Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dataclysm - what you don't know can hurt you - someday

"Throughout, we'll see that the Internet can be a vibrant, brutal, loving, forgiving, deceitful, sensual, angry place.  And of course it is: it's made of human beings."  Rudder

"Some 87% of Americans use the Internet, 87% of them have used Google." Rudder

"Today, an eighteen-year-old tacks a picture on his wall, and that wall will never come down." Rudder

Once it is out there, it stays out there...forever.  The power of the Internet and the use of years and years of information about all of us.

A must read book for anyone posting on a blog or Facebook or keeping pictures of the family or getting directions to Grandma's.

Southwest Providing 21st Century Education Opportunities

Construction completion date is fall of 2016.  The planning is finishing and papers are getting ready to go to bid.

Southwest High School is getting a remake to move into the 21st century.  A building designed to meet the needs of students planing to move into a successful adult life.  The new building is geared to meet the technology and academic needs of students.  College and Career ready is the goal for all students and each academic area is equipped to provide exciting educational experiences.

Construction is projected to begin in the spring of 2015.  Completion date is the beginning of school in the fall of 2016.

Southwest Black Box First Production - 39 Steps Oct. 7-10, Curtain at 7 pm

The 39 StepsOct. 7-10, 7 pm, the first student directed Black Box show of the school year.
 Directed by Ming Montgomery and Nathaniel Larson.
Tickets at the door, Adults $10, Students $5

Monday, September 29, 2014

Reading A Book Can Be Good For You

Science Has Great News for People Who Read Actual Books

The debate between paper books and e-readers has been vicious since the first Kindle came out in 2007. Most arguments have been about the sentimental versus the practical, between people who prefer how paper pages feel in their hands and people who argue for the practicality of e-readers. But now science has weighed in, and the studies are on the side of paper books.

Reading in print helps with comprehension.
A 2014 study found that readers of a short mystery story on a Kindle were significantly worse at remembering the order of events than those who read the same story in paperback. Lead researcher Anne Mangen of Norway's Stavanger University concluded that "the haptic and tactile feedback of a Kindle does not provide the same support for mental reconstruction of a story as a print pocket book does."

Our brains were not designed for reading, but have adapted and created new circuits to understand letters and texts. The brain reads by constructing a mental representation of the text based on the placement of the page in the book and the word on the page.

The tactile experience of a book aids this process, from the thickness of the pages in your hands as you progress through the story to the placement of a word on the page. Mangen hypothesizes that the difference for Kindle readers "might have something to do with the fact that the fixity of a text on paper, and this very gradual unfolding of paper as you progress through a story is some kind of sensory offload, supporting the visual sense of progress when you're reading."

While e-readers try to recreate the sensation of turning pages and pagination, the screen is limited to one ephemeral virtual page. Surveys about the use of e-readers suggest that this affects a reader's serendipity and sense of control. The inability to flip back to previous pages or control the text physically, either through making written notes or bending pages, limits one's sensory experience and thus reduces long-term memory of the text.
Source: John Keeble/Getty Images
Reading long sentences without links is a skill you need — but can lose if you don't practice.
Reading long, literary sentences sans links and distractions is actually a serious skill that you lose if you don't use it. Before the Internet, the brain read in a linear fashion, taking advantage of sensory details to remember where key information was in the book by layout.

As we increasingly read on screens, our reading habits have adapted to skim text rather than really absorb the meaning. A 2006 study found that people read on screens in an "F" pattern, reading the entire top line but then only scanning through the text along the left side of the page. This sort of nonlinear reading reduces comprehension and actually makes it more difficult to focus the next time you sit down with a longer piece of text.

Tufts University neuroscientist Maryanne Wolf worries that "the superficial way we read during the day is affecting us when we have to read with more in-depth processing." Individuals are increasingly finding it difficult to sit down and immerse themselves in a novel. As a result, some researchers and literature-lovers have started a "slow reading" movement, as a way to counteract their difficulty making it through a book.
Source: Kathy Willens/AP
Reading in a slow, focused, undistracted way is good for your brain.
Slow-reading advocates recommend at least 30 to 45 minutes of daily reading away from the distractions of modern technology. By doing so, the brain can reengage with linear reading. The benefits of making slow reading a regular habit are numerous, reducing stress and improving your ability to concentrate.

