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Principal: Errors get Nevada high school ranked 13th in US

A Nevada principal has a lesson for U.S. News and World Report, which ranked his high school 13th best in the nation: It’s wrong.

Principal Jeff Horn says the magazine used incorrect data to place Green Valley High School of Henderson, Nev., just outside Las Vegas, above nearly 22,000 other public schools, elite prep and technical academies nationwide. The publication released its "Best High Schools" rankings on Tuesday.

"This is a great school and there are a lot of amazing things happening around here,” Horn told msnbc.com on Tuesday. "But the information it was based on is incorrect."


According to the Las Vegas Sun, the rankings published online showed Green Valley with 477 students and 111 teachers, a 4 to 1 ratio. Horn said Green Valley has 2,850 students and a student-teacher ratio closer to 24 to 1. The school also has a 64 percent pass rate on the Advanced Placement exams, not 100 percent as reported in the rankings, Horn said.

“My son first pulled up the report online and was reading it when he said, ‘Did you know you had 477 students?’" Horn said, adding “That's when I started reading it and saw the inaccuracies. Not only were there inaccuracies, but other things were skewed as well.”

Robert Morse, director of data research with U.S. News and World Report, told The Associated Press that the publication was aware of the discrepancy.

"We're looking into it," he told the AP.

According to the AP, Morse said the publication gathers enrollment numbers from the National Center for Education Statistics' Common Core of Data database. The federal statistics center, run through the U.S. Department of Education, collects and analyzes school data from state and local officials, the AP reported.

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Officials with the Education Department didn't immediately return messages seeking comment from msnbc.com.

It's unclear where along the process mistakes were made. Horn said he wasn’t aware of any school official providing data to the publication, and he said he told the local newspaper that he also noticed what appeared to be skewed enrollment figures for other high schools in southern Nevada.

The Las Vegas Sun reported that U.S. News was correct in reporting 17 school districts in Nevada, but made an error when it reported 5,864 full-time teachers and 123,697 students. The Clark County School District has nearly 18,000 teachers and more than 308,000 students, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

Said Horn: “We’ve been getting calls from our local news stations congratulating us and I have had to correct them."

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