‘Florida High’ Ranked Among Nation’s Best High Schools

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Press Release: Florida State University

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State University Schools’ (FSUS) high school, better known as “Florida High,” has been ranked among the nation’s best high schools by two nationally recognized organizations.
Newsweek and the Daily Beast ranked the FSUS high school No. 472 nationally and 30th in Florida in its America’s Best High Schools rankings. The Newsweek/Daily Beast rankings highlight the nation’s best 2,000 public high schools — those that have proven to be the most effective in producing college-ready graduates.

In the meantime, U.S. News & World Report awarded Florida High a silver medal based on state proficiency and how well the school prepared students for college in its annual Best High Schools rankings. Nationally, the news magazine ranked Florida High at 707 out of 21,035 high schools and 89th among all charter schools. The school was ranked 43rd in Florida.

“We are extremely pleased that Florida High has been named or ranked as one of the best high schools in Florida and the United States,” said Lynn Wicker, director of Florida State University Schools. “The teachers, students, parents and administration are all to be commended for their various contributions to the academic achievement of our high school students.”

Wicker said she hopes to see the school continue to rise in the rankings until it becomes one of the Top 10 high schools in the nation, but the real marker of success is what the rankings represent.
“This goal is not for the sake of improvement on a ranking list, rather the rankings would mean that a greater percentage of our high school students are achieving and learning at even higher levels of proficiency and demonstrating extremely high levels of college and career readiness,” she said. “That is our relentless focus and what Florida High is all about.”

The Newsweek/Daily Beast rankings are based on six components: graduation rate; college acceptance rate; Advanced Placement (AP)/International Baccalaureate (IB) programs/Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) tests taken per student; average SAT/ACT scores; average AP/IB/AICE scores; and percent of students enrolled in at least one AP/IB/AICE course.

Florida High, a charter school with a lottery-style admission system, boasts a 99 percent graduation rate, and 96 percent of the students are accepted into a college program, according to the Newsweek/Daily Beast data. The average SAT score is 1540, while the average ACT score is 20. The average number of AP/IB tests given per student is 0.5, while the average AP score is 3.7.

To produce the 2013 U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools rankings, U.S. News teamed up with the Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research (AIR), one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world. The ranking methodology was based on a three-step process that, in the first two steps, ensured that the schools serve all of their students well, using performance on state proficiency tests as the benchmarks. For those schools that made it past the first two steps, a third step assessed the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work.

Florida State University Schools is the FSU College of Education’s developmental research school in Tallahassee. The 1,600-student K-12 school includes about 650 high school students. The school is operated under a charter agreement by FSU and provides a venue for educational research, curriculum innovation, educator development and statewide reform efforts. Activities at the school advance educational research, support teacher training and create grant funding for academic programs and research.

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