Regular reading also increases empathy, especially when reading a print book. One study discovered that individuals who read an upsetting short story on an iPad were less empathetic and experienced less transportation and immersion than those who read on paper.

Reading an old-fashioned novel is also linked to improving sleep. When many of us spend our days
in front of screens, it can be hard to signal to our body that it's time to sleep. By reading a paper book about an hour before bed, your brain enters a new zone, distinct from that enacted by reading on an e-reader.

Three-quarters of Americans 18 and older report reading at least one book in the past year, a number which has fallen, and e-books currently make up between 15 to 20% of all book sales. In this increasingly Twitter- and TV-centric world, it's the regular readers, the ones who take a break from technology to pick up a paper book, who have a serious advantage on the rest of us.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Parents and Homework

Advice for Parents on Homework

            “Homework has a branding problem,” says author Bruce Feiler in this New York Times article. “Or, to be a little less pointy-headed about it, everybody hates homework.” But this hasn’t always been so. “Parents have been having these battles since before electric lighting,” he says. In the 19th century, homework was popular because people viewed the brain as a muscle that needed to be strengthened by nightly exertion. At the beginning of the 20th century, there was a backlash against repetitive drills, and by the 1940s, homework was out of favor. Then Sputnik got people panicked about the U.S. falling behind the Soviets and lots of homework was part of the solution. There was another dip in the 1960s, and then A Nation at Risk caused yet another surge in the 1980s. Today we’re hearing from both sides: Chinese kids are doing six hours of homework before breakfast! No, play is more important than make-work and Google wants employees who are creative.

            In Feiler’s own household, the homework wars come down to squabbles over several questions, and he went looking for answers from experts:

            Do children need to work at their own desks or is the kitchen table okay? Eva Pomerantz, a specialist on parent involvement at the University of Illinois, likes the kitchen table because a parent is usually around, increasing the chance of connections, but is busy preparing meals, which makes it less likely they’ll do the homework themselves. But it depends on your house, she says: “If you have a crazy, noisy kitchen, that’s probably not the place for your kids to be doing homework unless they have amazing concentration.”

            Is it okay for children to do homework sprawled on their beds? “It’s not about the kid being on their bed while they do their homework,” says Erika Patall, a University of Texas expert on motivation and achievement. “It’s about the extent to which they’re really engaged and attentive to their work.” Young people vary in their preference for bright or dim lighting and sitting up or lying down. If the kid is falling asleep, looking out the window, or on the phone, then bed homework is a problem.

            How about listening to music or doing FaceTime with friends? Patall says the research on multitasking is pretty clear: “People tend to be very bad multitaskers, even people who say, ‘I’m a great multitasker.’” Doing other things extends the time homework takes and erodes the quality of work.

            Should parents go over homework to check for errors? “If you’re concerned that imperfect homework makes you look bad, that’s problematic,” says Pomerantz. But regularly looking over homework may help students put in more effort and catch their own mistakes.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Southwest Family Infomation

Good afternoon, this is Principal Bill Smith of Southwest High School.  The safety and well being of all our students are our first priority.


I’m calling to share that there was an incident between two of our students that occurred in the commons area at the end of the first lunch period. The police were notified to assist with the situation. The vast majority of students were cooperative and proceeded to class, continuing their school day.


Once the situation was settled, another student experienced a medical emergency and required an ambulance. We delayed the beginning of the second lunch by two minutes in order to respond to the situation.


I want you to be informed and assured that our students are in class and learning. We will continue to monitor the situation and we will maintain a safe and healthy learning environment for all our students.


Thank you.  If there are questions, please call me at 612-668-3036 or use my email.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Senior Addy Alms Earns COMPAS Art Award

Southwest Art Student Addy Alms was selected to receive the COMPAS prize for young artists in grades 10-12 throughout Minnesota.
Addy received a COMPAS rosette ribbon and will get a cash award for a sewed piece she did of three faces.  It was very unique.
Congratulations Addy!

Southwest Student Art on Display

Southwest Student Art is important and displayed throughout the building.  Some of the pieces are permanently mounted and are treasures for many years.

