Newsweek: Fremont reporter better educated than Mission San Jose students

Here’s a cautionary tale for those parents who drop an extra few hundred grand for a house in the Mission Attendance Area. Just because Mission San Jose is ranked among the top 100 schools nationwide doesn’t mean junior won’t end up in a low-paying industry writing about women who wear bikinis while serving coffee.

Take me, for example. According to Newsweek, I graduated from the 49stth best high school in America — a far superior school than Mission, which finished a sad 61st. And what do I have to show for it? This blog and its many typos and grammar mishaps.

These rankings don’t mean much, as all those whiny Kennedy parents are always letting us know. Last year, Mission was ranked ahead of my old school. Now it’s not so hot. And the only discernible change, best I can tell, is that Ishan Shah graduated.

Matt Artz


  1. Ah, but what happens to your theory when, next year, Ohlone’s ranking does not go up accordingly? 🙂

  2. I looked at the list and wondered what the rankings would be if the list was just normal high schools as opposed to those with restricted enrollment.

  3. Ishan, Andrew just called you out.

    Gus, I thought Fremont schools were normal high schools? They aren’t private after all.

  4. Interviewing bikini-clad baristas is better than any day I ever had on my job.

  5. Re #3, Fremont schools are regular, generally neighborhood boundaried, schools, while many of the top schools on the Newsweek list are “special” schools. Look at the list.

  6. And this reminds me of something that happened to my husband and me when we were having dinner at Santana Row. Our server noticed our debit card was from Fremont Bank and asked us if we were from there. We said we were and she asked us which high school we went to. When we said we went to American, she said, “I went to Mission. Don’t hate me!”

    After she left, my husband said, “Even if she went to Mission, she’s serving us in a restaurant now.”

  7. Gus,

    I get your point, but their methodology says it all:
    “each school’s score is comprised of six components: graduation rate (25%), college matriculation rate (25%), AP tests taken per graduate (25%), average SAT/ACT scores (10%), average AP/IB/AICE scores (10%), and AP courses offered (5%).”

    None of these metrics directly point to quality.

    I’d grade by average class size, % entering top colleges, college graduation rate and GPA of alumni, post-college income, student-to-counselor ratio, parent satisfaction, student satisfaction, teacher satisfaction, and breadth of courses offered.

  8. They should factor in the neighborhood demographics…after all, if everyone who goes to one school has parents with large incomes and secondary college degrees, a lot of the credit for that school’s success is going to have to go to the resources at home to supplement the public school education, esp. all those summer workshops and tutors. Plus, those kids can apply to go to the “top colleges” and afford it if accepted. But, if a lower-middle class school can turn out a strong graduating class that takes advantage of affordable colleges, that’s a great school.

  9. Linda,

    The California DOE does compare overall and to socioeconomically similar schools. Niles gets a 10 versus everyone, but only a 6 versus similar schools. Chadbourne get’s a 10 overall and an 8 versus similar schools. American Indian Public Charter School gets 10 for both. Take all results with a grain of salt, though. The tests are far from perfect.

  10. I for one and not the biggest fan of the AP program/the SAT/anything College Board related in general. Statistics have proven time and time again that results are skewed to favor those with higher incomes. Those numbers should not be factored into public school rankings.

  11. #9…Linda, Linda, Linda,

    Don’t ya get it gal! The Mission elite don’t give a shucked oyster about the others… it’s all about them. They will keep driving their little puppies to succeed even if their offspring become hopeless dufus nerds. It’s all about the doe ray me.

  12. Jon, where does this 1-10 rating appear? I’ve heard of “Great Schools” ratings and API but never a DOE scale that accounts for demographics.

  13. Jon, Jon,
    Hate the game and don’t care much for the selfish players who knowingly play this game. Excessive/exclusive concern with oneself is the battle hymn of the Tiger Mom no?. The Illiterate and unskilled huddled masses of past generations did not play the game this way. We’re all in this rat race together so please wake up before it’s too late!

  14. How many of the top 100 schools assign homework? Currently, even without this policy, 70% of Latino students in SoCal don’t graduate high school.

    I’m interested in forming company that fabricates and installs wrought iron gates for gated communities. PM ME FOR DETAILS/INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY.

  15. I graduated from Mission, & I must say I am proud of the #61 ranking. Also, there is nothing wrong with anyone working as a server. Waiters/waitresses work hard!!! And at Santana Row? That’s a good job (I hear tips are good there).

  16. Audrey,

    True. She may be a graduate student at Stanford for all we know. The job market stinks.

  17. And she might still have your debit card info
    for use at a later date.

    A sign of intelligence is the ability to plan ahead
    I believe.

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