Despite allegations of grade-changing, San Diego’s Preuss School, a charter middle and high school sponsored by the University of California San Diego, has made top rankings again, this time in U.S. News and World Report.

Preuss ranked 10th on the list of top high schools nationwide. The list includes public, charter and magnet schools. The criteria were developed by School Evaluation Services, a research group that compiles the website, and Andrew Rotherham, co-founder of Education Sector. Earlier this year, Preuss was honored by Newsweek as the ninth-best high school in the country.

Recently, complaints of grade-changing at the high-achieving school have tarred its reputation. The Union-Tribune reported that Jennifer Howard, a former history teacher at the school, filed suit against Preuss, saying she was fired after blowing the whistle on altered student grades and attendance records.

Those concerns didn’t affect Preuss’ U.S. News and World Report ranking, said Paul Gazzerro, director of analytical criteria for School Evaluation Services.

“I’d read about (the allegations) a little bit,” Gazzerro said. “We looked at data that gets out of the local realm, like how these kids did on the (high school exit exam), how well they did in college readiness, their performance on Advanced Placement tests. We didn’t look at local measures like grades. … Those are good questions for folks to ask, but we were looking at quantifiable outcomes.”

Preuss is the only San Diego school to make the magazine’s list of top high schools.


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