Thursday, December 10, 2009

The 2010 U.S.News & World Report Americas Best High Schools

from U.S.News & World Report–

"U.S.News & World Report—
in collaboration with School Evaluation Services, a K-12 education and data research and analysis business that provides parents with education data—analyzed academic and enrollment data from more than 21,000 public high schools to find the very best across the country. These top schools were placed into gold, silver, bronze, or honorable mention categories.

The 2010 U.S.News & World Report Americas Best High Schools methodology, developed by School Evaluation Services, a K-12 education data research business run by Standard & Poor's, is based on the key principles that a great high school must serve all its students well, not just those who are collegebound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show the school is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators.

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va., the top school in U.S. News & World Report's America's Best High Schools rankings, is designed to challenge students. A course load of offerings that include DNA science, neurology, and quantum physics would seem to be more than enough to meet that goal. But students and the faculty felt those classes weren't enough, so they decided to tackle another big question: What are the social responsibilities of educated people? Over the course of the school year, students are exploring social responsibility through projects of their own design, ranging from getting school supplies for students with cerebral palsy in Shanghai to persuading their classmates to use handkerchiefs to reduce paper waste. The One Question project demonstrates the way "TJ," as it's referred to by students and teachers, encourages the wide-ranging interests of its students.

"None of our students have the same passion," says TJ Principal Evan Glazer. "But having a passion is widely accepted and embraced."

Redan High School in DeKalb was honored with a bronze medal! According to the definition, bronze winners, "either do not offer AP or IB or do not achieve a college readiness index of at least 20 but successfully meet the other two key performance indicator criteria."

In Gwinnett County, Central Gwinnett High School in Lawrenceville and Norcross High School were each awarded silver recognition. Central Gwinnett high school is home to 2,761 students, 64.4% of whom are minorities. The school receives no Title 1 funding and over half their AP students pass the AP final exam.


Anonymous said...

Redan High School in DeKalb was honored with a bronze medal! According to the definition, bronze winners, "either do not offer AP or IB or do not achieve a college readiness index of at least 20 but successfully meet the other two key performance indicator criteria."

Congratulations-student population97% black, 1% Hispanic, 3% mixed race and 68% on free and reduced lunch-a Title I school.

Cerebration said...

Yes - There have been great things going on at the "Great Redan High School" -- much of it thanks to the wonderful Sandra Purkett -- I just "love her madly" -- she's quite a lady!

Anonymous said...

Everyone should read this article about Dr. Lewis complaining about his "low" salary.

Cerebration said...

Great find, Anon. Excuse me while I get a kleenex....

Lewis’ contract, which was extended by a year in March without any financial incentive, now expires October 2011. Bowen said they had to extend it because it is customary for superintendents to have contracts extending 12 to 18 months out.

Lewis said that if it gets to a year and the contract is not extended, superintendents know to start job hunting.

While he had not had any contract discussions with the board, Lewis’s lawyer and board lawyers have spoken.

“They have the eight dimensions I want,” he said.

None of them includes him making less money.

“It’s not reasonable for me to start out with less,” he said. “I am a bargain for this board. I am so underpaid compared to other superintendents.”

To read the rest (and I highly suggest that you do) click this CrossRoads article:
Superintendent’s pay proving divisive

Dekalbparent said...

Just to go back for a moment:

They have talked about getting the Coralwood Foundation folks to share their fundraising expertise with the rest of the schools. How about getting Ms. Sandra Purkett to share her expertise and her incredible upbeat everything-is-possible attitude with all of us?.

We all gotta "love her madly"!

Cerebration said...

She does share her program all around. In fact, this is an article from a SW DeKalb newsletter -

PILOT (Preparing Innovative Leaders of Tomorrow) Program
From Loreen Booker
The PILOT (Preparing Innovative Leaders of Tomorrow) Program is a wonderful program that
helps prepare students for college entrance (i.e. community service opportunities, scholarships,
help with applications etc.). Several of our 2007 graduates participated last year. Two of our
students were recipients of the William Purkett Scholarship: Booker Brown and Horn Blower.
The meetings are every Tuesday at 7:00 pm at Redan High school.
Below are excerpts from the meeting flyer:
“This is your chance to take a Non-Stop Flight to Success and Empowerment. Find out what it
takes to be the “Marketable ME”.
Allow Your Dreams To Become Stepping Stones to Success! Satisfy your curiosity and join the
group that for the 2007 school year helped 59 Seniors Earn Three Million Dollars In
Scholarships. We challenge others to come close and wait on the rest to exceed!
• Be a part of a Team that gives back to the community.
• Be a part of a Team that is awarded Community Service.
• Be a part of a Team that builds Self Esteem.
• Be a part of a Team that is RESPECTED.
• Be a part of a Team that WINS!!!!!!
For information, please contact Sandy Purkett at “

