Foothill ranks in top 1 percent of nation according to survey

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U.S. World and News Report Magazine awards Foothill with silver medal.
U.S. World and News Report Magazine awards Foothill with silver medal.
Foothill has earned the silver medal from U.S. News & World Report magazine as one of the best high schools in the United States, ranking as the 178th best high school in the nation out of 21,786 schools analyzed. This places the school in the top 1 percent of high schools nationwide.

“They look at AP scores, test scores, ethnicity, what type of school you are,” said Principal Joe Bova.

According to an article explaining the magazine’s methodology,  each school chosen to be considered “America’s Best High School” undergoes a three-step selection process:

1.  Determine “whether each school’s students were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in their state.”

2. Determine “whether the school’s least-advantaged students (black, Hispanic, and low-income) were performing better than average for similar students in the state.

3. If schools meet the first two steps, then assess the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work.” This includes measuring the number of AP tests students take by dividing the number of seniors at the school by the number of seniors who took one or more AP tests before or during their senior year.

Subsequently, the top 100 schools with the highest college readiness-index were awarded gold medals, while the next 461 schools earned silver, and 1,189 in the remaining 48 states that were eligible for participation received a bronze medal.

Foothill’s assistant principal LaSonja Temple notes that with this award and exceptional rankings that, “Our community thinks very highly of us and they are proud. They recognize our hard work.”

Media Center director Linda Kapala adds that good teachers and motivated students help Foothill earn such high achievement. Kapala also looks at U.S. News & World Report and sees the rankings and other criteria as “tools to improve teaching.”

“This feedback from them as well as students allow teachers to take daily lesson plans and refine it to produce the best students,” said Kapala.

Foothill is not the only high school in Ventura County area to be recognized. Oak Park High School is the only other high school in the area to have passed through the selection process gauntlet all the way to a silver medal.

Three of the top ten high schools in the nation are from the state of California: Whitney High School of Cerritos (ranks third); its rival Oxford Academy of Cypress (ranks fourth), and Pacific Collegiate School of Santa Cruz (ranks seventh).

Not all of the gold, silver and bronze schools have open enrollment, the way Foothill does.

“The top 100 usually have special entrance criteria,” mentioned Bova. This might include screening applicants for grades and test scores.

While the gold medal may seem out of Foothill’s reach, Kapala continues to urge that, “we should always aim higher.”

[Editor’s Note: This article was modified from an earlier version to improve readability and fix errors in spelling and style.]

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