Northwestern University held onto its 12th in the nation position in the U.S. News list of top national universities.

It’s the fourth year the Evanston school has been listed at the number 12 spot.

In the list announced today Harvard and Princeton were tied for number one, followed by Yale and Columbia in the third and fourth spots.

Five schools were tied for the fifth position — Cal Tech, MIT, Stanford, and the Universities of Chicago and Pennsylvania.

Duke and Dartmouth rounded out the list of schools finishing above NU.

NU didn’t do so well in a ranking of “best value” schools — finishing 23rd in the list that calculates the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of need-based financial aid and matches that with the school’s quality rank.

Inside Higher Education reports that participation by college presidents in the widely reported but controversial U.S. News study declined this year.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. What about ETHS?

    Last night, after the first streaming live D202 board meeting, lots of folks felt confused.   The Superintendent pushed ahead with detracking saying this was the lever that was going to increase academic success for all students regardless of race.  Yet it appears not to be working well at all.

    Let's all remember why we restructured Freshman Humanities.   In a FAQ document published by the HS, they stated:

    "Why is ETHS making structural changes in freshman year?

    We need to significantly improve overall student achievement at ETHS. What we have done in the past simply is not fully effective. Our ninth-grade structure has contributed to lower achievement by limiting access to honors and advanced-level courses. Previously in Freshman Humanities, we tracked students into enriched, regular, mixed-honors/regular, and honors. Year after year, we saw that students in the less challenging classes stayed with the same group of peers for most of the day and were not challenged to attempt higher-level work. Students with a high capacity for learning often did not move into honors and Advanced Placement classes.

    EVERYONE agrees with that!

    In looking at the data it appears that gains are going down overall, not up. see table 13 on the report..  It is even more pronounced on Table 16, Explore to ACT.  Data for Honors- only cohorts is missing from the report, so we can't tell if this plan benefits ALL students, and it wasn't broken out by race and socioeconomic categories – so we can't see how well they did or did not impact those groups. 

    ACT scores were declining for everyone, save the tiny "Placed Up into Mixed Honors" cohort.  The absolute scores are low  for all but the Mixed Honors level students, but they've all declined.  Gains have declined since ETHS  started changing the Humanities program in 08/09 – – down 1 pt for Mixed Regular students, down 1.8 pts  for Mixed Honors students, up 1 pt for the tiny "placed up" cohort and down 2.3 pts for the "placed down" cohort.

    Why are we moving forward?   Aren't we trying to increase achievement?   Isn't that want the school needs to figure out?   



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