I like the Washington Monthly's rating scale for colleges. And this year it has a good piece on community colleges, particularly one in Washington. See here. (My liking is entirely independent of the fact that my alma mater ranks higher on their scale than on the U.S. News one.)
It's too bad the education cartel doesn't release data on student achievement. I'm tempted to tweak some of the libertarian/conservative economists I read about that fact.