Some are display areas for specific themes or artist.  Pictured is the large display area in the commons.  The displays gradually changes throughout the year.

When you are in the building notice the art work.  These are the works of to be in the future famous artists.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Most Accomplished Scientists Are LIkely to be Craftspeople

Illustration by John Rombola

American Craft Magazine October/November 2014

Busy Hands, Busy Brains

Research shows that the most accomplished scientists are likely to be craftspeople.


 "high-achieving individuals were far more likely to have extensive art and craft skills than the average American is." Rex LaMore, researcher

"So if your interest is creating businesses in your local community, gaining new products and services, then this relationship of science, arts, and crafts seems to be important. Now, the research didn’t give us any new information about whether we should pursue a specific art or craft; we weren’t able to get that kind of fine detail. But it did suggest that the combination of science and art and craft does lead to that more inventive and creative person, the kind that – from an economic development perspective – communities are seeking to attract or create."

Please Welcome New Math Teacher

Southwest High School
Math Students and Parents:

With pleasure I introduce Annette Gorgoglione as our new math teacher.  Ms. Gorgoglione comes to us with excellent credentials and teaching experience by way of New Hampshire.

Mitch Galinson, the previous math teacher, accepted a position in a program at South High School.  It is a good opportunity for him and his future students.  We wish him well.

Please welcome Ms. Gorgoglione and as possible, please introduce yourself to her.  We are confident Ms. Gorgoglione will provide an outstanding math program and class for all students.

Bill Smith, Principal

Friday, September 19, 2014

And Then There Was A Dance

Calories Burned Dancing
Homecooming Dance 2014. Regardless of any set of words and phrases the conclusions, stories, tales of horror and frustration will continue.  Somewhere in the middle of the emotions, excuses, tall tales and excitement there are events and truths.

For the past two years the efforts to present a responsible and respectful event for students resulted in reduced ticket sales, alternate non-school events, expensive losses for Student Council and numerous explanations.  The bottom line was that fewer students attended dances.  That is not a good or bad statement,

Ticket sales were for two weeks at lunch.  A normal process.  There were several days of after school sales.  The first few days the sales were slow as is normal.  The usual for students is to wait and see who is coming, who will get asked, or what are the other options.   And then someone created a huge marketing move and decided that the world was attending and there would never be sufficient tickets or space.

History suggests that fewer than half of our students attend dances.  There are many reasons for that.  This appears to be true in our surrounding high schools as well.  Some schools restrict attendance to certain grades or some other criteria.  Large public spaces are expensive and the cost of tickets continued to rise.  Yes, we received those emails expressing concern about that as well.

The ticket price was greatly reduced and more reasonably priced smaller venue was selected.  And for whatever reason, the tickets became popular this past week and the run started.  It was not the stampede we have seen at the opening of a Target Center Concert.  There have not been reports of blood and broken bones.  As a result of our student leaders attempting to be responsible, we now have an outcry of pain and suffering.

I know of no perfect system for dealing with the whims and wishes of otherwise brilliant teenagers.   We do not hire Ticket Master to deal with tickets and resale.  We offer a reasonable fun opportunity, try to keep prices low, write down the ticket number and student ID and name and then go over rules and expectations.  Over the years we have wonderful parent volunteers who support and assist with dances and events.

I can assure you that we do not sit around and plot how to make life miserable for kids andfamilies.   We regret misunderstandings and misinformation.  This is all "extra" and is supposedto be a fun student activity.   For the vast majority of the students and families that is fulfilled.  For those students and families who have expressed numerous reasons for not having a ticket, we are sorry.  

Are there lessons to be learned?  The answer is always a yes.  We need to make sure it is extremely obvious from the first announcement of the dance that there are limits.  We need to make sure that the sales process is clear and known by students.  Students and families need to make decisions earlier in the process.  Students can't wait until the last minute to decide to do something.

