EHS ranked among the best high schools in U.S.

By on May 16, 2012

Ephrata High School was named a 2012 Bronze Award recipient in the Best High Schools study conducted by U.S. News & World Report. Rankings were based on how well the high school served all students.

Nearly 22,000 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia were analyzed based primarily on achievement and growth data.

"While rankings were based on how well the high school served all students, we recognize that the only way our older students can be successful is when we provide them a strong foundation and the right supports throughout all grade levels," said Dr. Brian Troop, Ephrata Area School District assistant superintendent of secondary.

"This award confirms we are focusing our efforts in the right direction to continue moving students forward. Our students and staff are working very hard throughout the District. It is encouraging to be recognized in an independent national report that puts us near the top nationally and within the state," said Troop.

The first step in the three-step evaluation process determined whether a school’s students were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in their state. For schools that made it past the first step, the second step determined whether the school’s least-advantaged students (black, Hispanic, and economically disadvantaged) were performing better than average for similar students in the state.

Only schools that made it through the first two steps became eligible to be judged nationally on the final step, which assessed the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work. Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) test data was used as the benchmark for success, depending on which program was largest at the school. This was done by computing the number of twelfth grade students in 2009-2010 who took at least one AP or IB test before or during their senior year, divided by the number of twelfth graders, and how well the students did on those tests. AP is a College Board program that offers college-level courses at high schools across the country. The IB program also offers a college-level curriculum.

Schools with a college readiness index of 16.3 or higher received gold or silver awards. Ephrata High School received a score just below the index and was awarded a bronze medal. Less than 4,900 high schools nationally received a gold, silver or bronze award, and about a quarter of 752 Pennsylvania high schools received an award.

Visit usnews.com/education/best-high-schools for more information about the report. More EHS, page A6

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