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Which Central Mass High Schools Made US News World Report Ranking

Thursday, April 25, 2013


US News and World Report has revealed their 2013 top high school rankings, and some Central Mass. schools are making waves locally and nationally.

How Schools Compared

The best local ranking came from the Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School (AMSA) in Marlborough which ranked third statewide and 130th nationally.

AMSA Principal Jay Sweeney said that the school’s shining stars are the students and the teachers.

“The biggest thing is we look at the students and teachers and look at the effort they put in,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s the students’ responsibility to engage and the responsibility of the teachers to make that environment.”

Sweeney said that the school prides itself on its achievements and is constantly striving to be better.

“It’s them. It’s not administration,” he said. “We’re really proud of what’s going on, and it’s the effort put in by the teachers and students that has gotten us here.”

Sturgis Charter Public School in Hyannis made the top of the state’s list of high schools followed by Boston Latin School in Boston. AMSA took third place, followed by the Dover-Sherborn High School in Dover. Salem Academy Charter School took fifth place.

While Sweeney says that statistics like those provided by US News and World Report can be diced to show different results, he said he’s happy their school is on the positive end. And from the sound of it, it’s more than just crunching stats that got them to this top spot.

“We’re always trying to get better, and when you focus on constant improvement, great things happen,” Sweeney said. “We’re always looking at and analyzing student data.”

He said that AMSA reviews high stakes testing like the SAT and MCAS to see where improvement is most needed.

“We look to see where we’re function and where we aren’t. We also look at midterms and other testing,” he said. “If they aren’t learning in a certain area, we ask how we can modify and ensure we’re reaching all of our students.”

One example Sweeney gave was the school’s SAT scores. While the principal said they have been good, they noticed that if more attention was placed on students scoring on the lower end, they could improve their scores more dramatically.

“We look at all levels. Many schools teach to the top. Work really hard to reach them all.”

Sweeney said the school is “fortunate we did this well.” Still, he added that it’s not about the number or the competition.

“We always plan for greatness, but we don’t pick a number,” he said. “You just want to do well.”

Central Mass Schools That Made the Grade

Marlborough’s AMSA was the top getter in the region, followed by Acton-Boxborough Regional High School in Acton, coming in at #17 in Mass. Shrewsbury Senior High School also had high marks, at #27. Ashland High School ranked #30, and Milford High came in at #37.

The Top Schools in the Nation

Nationally, the top schools came from all over the country. First place when to the School for the Talented and Gifted, in Dallas. Texas. Second was BASIS Tuscon, from Tuscon, Arizona. Next was the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Forth was Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia, and fifth was another BASIS high school in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The top high school in Massachusetts came in 31st nationally – Sturgis Charter Public School in Hyannis. 


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