Bert Sperling has been generating “best places” lists for some time now. His lists are deemed more accurate and credible than many, owing to the proprietary algorithms he uses in calculating a number of weighted factors. Sperling is co-author of the book Cities Ranked and Rated, and regularly produces lists for Money magazine, USA today, and many others.
I take all lists and rankings with several very large grains of salt, but I was curious: What does Sperling have to say about Northfield?
According to the Northfield entry on Sperling’s website:
Northfield public schools spend $5,704 per student. The average school expenditure in the U.S. is $6,058. There are about 17 students per teacher in Northfield…. 455 students per librarian, and 621 children per counselor in Northfield, MN schools.
Any ideas where the 17 students per teacher comes from? I’ve heard increasing complaints over the past few years about class sizes getting too big. What could be throwing off those numbers? Are there teachers on the school district payroll who aren’t actually in the classroom? What’s the real student-teacher ratio at Northfield’s schools, and whose numbers should we believe?