Website ranks Steamboat Springs School District 9th in Colorado
Steamboat Springs — Academic ranking website http://www.niche.com has placed the Steamboat Springs School District ninth best in Colorado, citing a strong sports program, extracurricular offerings and overall academics.
The 2015 rankings from the website, which uses U.S. Census data, U.S. Department of Education information and other government data as well as parent and student surveys, were released in November.
The district is ranked second in the state for its sports program, third for extracurricular and seventh for academics, with each category using its own set of factors to determine the ranking.
“It doesn’t seem to matter what the metrics are, the school district continues to score at a very high level,” said Marty Lamansky, district director of teaching and learning.
Lamanksy commonly collects district data and spends time reviewing data and test results from the Colorado Department of Education.
He said while the results were positive, he would caution against reading too far into the numbers and said he noticed some were out of date.
The district’s lowest http://www.niche.com rating was for diversity, with the 15th lowest ranking in the state, among more than 170 districts.
Lamansky questioned the website’s attempt to give numerical values to reviews from parents and students, and then combine those scores with testing data to compile the rankings.
“Whenever you mix qualitative and quantitative data, I think that’s very challenging,” he said. “You’re not really sure you’re going to get the most accurate information.”
The website lists Steamboat Springs High School as 18th best high school in the state, a ranking that was partly influenced by a number of student reviews on the site.
Lamansky said the reviews were interesting to read and depicted strong relationships between teachers and students.
Most of the rankings were from high school students in the district.
Teachers “really care about each students and the give special help when needed,” wrote a high school senior on the site in late December. “I do not know all the teachers, but I know most of them would take the time to reach out to a student having a rough time. I admire all the different teaching styles.”
While the service of http://www.niche.com is useful, Lamasnsky said it’s always a good idea to check multiple data points before drawing conclusions about something like a school district.
Launched in 2002 by a group of Carnegie Mellon students, http://www.niche.com’s purpose is to make choosing a school or place to live more transparent by creating an easy way to find data about K-12 schools and colleges.
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