Greene Co, P-C ranked by U.S. News

Greene County High School and Paton-Churdan High School were both awarded bronze medals in a recent ranking by U.S. News & World Report.

Gold, silver or bronze medals were awarded to 6,041 public high schools across the country, 29.5 percent of the public schools with sufficient enrollment during the 2014-15 school year to be eligible for the rankings. (Schools with fewer than 15 students in 12th grade during the 2014-15 school year were not evaluated.)

In determining the rankings, U.S. News first looked at reading and math results for all students on each state’s proficiency tests. The percentages of economically disadvantage students in each school were considered to identify schools doing better than statistical expectation.

Next, test scores of disadvantaged students were compared with their peers statewide, and again, schools that moved forward in consideration were those whose disadvantaged students’ scores were better than the state average of disadvantaged students.

The third consideration was graduation rates. No schools with a graduation rate lower than 75 percent went on for further evaluation. Statistics for the 2017 ranking were based on 2015 graduations (students who were in ninth grade in the 2011-12 school year).

The final criterion was a measure of college-readiness based on Advanced Placement test scores. The number of seniors during the 2014-15 school year who took at least one AP test before or during their senior year and their scores on the tests were considered.

The top 500 schools (2.4 percent) according to U.S News’ scores were awarded gold medals. Silver medals were awarded to numbers 501 to 2,609 (10.3 percent). Another 3,432 high schools (16.8 percent), including Greene County and Paton-Churdan, were awarded bronze medals.

Greene County was shown with a graduation rate of 91 percent, 89 percent proficiency in math, and 88 percent proficiency in English. Paton-Churdan was shown with a graduation rate of 83 percent, 90 percent math proficiency and 90 percent English proficiency.

Greene County High School principal Brian Phillips credited the work of teachers in their professional learning communities during Wednesday afternoons after student dismissal. “There is amazing dedication from the entire staff from when the lights come on in the early morning until the last person walks out the school doors late at night,” Phillips said. “I am very proud of our entire teaching staff with our ranking by U.S. News.”

“It is great for our students and teachers to be recognized for their hard work and extra efforts.  I look at this as another reassurance that public school in rural Iowa is still a great place to raise a family,” Paton-Churdan principal Annie Smith said.

There are no gold medal schools in Iowa, but 12 silver medal schools and 112 bronze medal schools. Decorah High School is the highest ranked.

Click here for the ranking of Iowa schools.

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