Two local schools recognized in magazine's rankings
By Sarah Nagem
Two local schools are recognized in the 2009 U.S. News & World Report list of exemplary high schools.
Salisbury High was awarded the silver recognition. A.L. Brown High in Kannapolis was awarded the bronze recognition.
The report analyzed more than 21,000 high schools across the country.
The process to determine the best high schools involved measuring how well schools serve their students, partly by analyzing state proficiency standards during the 2006-07 school year.
Analysts determined if students at each school did better than expected for the average student in North Carolina.
They also looked at whether minority and low-income students scored better than average on tests.
The final step involved college-readiness of the schools based on students’ participation on advanced-placement exams.
That school year, 153 Salisbury High School students took 280 advanced-placement exams, principal Dr. Windsor Eagle said.
The school met high growth standards as part of the state’s accountability program during the 2006-07 school year.
But Eagle said the school still has work to do. Last school year, Salisbury High did not meet high growth standards after nine consecutive years of doing so, he said.
Math has been an obstacle, especially in reaching federal standards set out by the No Child Left Behind legislation.
“We can’t get students to the Algebra class as fast as we need to,” Eagle said.
Standards measure students’ Algebra I test scores.
Eagle said many students who enter Salisbury High lack the necessary skills for Algebra I, so they need easier courses to catch up.
A.L. Brown High met high growth standards during the 2006-07 school year, principal Dr. Debra Morris said.
Morris said she credits the teachers at the school for working hard to help students achieve.
“I work with a really, really quality staff,” she said.
National recognition motivates people even more, Morris said.
For a complete listing of schools that made the grade in the report, go to www.usnews.com/listings/directories/high-schools/ index_html.