Now this is new. Late last week I came across a listserv announcement that such and such middle school is a “‘Top 10 School’ for the state of Maryland in the 2009 Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Talent Search.” The message went on to say:
It means your academic program is producing a high number of high-achieving students. It also indicates that you look out for your students’ best interests by recommending other resources (like CTY) for them and their families to investigate.
Curious, I clicked on the CTY link, where I found several other MCPS schools on the Top Ten list, as well as many others on the generic “Top Maryland Schools” list. (Have they done it for any other states? How many test takers does it take to make the list?)
I have to say, those CTY folks are damn clever, tapping into the collective status consciousness/ranking nuttiness of MoCo. (“Participating at high levels in the annual CTY Talent Search reflects upon the school’s academic quality, student abilities, and teacher talent. It also reflects upon the school leadership that encourages students to seek out educational challenges beyond traditional school walls. It’s a mark of quality for which your school can be justly proud.”) We eat this stuff up. No doubt it will help draw attention to the Talent Search–while at the same time highlighting which schools have the most clued-in and academically engaged families. Whether the kudos should accrue to the school is open to question.
What would be even more helpful if CTY released some statistics about the score distributions in the county. For example how many MoCo kids made SET each year? Could we figure out how many CTY honorees are in county GT programs? Does it inform placement and instruction? Now that would be interesting.