The 2020 Niche rankings have been tabulated, and according to the schools ranking website Wellesley High School comes in #8, as it did in 2015. It was only in 2017 that Niche placed Wellesley schools on the #1 pedestal, but the competition has apparently been fierce. The rankings include 94,474 pubic schools; 4,131 private schools, and 10,782 school districts nationwide. The rating site relies heavily on survey results from 280,000 students and parents who weigh in on categories such as health and safety, resources and facilities, and academics. The site says it ranks schools based on “a real-life view of what it’s like to attend a given school” by looking at campus life, extracurriculars, sports options, gifted and special needs programs availability, and student/faculty/curriculum diversity.
Over the years, Wellesley has wandered around in various rankings. In 2019, US News & World Report said we were #19 in Massachusetts, down from #4 in 2014. That’s a pretty small pond. Out in the wider world, they said we only hit #487 in the United States
2014: #6 Boston Magazine
2019: #19 in Massachsetts, US News & World Report; #4 in Mass in 2014
2018: #487 in the United States
2017: #1 in Mass, Niche
A look at a typical Swellesley editorial meeting
We don’t put great stock in rankings, and in fact Mr. Swellesley will have something to say about this post. He’s busy at his other job, so I’m just going to run with it. But this won’t be the last word on running a school rankings post.
“These rankings are just a big marketing scam by companies who want to get their name out wherever they can. They don’t mean anything and just get everybody riled up for no good reason,” he’ll argue.
“But our readers are always interested,” I’ll protest.
I’ll then grumble about editorial heavy-handedness. Mr. Swellesley will fuss about being used by corporate interests.
So if you’ve ever wondered why sometimes we write about school rankings and sometimes we don’t, now you know. Swellelsey editorial meetings don’t always run smoothly. Sometimes things can get downright cantankerous around the kitchen table.
The 2015 Niche rankings are in, and the status-conscious website says that Wellesley High School is #8 among Massachusetts public high schools.
Nearby Dover-Sherborn Regional High came in at #1, and Weston High School was just above Wellesley at #7.
The rating site relies heavily on survey results from 280,000 students and parents who weigh in on categories such as health and safety, resources and facilities, and academics. Niche says that “A high ranking indicates that the school is an exceptional academic institution with a diverse set of high-achieving students who rate their experience very highly.”
So based on that, go ahead and strut your #8 stuff, WHS.
Also of interest…
These rankings, which include 94,474 public schools, 4,131 private schools and 10,782 school districts nationwide, are the richest analysis available about the quality of a school, providing parents and students with an unparalleled look into the schools that are the best fit for their individual needs.
Unlike traditional school rankings, which rely almost exclusively on test scores and academic performance, Niche’s rankings provide a real-life view of what it’s like to attend a given school. The platform combines user input—comments from current students, alumni, and parents—with a multifaceted analysis of factors including campus life, extracurricular activity opportunities, on-campus sports options, gifted and special needs programs availability, and student/faculty/curriculum diversity.