Highland, Firestone high schools make Newsweek list
GREATER AKRON — Two local high schools are nationally ranked by Newsweek as being among the best to prepare students for college.
Highland Local Schools’ Highland High School, in Granger, earned the 987th spot on the magazine’s list of the best high schools in the country, while Akron Public Schools’ Firestone High School, in West Akron, was ranked 1,444th. A total of 77 Ohio high schools made the list of the top 2,000.
Newsweek and website The Daily Beast conducted the survey of U.S. high schools with a goal of finding the secondary institutions that best prepare students for college. The list of schools is based on six components: graduation rate (25 percent), college acceptance rate (25 percent), Advanced Placement (AP)/International Baccalaureate (IB)/Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) tests taken per student (25 percent), average SAT/ACT scores (10 percent), average AP/IB/AICE scores (10 percent) and percent of students enrolled in at least one AP/IB/AICE course (5 percent).
Highland Principal Dana Addis said school officials were happy to see they made the list.
“We’re proud of our kids and proud of our teachers,” he said.
He noted the ranking was based on data from 2012’s AP tests, which reflected the participation of 127 students in AP classes. This year the school has 167 students in AP, and next year 225 are currently scheduled to take AP classes.
“There’s another level we want to get to,” Addis said. “We feel we’re doing good things, but we have more stairs to climb.”
Judy Harrison, coordinator of the IB program at Firestone, said officials there learned of the ranking May 6 and “we are, in fact, thrilled.”
“Firestone has enjoyed the ranking with Newsweek a number of times,” Harrison said. “Last year we did not make it, but we did again this year. I think it’s a real credit to the Akron Public Schools.”
She added that the school will graduate its 16th class of IB students this year, and Firestone is one of 22 schools in the state offering the IB curriculum.
Harrison also said APS is currently looking to add the middle school IB program to Litchfield Middle School. That program is relatively recent and not offered in many schools, she said.
According to the website, more than 5,000 schools were invited to submit information for the survey and nearly 2,500 did. All public high schools in the United States were eligible.
The complete list and more information are at www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek.
Kathleen Folkerth contributed to this report.
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