BY MICHELLE MILLER
Milford Central School has been awarded silver medal status by U.S. News World Report.
The district was ranked 116th within New York, which put the school ahead of most other area districts. Edmeston and Gilbertsville- Mount Upton also got silver medal recognition ranked at No. 207 and No. 232 respectively. Laurens, Worcester, Morris and Schenevus achieved bronze medal status. Cooperstown and Cherry Valley-Springfield were not ranked.
This marks the fourth edition of the Best High Schools rankings, which are available exclusively online. While the previous high school rankings published in December 2009 included information on 1,800 schools, the2012 rankings include data on nearly 22,000 public high schools from 49 states and the District of Columbia. Nebraska was not included because not enough data was reported, according to information posted on the U.S. News website.
MCS Superintendent Peter Livshin said he is not sure how significant these rankings actually are, but considers them an honor. He said it is not the first time Milford has appeared on the list. A few years ago the districtreceived bronze level achievement, he said.
“For this year’s award they went back to the 2009-10 school year data,” Livshin said. “That year, we had a real strong senior class. They took a lot of AP (advancedplacement) and college credit courses. And the vo-tech (vocational technical education) students were extremely bright. They did extremely well on their state exams as well.”
Livshin admits U.S. News has loosened their standards a little bit since the last time rankings were done. However, he said more schools were added to the study.
“I was surprised Cooperstown was not on there, because last time they were among the top 100. They were one of those gold medal schools,” Livshin said. The credit for MCS’ success, according to Livshin, goes to the students and the educators.
“We are very proud of our kids, and we are very proud of our teachers,” he said. “Those are the two that make these type of things happen. The kids work very hard and the teachers work very hard and they work hand-in-hand. That leads to success. Some years we do better and some years we struggle.”
According to Livshin, the high ranking is a reflection of the programs offered that students take advantage of at MCS.
“When I first came here, we had no college level courses. Fifteen years later we have kids that can get anywhere between 24 and 30 college credits by the time they get out of high school,” Livshin said.
The big thing is the growth of the distance learning network, Livshin said. “Now, kids have even more opportunities because we can get together with a larger number of schools across the state,” he said. “Online learning has helped too. We have quite a few students that take college credit courses online at a very reasonable rate I may add.”
U.S. News partnered with the Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research, which implemented U.S. News’s rankings methodology.
To determine the Best High Schools national rankings, schools were first analyzed at the state level in terms of how well students in each school performedon state assessments, taking into account the test scores of disadvantaged students (lowincome, Hispanic, and black), who tend to score lower on tests.
High schools that made it through this analysis were then eligible to be ranked nationally, in terms of college readiness. U.S. News determines the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work by analyzing student success in AP or international baccalaureate programs, both of which include college-level courses. U.S. News awarded more than 4,850 gold, silver and bronze medals to the top-performing schools.
In the 2009 rankings of Best High Schools, U.S. News awarded 100 gold medals. This year, that number soared to 500, many of which went to California high schools.
The Golden State is home to the largest number of gold medal high schools (97), as well as the largest total number of schools that were awarded gold, silver, or bronze medals (577).
There are 68 gold medal schools in New York and 46 in Texas, including the School for the Talented and Gifted (ranked No. 1 nationally) and the School of Science and Engineering Magnet (ranked No. 3 nationally), both located in the Dallas Independent School District.
Among the top 20 Best High Schools, four are charter schools, which usually accept a limited number of students through an application process and are also exempt from some of the government regulations of other public schools, so long as they successfully meet the criteria of their original charter. Two schools in the top 20 are magnet schools, which use an application process that typically involves test scores and grade-point averages to attract the most talented students in a region.
In the state rankings, parents and students can compare schools in terms of student-teacher ratios, college readiness, and proficiency on state math and English assessments. And with the boost of data collected for the 2012 rankings, specific details about each school such as the enrollment of each grade and the percentage of students whopassed AP or IB exams are now available.
For rankings by state, visit http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools?s_cid=related-links:TOP
BY MICHELLE MILLER
- Local News
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- Thursday, June 6, 2013
Smithy has lots to offer this summer season
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- Dreams Park, then and now, required a work ethic