After receiving criticism from a group of parents and residents, Williamson County Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney is defending his claim that WCS is the top ranked district in the country.
In May, Looney cited SchoolDigger.com as his source in proclaiming WCS as the highest achieving school district with more than 20,000 students in the United States.
But James Amundsen, a parent of a WCS student, said that claim has no merit.
“There’s nothing on that Web site that supports the claim that the Williamson County School district is No. 1 in the nation,” Amundsen stated.
Amundsen pointed out that SchoolDigger.com does not rank schools or districts nationally, only on a state level. He said the rank scores on the site do not match up outside of Tennessee.
Dr. Looney told News 2 Wednesday afternoon he stands by his claim.
“People can either choose to believe the data or not believe the data,” Looney said. “We were just sharing the information that we had gleaned from that Web site. Whether the data there has integrity or not, I can’t say. We just pointed out that on this Web site the data indicates that we are the highest performing school district.
The site’s founder, Pete Claar, sent the following to News 2 via email:
“At SchoolDigger, we do not attempt to compare test scores across states because each state standardized test differs greatly. We get the occasional question from Web site visitors about comparing schools or districts across states, but I think we are pretty clear that we do not provide this comparison.”