Boy, rankings are fun, aren't they? Forbes Magazine just recently came out with the "Where to Educate Your Children" ranking the top 20 Census Bureau-defined metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the country, and the final entrant is sure to cause some heads to explode a bit to the east, as summarized by this choice comment:
Shocked here...DURHAM is listed? We deliberately didn't move to Durham because everyone knows how terrible the schools are!
Yes, that's right, folks. Alone from North Carolina, the Durham MSA takes #20. On the one hand, let's be clear about one thing: all rankings like this, universally, are silly. They're made from grossly oversimplified statistics, and truly don't paint a true picture of what any individual child's experience is going to be, and the Forbes article openly admits as much. On the other hand, it's worth noting that Forbes looked at the other side of the coin from the typical ABCs of Learning/No Child Left Behind methodology by focusing on resources and investment, rather than aggregate achievement. (Something that, along with using MSAs instead of districts, apparently mystified Carolyn Rickard at the H-S. Crickets chirping from the N&O -- wonder why.) Whether these or any other rankings are marginally meaningful or irrelevant really depends on what your approach is.