I encourage any student or family member who has a great idea or is willing to volunteer to step forward.  We do not claim to be dance promoters and producers.  We do not control the venues or have endless pockets of money.  Our goal is to promote learning and a quality education.  We promote and support student leadership.  We and our students and our families are not perfect and make mistakes and continue to learn and try to improve.  This does not resolve every single issue raised in various emails. I am hopeful that those who are vocal volunteer to make the next dance a success in their eyes.  We welcome your support.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sept. 23 Voter Registration at Southwest

Voter Registration Drive

TO:     Bill Smith – Principal, Southwest High School

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. to Hold Voter Registration Drive

WHAT:                 Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will host a voter registration drive at local high schools throughout the Twin Cities.  Southwest High School has been selected to participate in this voter registration drive.
                                Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit organization established in 1913, whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world. Our goal is to provide an opportunity for eligible high school students to register to vote.  We are proud to promote civic engagement to help people register to vote and it is one way to further empower the people we serve. 
Please noteDelta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is a non-partisan organization
WHEN:                 Tuesday September 23, 2014 during the designated lunch hour.  Two to four volunteers will arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of the lunch period to set up. 
WHERE:               Designated area near the cafeteria.   We request a table with chairs be set up in an area designated by school administrator.

Students must meet the following criteria to be considered “eligible” to register:
·         Are a United States citizen.
·         Will be at least 18 years old on Election Day.
·         Have resided in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding Election Day.
·         Maintain residence at the address given on the registration form.
·         Are not under court-ordered guardianship in which the court order revokes your right to vote.
·         Have not been found by a court to be legally incompetent to vote.
·         Have any felony conviction record discharged, expired or completed your sentence.
Thank you for allowing Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. to provide this opportunity for students at Southwest High School. Should you have any questions, please contact: Irma Johnson at 612-237-9294.

Trenna Ross (770-313-3031)
Chapter President
Minneapolis-St. Paul Alumnae Chapter

Monday, September 15, 2014

Area C Parent and Community Meeting Sept. 17

Area C Parent and Community Meeting

Wednesday, September 17, 2014     6:00-8:00 p.m.

Field Community School 4645 4th Ave. South

Flyer in English, Spanish and Somali


The agenda includes MPS Strategic Plan: Acceleration 2020, Weighted Student Funding and Building Strong Partnerships with Area C Families and Community Members.  Follow the links below to learn more before you come to take part in these discussions.  Everyone is welcome at our meetings!


Acceleration 2020

Our roadmap to success is called Acceleration 2020. This plan moves our system in new directions, particularly by moving real power to each school. Everything about this plan accelerates student achievement. We are committed to the proposition that all children can learn more, achieve more and be more. Our plan is constructive, sensible, positive and ground breaking.


Our plan requires greater expectations of everyone: our parents and families, our MPS leaders and teachers, our students and graduates. Our success depends on the active engagement of everyone affected and interested in the present and future of MPS. 

With this strategic plan, we are taking action by accelerating a shift in funding, priorities and programs systemwide to improve outcomes for students and families. Changes include:

  • School autonomy
  • Student-based allocation system
  • New academic focus areas
  • 5-8-10 scorecard 

On the meeting agenda there will be a discussion and questions to learn more about change:  Student-based allocation system.

  • Budget Basics: link
  • Weighted Student Funding (Student Based Allocations) : (WSF) MPS aims to create a budgeting process that is equitable, transparent and predictable, while also differentiating funding to schools based on specific student needs and aligning funding with strategic priorities. link
  • Rationale for WSF: A large proportion of the funds in MPS are allocated to schools on a per-pupil basis. link
  • Implications for WSF: link
Frequently Asked Questions about WSF: link

African-American Parents Advisory Coiuncil Meeting Sept. 25 at Davis Center

September 25, 2014
African-American Parents Advisory Council
The Office of Black Male Student Achievement is a new department created specifically to address the needs of the largest demographic within Minneapolis Public School (MPS). Join Michael Walker, Director of Black Male Student Achievement, as he asks for community support and feedback on equitable approaches to tackle the challenges that exist for the school district’s black male students.

As MPS continues to work toward our vision, "Every child college and career ready," we are commited to openly share our progress. Acceleration 2020 will accelerate the acheivement that can transform MPS.
Location: Davis Center

1250 West Broadway

Minneapolis, MN 55411

Time: 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Childcare will be provided.