Sandy's program is certainly no secret -- in fact, the board recently gave her a special recognition. Truly, I don't many people who share more of themselves with the world.

Check out the PILOT program and ask Sandy to help you implement it at your school.

Anonymous said...

Coralwood is such a unique program. In addition, a huge chunk of their finances come from parents and community members. (There is nothing wrong with this at all, it is just hard to replicate if your community and/or parent population doesn't have the resources to give.)

What Sandy does it so incredible and can be replicated given the proper parent leadership and a receptiveness from the school administration. She is fantastic, dedicated and willing to give all -- it isn't easy to find such volunteers, but certainly not impossible.

Anonymous said...

Lewis has simply been in place way too long. He does not run the financial aspects of the school system like a business, which it is. All organizations need fresh ideas and fresh faces from time to time. If Lewis has met his goals, then the goals were much too low!

This taxpayer would be happy to pay a little more to get a professional from outside academia to take over DCSS. If the Board decides to keep Lewis then we should all absolutely insist that Markus Turk be replaced by someone with years of successful private industry financial experience.

Anonymous said...

No Anon

The board has already made its decisin on Lewis. The BOE renewed his 250,000 cintract in April of this year.

We need to get a new board that will do a better job of monitoring and "PAYING ATTENTION" to they things that come out of Lewis mouth.

Ole "Slick get Rich" is what I call Crawford! He is as slick and as posionous as a bald headed snake can be and getting rich at our kids expense.

I hope his poop catches up to him. It did Linda Shrienko and Bill Campbell.

Aren't they both still in jail?

Wishful thinking I suppose!

Anonymous said...

Womack need to get out in the sun more. IS HE FREAKING CRAZY!!!

Its nice that he feels Lewis is worth what he is paid.

I am sure the attorney feel they are worth the 14,000,000 plus that they have received.

Anonymous said...

Five years ago Lewis' pay more than doubled when he took the superintendent position. According to teacher retirement rules (60% pay based on top two years salary) he can now retire, do nothing, and receive a pension higher than his annual pay would have been had he continued in his former position. I'm all for paying appropriately for tasks performed, but enough with the boo hoo selfishness. The board has been good to you Crawford. Why not pick up a fishing pole and head to the lake?

Anonymous said...

Head to the lake/1 How about we toss his butt in the river. THE NEW YORK HUDSON RIVER! It may not be as poluted as Crawford, but he should feel comfortable.

Cerebration said...

So, I'm guessing that you guys are not Lewis fans. Personally, although he can be very nice in person, he is like Gumby - he bends and flexes depending on the circumstances. That can be good and bad, depending on who you are flexing to.

Womack and certain others on the board this weak leadership style.

On this matter - the pay increase for Lewis - I think Dr. Walker has it exactly right.

“I can’t speak for any other board members, but it is inconceivable to me that we would give our superintendent a raise and our teachers have not had a step increase and we have cut bus drivers’ pay by 29 percent,” he said. “This is one board member who would not be party to it. Before we can consider any increase for the superintendent, we would have to increase those making the least amount of money first.”

Personally, I don't care if Lewis is a "bargain" or if it would cost us $300,000 to replace him with someone much more qualified. Sometimes in life, you really do just get what you pay for. It's time to move into the new millennium and go shopping for somebody really REALLY good - who does not have old-timey relationships and political connections and cousins with six-figure jobs in the system - someone who can make the hard and necessary changes needed and really seek equity in spending and learning for all.

Does anyone know exactly what these "goals" were that the board apparently set and Lewis apparently met?

Anonymous said...

Usually the goals written in a superintendents' contract are such that they are going to make them. The bonus is usually something that they can count on. I do not know the particulars of Lewis' contract, but it is most likely tied to student achievement.