Seattle Public Schools' Garfield and Roosevelt High Schools were recently both awarded silver medal distinction by U.S. News and World Report magazine.
From a pool of over 18,000 high schools, the magazine annually ranks the top 100 "gold medal" high schools based on their college assessment readiness index.
Described as one of the "Most Likely to Succeed," Garfield High School and Roosevelt High School serve as the nation's best example of how students across the board perform on state tests and are provided college-level coursework. Both schools received a certificate of recognition from the Seattle Public School Board on Dec. 5th for the caliber of education provided to their students.
"First of all, Roosevelt High School and Garfield High School should be commended for the honor of being ranked among the best high schools in the nation," said Michael Tolley, Seattle's new instructional director for high schools. "This prestigious recognition is a result of the students' willingness and ability to accept the challenge of a rigorous, but relevant curriculum provided by teaches at both schools. It is the intent of the district to replicate, in other high schools across the district, the successful instructional models utilized at these two excellent schools."
Tolley is also a former principal of the Academy Magnet High School in Charleston, S.C., which was twice ranked the 10th best high school in the nation by Newsweek.
The selection process is rigorous. According to U.S. News and World Report, there are three key steps. The first step determines whether each school's students are performing better than statistically expected for the average student in the state. Math and reading scores were reviewed for all students. Second, math and reading proficiency rates were examined to see whether the school's least-advantaged students were performing better than average compared with similar students in the state.
The third are reviewed was college-readiness performance which uses Advanced Placement data as the benchmark for success. This step measured which schools produced the best college-level achievement for the highest percentage of students through a "college readiness index" which weighed a number of AP factors. A total of 18,790 high schools in 40 states were reviewed using date from the 2005-2006 school year. As U.S. News and World Report stated, "A good high school can open worlds of opportunity for its students."