Between the final tweaking of the District budget for 2012-13 and the continuing teacher contract negotiations, it is timely that the US News & World Report releases its list of the best high schools in America. The publication reviewed test data from 22,000 public high schools and 500 schools received the highest ‘gold’ level award. Conestoga High School received gold level standing, listing at a distinctive rank of 279 of all public high schools in the country. The US News results indicate an impressive #3 ranking for Conestoga for all public schools in Pennsylvania.
There are 579 school districts in Pennsylvania and 752 high schools. As part of the state’s graduation requirement, PA high school students take assessments in reading, writing, math, and science in the 11th grade. US News Report uses the Pennsylvania Systems of School Assessment (PSSA) is used in the criteria for ranking the high schools. Conestoga scored 54.3 on the college readiness index, based on AP (Advanced Placement) participation rate. The AP participation rate at Conestoga is 56%.
In 11th grade, Pennsylvania school students take Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests in reading, writing, math and science. Here’s the breakdown on the reading and math proficiency results for Conestoga High School students:
PSSA Reading Proficiency results:
Total Students Tested 491
Below Basic: 2%
Results indicate 92% proficiency rate in reading.
PSSA Math Proficiency results:
Total Students Tested 478
Below Basic: 3%
Results indicate 93% proficiency rate in math.
Here the list of the top 10 high schools in Pennsylvania:
#1 Julia R. Masterman, Philadelphia
#2 Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy, Erie
#3 Conestoga High School, Berwyn
#4 Unionville High School, Kennett Square
#5 Wyomissing Area Jr-Sr High School, Wyomissing
#6 Radnor High School, Radnor
#7 New Hope-Solebury High School, New Hope
#8 Mt. Lebanon High School, Pittsburgh
#9 Upper St. Clair High School, Pittsburgh
#10 Central High School, Philadelphia
Interesting to note that 2 of the top 10 public high schools in the state are located in Philadelphia!
Locally, how did our neighboring high schools rank. Radnor High School made the top ten list in Pennsylvania at #6 and achieved a national rank of 432, qualify for gold level. Lower Merion High School received silver level nationwide, coming in at 835 and ranked #16 in the state. Great Valley High School was listed at the silver level nationwide, at 725 and #12 in the state. Phoenixville High School, another silver level, ranked 1,094 nationwide and #25 in Pennsylvania.
Congratulations to Conestoga students, parents and teachers on this achievement!
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Congratulations to all those who made this possible. It is a massive accomplishment. I’m surprised no one has anything to say about it. After hundreds of posts about school boards, teachers, unions, taxes, etc. this is in reality the end result. It’s what everyone wants to see. In fact, our school district does it for less taxation then the other local districts that are lower on the list.
My take away from this, as all the other bickering is going on: One thing to think about is Morale. Morale of the teachers is truly what is making the difference in the classroom. Our teachers do a tremendous job as is outlined in this report, so lets not forget that.
It is often pointed out how the salary and benefits compares to the private sector. I can agree they are slightly off, however don’t forget that in the private sector, when the company does well, the company grows and is rewarded. In the public education world, this is how you gauge ‘doing well.’
It should be noted that the two schools ahead of conestoga are magnet schools – they are selective and draw from a large area, so they are in a different category altogether. What that means is that ‘stoga is in reality the number one public high school in pennsylvania.