Website ranks teachers best in U.S. private schools

Rankings for 2015 on Niche.com placed Harvard-Westlake teachers at number one in U.S. private schools.

Niche.com, which was started by Carnegie Mellon University students in 2002, provides reviews and insight of elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges in the United States for prospective students.

The ranking is based on surveys from parents, students and alumni, the student-to-faculty ratio, average student SAT and ACT scores and the percentage of students who matriculate to four-year colleges. The school’s overall score was the highest out of a total of 945 private high schools in the country.

Although faculty members seem to be pleased at the recognition, Upper School Dean Vanna Cairns said such rankings often “simplify a very complex process” by putting more weight on statistics than student feedback.

“What our teachers do every hour of every day in every classroom is extraordinary and commendable,” Cairns said. “Yet, that factor is not quantifiable. Or, as much as it can be quantifiable, it is given only 10 percent of the equation here.”

Niche.com also placed Harvard-Westlake’s academics as the third best nationally.

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