Ephrata named among best high schools in nation

By on May 27, 2015

Ephrata Area School District honored twice

Named among best high schools in nation; ranks with best school districts for your buck

Ephrata High School has been awarded a silver medal in the US News & World Report of best high schools in the nation. They were ranked EPHS2,439 in the United States and 73 of the 673 high schools reviewed in Pennsylvania. This is the fourth consecutive year Ephrata High School has been recognized.

U.S. News & World Report reviewed data on more than 21,100 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Schools were awarded gold, silver, or bronze rankings based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college.

“This award is another example of the hard work that our students demonstrate on a daily basis. Ephrata Area School District students continue to take challenging courses and strive to meet the high expectations placed upon them,” said Richard Hornberger, Ephrata Area School District assistant superintendent of secondary education.

The first step in the three-step evaluation process determined whether students were performing better than statistically expected based upon the state average. The second step used the same statistical comparison with lesser-advantaged students across Pennsylvania.

Schools that successfully passed the first two evaluations were eligible for the final assessment that compared Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) test data across high school averages nationwide.

“Our teachers and staff throughout the district work diligently to reflect on the past to make improvements in how we support our students along their school careers. Being honored with a silver ranking this year is one small way that we see this hard work pay off for our students” said Dr. Brian Troop, district superintendent.

According to U.S. News &World Report, “The comprehensive rankings methodology is based on the key principles that a great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college-bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show the school is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators.”

The district has also been ranked in the top half of Pennsylvania school districts in an analysis that evaluates “Bang for Your Buck” and ranked fifth among the 22 school districts in Lancaster and Lebanon counties that make up the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate 13 Unit.

A comprehensive review conducted by NerdWallet, a San Francisco-based financial and statistical analysis company, reviewed median home prices, average standardized test scores, and graduation rates to develop “Bang for Your Buck” scores.

A comprehensive review of median home prices, average standardized test scores, and graduation rates, developed “Bang for your Buck” scores to rank the 491 school districts in Pennsylvania. Ephrata Area School District ranked in the top half and was named the 212th school district overall. Of the 22 school districts that make up Intermediate Unit 13, Ephrata ranked number five.

“This ranking is a strong indicator that Ephrata Area School District continues to offer a strong return on our investment for our community,” said Troop.

NerdWallet used the following to develop the list.

  1. Housing Cost: Data collected from the U.S. Census Bureau calculated the average median home value, monthly homeowner costs, and school district property tax.
  2. Standardized Testing Scores: District-wide SAT averages and PSSA results, obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), were equally averaged to create a composite index.
  3. College Readiness: High school graduation rates and the percentage of students going on to two- or four-year institutions for higher education were equally combined with PDE data.

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