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Calif. district opts out of Newsweek list

May 21, 2007 at 2:27 PM   |   Comments

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 21 (UPI) -- High schools in Palo Alto, Calif., are refusing to participate in Newsweek's annual survey and ranking of U.S. schools.

Palo Alto Unified School District officials said the schools are trying to fight against shallowness, student stress and unwanted publicity that the schools say the magazine's report promotes, the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News reported Monday.

The survey ranks the top 1,200 or so high schools based on the percentage of students taking advanced-placement or International Baccalaureate tests. Survey founder Jay Mathews said the Palo Alto situation may be the first time an entire district has opted out of the report.

"It's a very simplistic premise that the quality of a school can be measured by the number of AP tests students take," Marilyn Cook, associate superintendent of the district, told the newspaper.

Tom Jacoubowsky, assistant principal at Gunn High School in the district said the school does not rank students or choose valedictorians.

"We're trying to do things to avoid and alleviate student stress," he said in the Mercury News article.

© 2007 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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