Magazine “Reviews” and School Rankings

The Heads Network:Position Statement

Approved by Council: 2/27/05
Approved by Membership: 2/27/05

Various publishers are producing ‘guidebooks’ or devoting entire issues to the review of private schools. The books purportedly “will consist of profiles that comprise the opinions of students, alumni, and parents, as well as data reported by school administrators”.

Once a school is ‘selected’ for inclusion, the magazines plan to ask school administrators to help survey the opinions of its students, alumni, and parents of current students. It is the combination of these opinions and the data reported that would drive the profile of each school.

The Heads Network, the National Association of Principals of Schools for Girls joins with NAIS (the National Association of Independent Schools), TABS (the Association of Boarding Schools), CAIS (our sister Canadian Association of Independent Schools) and AISNE (The Association of Independent Schools of New England) in recommending that schools not cooperate in such projects.

The Heads Network is opposed to the ranking of schools. The best school— public, parochial, or independent— is the one that uniquely meets the needs of each particular child. Ranking misrepresents the institutions, misleads consumer-minded parents about the factors that should be considered in the complex process of choosing a school, but most importantly, could lead to an inappropriate choice.

Each Heads Network member school will make its own decision regarding participation and how to communicate that decision proactively to its constituents, however, we encourage you not to cooperate with this or similar projects.