U.S. News & World Report: Three Collier high schools rank in top 75 in Florida
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The U.S. News & World Report annual high school rankings released Tuesday placed three Collier County high schools in the top 75 schools statewide.
More than 17,000 high schools — 555 in Florida — were ranked on criteria including graduation rate, state test scores, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exam scores, and minority and low-income students' performance on state tests.
This year U.S. News & World Report expanded the pool of schools that are ranked from more than 2,700 to 17,245; around 23,000 public high schools are evaluated.
Lorenzo Walker Technical High School ranked the highest of Collier's nine schools that made the list, soaring 74 spots to 60th in the state and 621 spots to 1,072nd nationwide.
All other Collier schools dropped nationally, but that may have to do with how the rankings changed.
Barron Collier and Gulf Coast also ranked in the top 75 in the state. Barron Collier ranked 1,363rd, while Gulf Coast sat at 1,131st for the new national ranking.
U.S. News & World Report changed its methodology this year, so almost half of all schools dropped in the rankings. The new methodology means previous years and rankings are not comparable to this year, according to U.S. News & World Report.
The revamped methodology changed the following from previous years:
- All eligible public high schools are now included in the ranking. Previously, 14% of schools were ranked. 14,500 schools entered this year's ranking.
- Schools are now ranked for more than just test scores on college-level exams. Other academic qualities are now considered.
"We are extremely proud of the achievements in our high schools," Collier's Director of Curriculum and Instruction Leslie Ricciardelli said in an email. "We look forward to reviewing next year’s rankings as this year provides us with a baseline for comparison."
The new rankings brought Immokalee High School into the mix. The school made its first appearance in the rankings this year. The school placed around the 400th mark in Florida and in the top 11,000 nationwide.
In its second year on the national list, Golden Gate High School placed at 6,570th. The school ranked 287th in the state.
Lely High School sits at 3,577th in the nation and 177th in Florida.
Palmetto Ridge climbed slightly to 160th in the state this year. Naples High dropped to 139th after the rankings added more schools.
Everglades City School is the only Collier school to not appear on the list.
Marco Island Academy, Collier's lone charter school on the list, ranked 411th in Florida. Nationally, the school ranked within the top 11,000.
"Anytime that you're being recognized it's exciting," Marco Island Academy Board Chairwoman Jane Watt said.
Due to the changes in methodology, Watt said the ranking doesn't give a solid comparison and even excludes honors testing done by the school.
"The students did perform well this year, but they did the year before too," Watt said.
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