In the news over the last week has been a great deal about the Arizona legislature adjourning sine die. But the story that should be jamming the airwaves is the news that three Arizona high schools made the U.S. News and World Reports list of the top ten high schools in the country.
When my sister, who sends her two boys to well-regarded schools in the Chappaqua, NY school district, jokes (I think) that she is moving to Scottsdale after hearing the news, you know this is a big deal.
BASIS Scottsdale (#2), BASIS Tucson North (#5) and University High School (#7) all rank among the best public high schools in the United States, earning Arizona the unique distinction as the only state with more than two schools in the top ten.
19,400 public schools were rated by U.S. News and World Reports, putting these schools in the top .05 percent of schools in the country.
While this is an exciting distinction for Arizona, even more exciting are the numbers behind the rankings. All three schools exhibited 100 percent participation and a 100 percent pass rate for Advanced Placement (AP) tests. Research has consistently shown a strong correlation between success on AP exams and college graduation. In a state that recently reported an 18.6 percent college graduation rate among high school students after six years, it’s clear these three schools have cracked the code to college readiness.
Arizona is fortunate to have these three and many more excellent public schools in our state. We ought to be laser-focused on efforts to replicate and expand models and programs that we know are working for Arizona students and families.