For more information, please contact Andria Daniel at andria.danielcurry@mpls.k12.mn.us or Call 612.290.9553.

September 25, 2014

Topic: Black Male Student Achievement Office & Acceleration 2020


African-American Parents Advisory Council

ffice of Student, Family & Community Engagement

osfce.mpls.k12.mn.us | 612.668.0198

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Southwest Class of 1965 Contact Information

Rose Scheidler/Schiltz
Email Address:  
What Year did you Graduate?:  

Do you have a Facebook or other Class webpage social media address?:  


Southwest College Application Workshops September 11 at 7:00 pm

Tonight the counselors and Achieve staff are hosting a senior parent information presentation: "Completing the Application".  This will begin at 7:00 p.m in the Southwest auditorium. 

September 25th 5-7:00 pm Community BBQ at MPS Culinary & Nutrition Services

MPS Culinary & Nutrition Services is pleased to announce that our third annual FREE Farm to School Community BBQ will be on Thursday, September 25th from 5:00 to 7:30pm!

 What could be more fun than tasty food, a Corn-Shucking Contest, live farm animals and hands-on activities for kids?  MPS Culinary & Nutrition Services is proud to announce that our third annual FREE Farm to School Community BBQ will be on Thursday, September 25th from 5:00 to 7:30pm!

The event will take place in the parking lot of our Culinary Center, located at 812 Plymouth Avenue North.  Students, families, staff and community members will have the chance to enjoy a locally-sourced meal, taste samples made by local chefs, learn about community organizations and meet some of the farmers who grow food for our school meals.

Learn more at http://bit.ly/F2SBBQ2014 and help spread the word using this large or small flyer!  If you’d like to volunteer at the event, please contact Callie at school.gardens@mpls.k12.mn.us.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Southwest Academic Honors - National Merit Scholarship Semi-finalists

Southwest High School is both pleased and proud to announce the academic accomplishments of our students.
  We have 11 seniors (c/o 2015) who have qualified to be named National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists for the 2014-2015 year.  This merit is recognized by the student performance on the National Pre-SAT (PSAT) exam taken last October.  Finalists will be announced in early 2015.  
The Semi-Finalists are: Seth Colbert-Pollack, Sebastian Coll, Nathaniel Larson, Casey Lee-Foss, Peter Lefebvre, Avery Loya, Russell Pekala, Yueqi Ren, Noah Rothman, Alice Schmitz, and Rebecca Tincher.  These students are in the academic top one-half of one percent of the seniors across the country.
Further recognition for excellent academic performance goes to Russell Pekala (grade 12) for being named National Advanced Placement Scholar (AP Scholar).  This distinction is characterized by scoring a 4 or higher on eight or more National AP Exams.  Southwest has 83 other students with various distinctions connected to the AP Scholar Program.
Please congratulate all of these students!

Two Lists - Southwest Ranks Well in Both - Great Academics and Great at Beating the Odds

Newsweek's High School Rankings for 2014: Two Lists Are Better Than One

For more than a decade, Newsweek has published an annual list of America’s Top High Schools, ranked primarily according to a ratio of AP/IB exams to the number of students graduating. This year we’re doing things a little differently.
With help from the research firm Westat, we present two separate rankings: an absolute list and a relative list that we’re calling “America’s Top High Schools for Low-Income Students.” The first list identifies top-performing schools based on a metric of student achievement and college preparedness data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics and from our survey of schools. Virginia’s Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a long-established player in high school rankings, sits at the top of the pile.

It will come as no surprise that this list is dominated by schools in areas with high average income and low racial diversity. So we produced a second list that takes into consideration how well schools serve students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds—measured by the percentage of students qualifying for free school lunches. There is almost no overlap in the top 10 schools on each list. Thomas Jefferson was in 14th place in the second list, while the top school serving low-income students, Emma Lazarus High School in New York, was 21st on the absolute list.

