Being Ranked Can Reduce IQ is the headline of an article in The Wall Street Journal about a study that’s been receiving a fair amount of media attention this week. The Journal article is the best one — by far — that I’ve seen on it.

Basically, if people know they are being “ranked,” and are rated low, their IQ gets worse. This is not a surprise to many of us who teach and who resist “tracking” students.

The researchers apply these findings to other areas, including in the workplace.

Is it a stretch to wonder if labeling schools as failing can have a similar effect? How about teachers who were publicly ranked as bad by the Los Angeles Times using faulty statistics? Do you think those public humiliations generally result in positive change?

Here’s a more extensive article at Education Week on the study: How and Why Rankings Matter.