6 LI high schools on U.S. News' top 200 list

ByJoie Tyrrell

Read the full article at newsday.com >

Six Long Island public high schools ranked among the top 40 in the state and the top 200 nationally in U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of high-performing institutions.

Jericho High School in Nassau County led the pack on the Island, ranking 13th in the state and 91st in the nation. Superintendent Henry Grishman, in an interview, credited an outstanding teaching staff and “a community that appreciates education and believes in investing in education and has high expectations for the district and students.”

The other highest-ranking local schools by U.S. News included South Side High School in Rockville Centre, 15th in the state and 109th in the nation; Garden City High School, 18th in the state and 121st in the nation; Great Neck South High School, 19th in the state and 136th in the nation; Manhasset High School, 21st in the state and 140th in the nation; and Cold Spring Harbor High School, 34th in the state and 185th in the nation.

U.S. News’ evaluation included schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, from an overall pool of about 28,000 institutions. Some schools were not included on the best high schools list, however, because they were too small or were missing key data, according to the organization’s website.

The website said 6,218 high schools scored high enough in all parts of its methodology to be included, which meant that 69 percent of the eligible high schools nationwide did not score high enough to be included, according to the methodology used to select schools.

For the fifth year in a row, the School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas was ranked the No. 1 public high school in the country.

In New York State, the High School of American Studies at Lehman College in the Bronx ranked first and Kipp Academy Charter School, also in the Bronx, ranked second.

Long Island high schools ranked in the top 50 in the state were The Wheatley School in Old Westbury, in the East Williston district, 37th in the state and 225th nationally; Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington, 38th and 233rd; Syosset High School, 39th and 254th; Herricks High School, 40th and 262nd; Roslyn High School, 41st and 280th; and Earl L. Vandermeulen High School in Port Jefferson, 45th and 367th.

Port Jefferson Superintendent Kenneth Bossert complimented the district’s instructional and support staff, as well as the high school’s leadership team and “an extremely supportive school board and community that truly values education.”

Ira Pernick, principal at Schreiber High School, said he was proud of the ranking, “but it is not the sole thing I am proud of about my school. We provide students all different sorts of opportunities . . . whether it is in automotive technology or 3-D design. These things do not get reflected in rankings . . . but they also play a part in what makes great schools great.”

U.S. News & World Report looked at whether a high school serves all of its students well, not just those who are college bound, and at academic outcomes that show it is successfully educating its student body.

Evaluators looked at overall student performance on state-required tests. Then, U.S. News factored in how effectively the schools educated disadvantaged students.

In a major change from previous rankings, a new third step focused on high school graduation rates. Schools had to have a rate of at least 68 percent.

Finally, schools were evaluated on how well they prepared students for college based on participation in and performance on Advanced Placement and International Baccaulaureate exams.