We hope that providing two lists instead of one sheds light on the underlying factors often ignored or submerged in school rankings. Read on for our profiles of the schools at the top of each list

Southwest Ranked 412 out of the over 35,000 in America

Beating The Odds 2014 - Top Schools For Low-Income Students

This year, Newsweek sought to recognize schools that beat the odds, performing better than statistically expected for their level of poverty. For this list, we ranked schools on how well they prepare their students for college, taking students’ socio-economic background into account. A next to a school’s name means that low-income students are scoring at or above average on state assessments. This is our way of recognizing schools that narrow the acheivement gap.
Southwest Ranked 189 out of the over 35,000 in America

More High School Rankings and More Explanations and We Are Proud

US News Education rankings:

Huffington Post rankings:

From New York Times:

In Lists of Best High Schools, Numbers Don’t Tell the Whole Story

No one in his right mind would take these lists lightly. Property values rise near best high schools. Parents will fight to the death for best high schools. Best teachers and best principals want to work in best high schools.
Newsweek’s editors recently published their list of the 1,000 best, which is worth examining to better grasp how the magazine has been able to quantify something as complex and nuanced as a high-quality education.
First, it is important to have a rating system that sounds scientific. Newsweek uses six variables: On-time graduation rate (weighted 25 percent); percent of graduates accepted to college (25 percent); A.P. and International Baccalaureate tests per student (25 percent); average SAT/ACT score (10 percent); Average A.P./International Baccalaureate score (10 percent); and A.P./International Baccalaureate courses per student (5 percent).
This results in a highly refined index score that can distinguish between the 435th best school in America, Westwood High in Massachusetts (.51), and the 436th best, New Berlin West in Wisconsin (.50).
What schools score highest on Newsweek’s index? Of the top 50, 37 have selective admissions or are magnet schools, meaning they screen students using a combination of entrance exam scores, grade-point average, state test results and assessments of their writing samples.
In short, to be the best, high schools should accept only the highest performing eighth graders, who — if the school doesn’t botch it — will become the highest performing 12th graders.
Put another way: Best in, best out, best school.
Eight of Newsweek’s top 50 are charter schools. For those who think an important role of public education is taking struggling students and raising their academic performance, this sounds promising. Charter schools are supposed to accept any child who applies. If the school is oversubscribed, there is to be a lottery.
What could be more democratic?
The two top charter schools on the Newsweek list are the Basis high schools in Scottsdale and Tucson, part of an Arizona-based charter chain.
According to the Basis Web site, the curriculum is heavily reliant on A.P. and college-level courses, and it includes Mandarin and Latin.
This means that only the strongest academic students need apply, and those who can’t cut it will leave.
What does the student body look like at a Basis high school? At Basis Scottsdale — the third best high school in America, according to Newsweek — 95 percent of the 701 students are Asian or white.
Asians make up 2.8 percent of the state population, but 41 percent of the Basis Scottsdale students.
There are 15 Hispanics (2 percent) in a state that is about one-third Hispanic.
There are no Native Americans listed on the State Education Department’s Web site, though they make up 5 percent of Arizona’s population. The site lists 13 African-American students and no children of migrant workers. There are no children who qualify for subsidized lunches or who need special education classes.
Clearly, best schools would do best not to get bogged down serving students considered un-best.
The remaining five of the top 50 schools are in suburban districts where enrollment is open to all, as long as they are residents.
The one thing that these five schools have in common is that they are full of children from the nation’s wealthiest families.
Among the top 50 are high schools in Bronxville, N.Y. (No. 40), which has a median household income of $166,000, and Jericho, N.Y. (No. 41), which has a median income of $128,000, as compared with $54,000 for New York State; also, Falls Church, Va. (No. 45), with a $111,000 median income versus $59,000 for the state.
People who feel passionately about getting their children into best schools should stay away from the Midwest, which Newsweek has identified as an educational wasteland. From Montana south to Mississippi — 2,000 miles — there are 14 contiguous states without a single high school among the 100 best, including Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas.
Even Massachusetts has only one school in the top 100, which is surprising, since the state’s students have repeatedly led the nation on the federal reading and math tests.
On the other hand, this is what makes America great: Anybody can make up any formula to measure anything, which gives lots of places a chance to be best at something.
Want the best high schools for your child? Move to Texas or Florida. Texas has 15 of the 100 best, placing second over all nationwide, while Florida has 10, the fourth most. This is no doubt due in good part to the reform efforts of George W. and Jeb Bush, who — like Newsweek — have made standardized test results a true measure of academic excellence.

