Our Unfortunate Niche

By Thomas P.

Thirteenth in the nation. Yep. Mm-hm. That’s our entire school, its trials and travails, its intellectuals and its imbeciles, its beautiful people, its ugly people, and its cybernetic trolls masquerading as certain individuals.

Just kidding; we don’t have any ugly people.

Jokes aside, the Niche ranking system is a pressing concern on the minds of our dear administrators. For those of you who remain blissfully unaware of the giant posters proclaiming our excellence according to one or two stilted metrics or the students running up and down the halls chanting “We’re number thirteen! We’re number thirteen!”, the Niche rankings (accessible at https://k12.niche.com/rankings/ if you feel like a bit of a point and a laugh) are a highly contagious strain of the Scholastis categoricens virus common in complex systems.

In all seriousness, ranking schools according to certain universal attributes is very, very bad. If you have even glanced at your email recently, you may have noticed an official statement issued by our glorious leader Mo; a statement in official OES green declaring our abstinence from the data-reaping performed customarily by Niche at this time of year. Simply put, Niche likes to request data from schools before it pigeonholes them; our administration has decided not to give Niche such data.

Why not reveal this data? Why should we not revel in our top-end position among other marginalized institutions? Well, simply put, rankings send the wrong message and give the wrong incentives. The Niche system, according to grand leader Jordan Elliott, “distracts us from what we are here to do,” that is, “fulfill our mission.”

Measuring attributes in the Nichey way incentivizes schools to keep doing things in the Nichey way. For those of you who are so reclusive that the Word of Mo hath not passed thy ears, the administration agrees that doing things in the Nichey way is not in the best interests of students. We can inflate test scores, we can perfect our grounds until every blade of grass is studied individually by a calculus student, but we cannot do what is best for students. Not in the Nichey way.

For those of you who have read this far, expecting the article to become funnier as it went on, my apologies. For those among you who give two hoots about the content, speak out. Post your assent. End this, for want of a better word, bloody awful system now.

Of course, if you criticize, your rankings will go down.

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