This is the time of year when the lists of best high schools in the United States are published. For anxious consumers, the number of lists can be daunting, whether national in scope (U.S. News & World Report; The Washington Post; Newsweek and The Daily Beast) or local (Boston magazine; New Jersey Monthly; The Chicago Sun-Times).

No one in his right mind would take these lists lightly. Property values rise near best high schools. Parents will fight to the death for best high schools. Best teachers and best principals want to work in best high schools.

Read the whole story at The New York Times