U.S. News ranks Arlington Memorial a top performer in the state

ARLINGTON -- One local high school is ranked among the top in the nation -- for the third year in a row.

U.S. News & World Report's recently released 2013 rankings place Arlington Memorial as the 4th highest performing high school in the state, and 1,253rd among 21,035 U.S. public high schools.

Based on academic results, the performance of the school's least-advantaged students, and Advanced Placement test data, Arlington's rank warranted a "silver" medal by U.S. News.

Arlington Principal Kerry Csizmesia chalked the school's placement up to its faculty and students. "We have an outstanding, veteran faculty who know their job, and do it well," he said by telephone Wednesday.

For their part, students know what's expected of them and come prepared to learn.

"Extremely proud"

"I give all of the credit to our teachers and students who understand the importance of what we are doing here, and the Arlington community for their never-ending support," Csizmesia said in an earlier release. "I continue to be extremely proud of this school."

The principal said it was gratifying to hear from graduates who returned to tell how prepared they were for either college or the workplace. "No matter what a student's plan is for after high school, a strong education provides a better opportunity for continued success," Csizmesia said.

A future school-wide celebration is planned to recognize the achievement.

Fourteen Vermont schools received rankings on the latest report, with Montpelier High School, Oxbow Union High School, and Lake Region High School topping the statewide list.

Among other local districts, Hoosick Falls Junior/Senior High School in New York ranked 152nd in that state, and 1,842 nationwide: also worthy of a silver medal recognition.

Mount Anthony Union High School went unranked but did receive a bronze award under U.S. News' methodology.

That methodology has come under some criticism, however.

According to the report's authors, schools are ranked with the overarching goal of serving all students, not just those planning to attend college.

A Frequently Asked Questions page on the report website states that rankings factor the relative performance on state tests of students who are economically disadvantaged and minorities, instead of the absolute level of test results.

As a result, higher rankings do not always correlate with higher graduation rates and test scores, and schools can jump positions from year to year.

For example, in 2012, Cambridge Junior-Senior High School was ranked 167th in New York while Hoosick Falls was 211th. Salem High School topped the list of local New York schools, at 136th.

This year, Salem and Cambridge failed to receive any ranking.

The full report and methodology can be found online at: www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools

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