Written by Rich Forestano, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 01 November 2013 00:00
Herricks High and New Hyde Park Memorial High School are considered top schools in the country, according to the Newsweek/Daily Beast Top 1,000 in the United States. Herricks was ranked 177th (96th in 2012) and 30th in New York State while New Hyde Park came in at 256th (373rd in 2012) and 46th in the state.
According to the Daily Beast, the list is based on six components: graduation rate (25 percent), college acceptance rate (25 percent), AP/IB/AICE tests taken per student (25 percent), average SAT/ACT scores (10 percent), average AP/IB/AICE scores (10 percent), and percent of students enrolled in at least one AP/IB/AICE course (5 percent).
Herricks sports graduation rates and SAT scores of 98 percent and 1735 with 95 percent of it students being college bound. New Hyde Park had 99 percent of its students graduate along an average of 1584 on the SAT.
District Superintendent Jack Bierwirth feels institutions like charter schools and magnets (public schools with specialized curriculum) keep true public schools from moving up on the list. Furthermore, the rankings are more of a testament to the districts dedication to educating its students toward college-ready levels, with 80 percent of last years graduating class taking one advanced placement course. Herricks students averaged a 3.4 out of 5 on AP exams, according to Newsweek.
“If you take out the magnets and the selective schools, we actually didn’t slip,” Bierwirth said. “We were actually well within the first 100 schools. What is meaningful to is over the last decade...we had as an objective, to try to get every student who went off the college, to take at least one AP class on a voluntary basis.”
Bierwirth said Herricks averages 75 percent of the AP students to score a 3 or better.
“If we are hanging in there and if we are getting to the point where 80 percent of our kids are taking at least one AP class before they go off to college, that to me, is very significant.”
Sewanhaka Central High School District Superintendent Ralph Ferrie commended New Hyde Park for its ranking.
“We’re very pleased with the performance of [New Hyde Park Memorial],” he said. “The students, staff and administration should be proud of that.”
In a time where testing standards in New York are in flux with the new Common Core learning modules, Ferrie is pleased to see schools recognized for academic proficiency. The school jumped 17 spots from 2012.
“I think it’s something the district and community can be proud of,” he stated. “It’s always very positive when schools land in rankings like that.”