Bexley High School
Educators happy to make magazine's 'Best' list
Bexley High School has climbed in Newsweek magazine's recent 2013 "America's Best High Schools" list, released earlier this month.
The school placed at 228 on the list that highlights the best 2,500 public schools in the nation -- giving specific weight to those who best prepare their students for college.
"I am very proud of the whole system," said Bexley Superintendent Mike Johnson, noting it takes parents, teachers, staff and a solid community to achieve student success.
Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati was Ohio's top-ranking school, at 53rd place.
Dublin Jerome High School came in at 153 -- the only central Ohio high school to rank above Bexley.
Bexley, like all schools seeking a ranking from Newsweek, submitted an application. All the data analyzed is self-reported by each school for the 2011-12 school year.
More than 5,000 high schools were invited to participate in the survey this year, with nearly 2,500 responding.
All public high schools in the U.S. are eligible to apply.
The Newsweek rankings are based on six factors, including the school's four-year, on-time graduation rate (25-percent weight); percentage of 2011 graduates who were accepted to college (25-percent weight); AP/IB/AICE tests per student (25-percent weight); average AP/IB/AICE exam score (10-percent weight); and percentage of students enrolled in at least one AP/IB/AICE course (5-percent weight).
"Each year, we have tweaked our methodology slightly, but stayed true to factors that have been proven to be the best indicators of college readiness: graduation rates, participation in college-level classes via Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, and acceptance into a two- or four-year college program," said Lauren Streib at Newsweek/The Daily Beast.
In 2011, Bexley placed 245th on the list. The school did not participate in the 2012 ranking.
While applauding the district and its students for their high placement in the Newsweek ranking, Johnson acknowledged that Bexley still needs to improve the academic growth among some of its subgroups, including low-income students, minority students and students with special needs.
Johnson pointed out that Bexley is getting more than a year's growth out of most of its students, but is only growing those in the three above-mentioned subcategories a year for a year's time.
"But in Bexley, everybody expects more ... for all students," he said.
That is information the district is paying attention to, he said, in order to "close the gap."
Last month, the district received another accolade, coming from U.S. News and World Report which ranked Bexley High School 160th on its own list of 22,000 public high schools across the country. That list rated schools according to which best serve "all students well, not just those who are college-bound."
The magazine collected data on more than 21,000 public high schools from 49 states and the District of Columbia. Nebraska did not report enough data to be included in the rankings. There was no application process.
Walnut Hills High School also topped the U.S. News rankings in Ohio. Bexley came in fifth in the state.