U.S. News releases 2011 high school rankings
Blair ranked as one of 461 Silver Medal Schools on the U.S. News rankings released September 27. According to the U.S. News website, 21,786 high schools from 48 states, including D.C., were analyzed.
U.S. News is an online magazine that reports on the economy, health, education and politics. It provides rankings on high schools, universities, graduate schools and some consumer goods. It compiled a list of the top 100 schools in the country, which were ranked Gold Medal Schools. The next 461 were named Silver Medal Schools and another 1,189 schools were ranked Bronze Medal schools.
According to the U.S. News website, there were three steps to ranking the country's high schools. The magazine studied the schools' performance in math and reading on state high school tests to determine if the students were performing better than statistically expected. Then, it examined the performance of the least advantaged students on the state high school test to see if they were performing above average. The magazine's final criterion was the high school's college readiness, which was assessed by using students' scores on Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exams.
Principal Renay Johnson sees strength at Blair and hopes to improve the school's ranking. "Our diversity is our strength." Johnson said. "We have students from over 100 different countries. We also have outstanding teachers that are National Board Certified." Although Johnson is proud of the ranking, she still sees room for improvement. "Every principal, new or existing, likes to have their school in the newspaper,” Johnson said.
One such improvement is Xeroxing thousands of multi-page newsletters for parents. Johnson believes these memos are ineffective because they often get lost or are not read by the parents. "I think we need to do a better job of communicating here.”
Johnson hopes to take advantage of Blair's good qualities to improve its rankings in the future. "I have to ensure we have the best teachers and students who want to take rigorous courses." Johnson said. "We're ranked 155. I'd like to get us to the top 10 before I retire."
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