The Trouble With the Challenge Index

Sara Mead demolishes Jay Matthews' "Challenge Index".

I'm thrilled to see Sara on The Washington Post's op-ed page, but it's worth saying something here about the cynicism. Matthews is an education reporter for the Post and for Newsweek (which published the index) and which are both part of the same company. They've been publishing his list for years. And Sara and her now-former boss Andrew Rotherham have been offering their criticisms for quite some time.

In short, this isn't some new controversy that just dawned upon the relevant editors, who ought to consider trying to make up their minds. If the Mead/Rotherham critique is correct, they should stop publishing the index. If the Mead/Rotherham critique is wrong, they should stop publishing the critique. Meanwhile, Sara and Andy are both far too polite to point out that the same corporation that insists on ranking high schools based purely on the number of AP and IB tests their students take also happens to own the country's major purvey of standardized test preparation services.