At all costs, avoid Scarsdale, N.Y. It didn’t even make the top 1,000. Though its average SAT score of 1935 would rank it 21st among the 100 best, the school does not offer A.P. courses, and Newsweek counts A.P. data as 40 percent of the rating.
Why no A.P.? Scarsdale officials find that A.P. courses encourage students to go a mile wide and an inch deep, so the high school has created its own advanced courses. Instead of spending all their time working out of A.P. textbooks, students visit the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston and the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park, N.Y., to do field research.
Two-thirds of Scarsdale seniors are accepted to colleges that the Barron’s Guide to the Most Competitive Colleges ranks as the “most competitive” in the country. Of course, Newsweek doesn’t own Barron’s, so it wouldn’t make any sense to use that as a criterion.
There is another problem with Scarsdale. The district did not submit data to Newsweek, and that is the only way to be considered. Of the nation’s 26,000 high schools, about 2,000 sent data, and of those, 1,000 were named to the list, meaning any school with a little gumption has a 50 percent chance of being a best.
Mark Miller, director of editorial operations for Newsweek and The Daily Beast, says that as long as people understand the limits of the criteria, “the list serves a valid purpose.”
“We made a choice to rank the schools by how well they prepared children for college,” he said. “If not for the school, they might not have the opportunity to get into college.”
Mr. Miller noted that May was a record month for traffic at The Daily Beast, with 95 million views, thanks in good part to the list.
Given that magazines and newspapers are bleeding to death, this is the only plausible justification I can think of: Lists are cash cows.
I am not against schools with selective admissions. They are a vital part of the public system. My own mother, who grew up in an East Boston tenement, passed the test to get into Girls Latin School and then went on to Radcliffe.
My concern is that the lists are stacked. Schools with the greatest challenges can appear to be the biggest failures. At a time when public education is so data-driven, that kind of thinking can cost dedicated teachers and principals their jobs.

Washington Post High School Rankings Southwest in Top Ten in the State

For complete National Listing: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/local/highschoolchallenge/

The index score is the number of college-level tests given at a school in the previous calendar year divided by the number of graduates that year. Also noted are the percentage of students who come from families that qualify for lunch subsidies (Subs. lunch) and the percentage of graduates who passed at least one college-level test during their high school career, called equity and excellence, (E&E). A (P) next to the school's name denotes a private school.

1 St. Croix Prep Stillwater 54.4 13 5.942
2 Nova Classical Saint Paul 93.3 10.9 5.867
3 International School of Minnesota (P) Eden Prairie 70   4.149
4 St. Louis Park St. Louis Park 45.3 33.2 4.037
5 Minnetonka Minnetonka 90 7 3.713
6 Edina Edina 57.4 9 3.63
7 Southwest Minneapolis 45 39 3.569
8 Irondale New Brighton 43.4 36 3.378
9 Central St. Paul 56 58 2.829
10 Eden Prairie Eden Prairie 38 14 2.72
11 Chaska Chaska 41 24 2.667
12 South Minneapolis 32 50 2.666
13 Robbinsdale Armstrong Plymouth 39 33 2.628
14 St. Anthony Village St. Anthony 50.3 21 2.606
15 Orono Orono 59 5 2.581
16 Eastview Apple Valley 47 18 2.522
17 Chanhassen Chanhassen 45 8 2.471
18 Mankato West Mankato 51 23 2.392
19 Simley Inver Grove Heights 36.1 37 2.391
20 Century Rochester 100 25 2.344
21 South St. Paul South St. Paul 36 39 2.262
22 Wayzata Plymouth 46.9 15 2.015
23 Washburn Minneapolis     1.926
24 Mound Westonka Minnetrista 36.8 24 1.653
25 Brainerd Brainerd   43 1.645
26 Hopkins Minnetonka 40.4 32.3 1.598
27 Eagan Eagan 42 15 1.521
28 Prior Lake Savage 43 9 1.457
29 Harding St. Paul 43 86 1.45
30 Lincoln Lake City 22.1 27 1.4
31 Park Cottage Grove 35 23.9 1.29