Waterford High School earned a silver medal ranking in the 2014 U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools report, the highest-ranked school in Stanislaus County. It is the third year in a row that the school has earned the silver designation.
Statewide, Waterford ranked 245 out of 2,026 high schools; nationwide, the school ranked 1,127 out of 19,400.
“This is an outside, independent evaluation of our school system. It’s not something we produce,” said Don Davis, Waterford Unified School District superintendent.
Davis said the rankings spoke to the quality of the Waterford school system overall.
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“It takes a commitment from preschool to elementary to junior high in order for the high school to do this well,” he said.
“We have many committed teachers and students that work well together, making this school special,” said Waterford High Principal Ignacio Ramirez.
U.S. News teamed with the Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research to produce the rankings, based on the key principles that a great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college-bound.
The rating system considered schools where students overall were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in the state. Evaluators then looked at whether the school’s least-advantaged students – black, Hispanic and low-income – were performing better than average for similar students in the state.
Schools that made it through the first two steps became eligible to be judged nationally on the final step – college-readiness – using Advanced Placement test data as benchmarks for success. This step considers the percentage of students enrolled in AP courses and how well they did.