There is data out there on high school performance ... you should look at data for the type of classes you are looking for...
For instance, if your child is a student who might be interested in AP classes, see if you can find information from NCDPI or the CMS Data Dashboard, or even the Accountability office, about
- what AP classes are offered,
- what percentage of the AP students take the state sponsored (paid for with your tax dollars) AP test, and then
- how many pass the test (scoring 3 out of 5 or higher)
NCDPI has data on what percentage of people pass the AP tests, and there is other data available on how many students take the classes. Just because you call it an AP class doesn't mean there are any successful AP credits awarded at the end of the class.
Some AP subjects taught in CMS high school classes will have a per school pass rate (scoring 3 out of 5 or better) of less than 10%; and you can find that information since it is public information. If you are looking for college credits, you need to take that into consideration.
If you are looking for IB classes and credits, check the percentage of students who are making 5 out of 7 or better on the IB tests that are given at that high school, or if you can't find that, simply find out how many IB graduates - receiving an actual IB diploma from the IB organization - that they have. CMS only has something around 120-130 each year.
If you have a student interested in art or music, find out how many scholarships they had awarded in those areas, and if they are winning any awards for those in those departments. If you have a vocational interest, find out what classes are offered, and what certifications are available to students. Better yet, how many students actually get a certification after their course.
Go into the school and see if you can find out where last year's graduates went to college ... remember if
there are Ivy League level classes preparing students, there will be plenty of scholarship money to send them there... even more available to low income schools and students than higher income schools.
Ask questions about what is available to students who are struggling with grades in ninth grade
classes... those grades are 1/3 of what you will apply to college on...
so although you might not think those are as important as the junior and senior year grades, they may be in fact almost as important... and senior year, except for possibly fall semester, is too late to get you IN to college. (not to0 late to get you thrown out of a college you think you are excepted into though!)
And lastly, remember that Private schools, because they are not Public, are not going to release any information at all that doesn't make you want to pay 15K to 20K in tuition for high school... and no one is checking their data for truthfulness at all.
'Nuf said... it is buyer beware for high school, in every way... make sure you get the best possible high school education that you can for your student; you are their best and sometimes only advocate!