would recognize that very capable students do very well when they take the AP and IB courses.
If you read the story quickly, especially the headline, you would conclude that the school succeeds because the students take hard tests. You would conclude that if all schools required students to take tougher tests, they would get the same great results as City Honors. You would be wrong.