Abacus4People often ask me to rank the Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Riverdale private schools.  But there’s a problem: there are no objective measures available.  While you can compare NYC public schools by how well their students perform on standardized tests, private schools intentionally avoid having their students take these tests.  Private schools don’t want you to rank schools against each other.

From time to time, publications like the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and Worth publish college lists, noting numbers or percentages of private and public high school students who attend top colleges.  While many people see these lists as fair rankings, I don’t.  I think these rankings say more about the students than the schools.  In the Wall Street Journal, I commented:

As an educational consultant, I help families get into the New York-area high schools on your list <as well as many others>.  Every school cited is either elite private (taking only smart, top-performing students, often from well-connected, wealthy families), selective public (admitting only the highest achievers on standardized tests), or suburban public (accepting teens whose affluent, ambitious families can afford the high school taxes).  Of course these students will come out ahead in the college admissions race.