BusinessWeek announced its first-ever Best High Schools in America rankings Thursday.
Working in conjunction with San-Francisco-based nonprofit GreatSchools, BusinessWeek has identified Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria as the Best Overall School in Virginia.
Other top-performing Virginia schools were John Marshall High School in Richmond, which was named the Best Low Income School, and Waynesboro High School as Best Improved.
BusinessWeek and GreatSchools have determined the three top-performing high schools in these categories in all 50 states, as well as the parents’ top choices for the best public and private schools.
“This is traditionally a time of year when families start thinking about where their children will be going to school in the next year,” says BusinessWeek’s Charles Dubow, who edited the project. “Do you stay where you are? Do you move? Finding the right school for your children is so important that even in this economy parents may be willing to move or stay put. We want to help them make the best-informed decision.”
To compile the Best High Schools in America list, BusinessWeek and GreatSchools, an organization that rates schools and provides an online community for parents, identified the best overall public high school in terms of test scores, the best public high school with an economically-disadvantaged population, and the most-improved public high school.
In addition, BusinessWeek offers the top public and private school in each state that parents rated the highest on the GreatSchools.net Website.
The top five schools in Virginia, according to the BusinessWeek/GreatSchools list are:
Best Overall Academic Performance: Thomas Jefferson High School – Alexandria
Best Low-Income: John Marshall High School – Richmond
Best Improved: Waynesboro High School – Waynesboro
Parents’ Choice (public): Ocean Lakes High School – Virginia Beach
Parents’ Choice (private): Greenbrier Christian Academy – Chesapeake
The Best Overall Academic Performance, Best Low Income, and Best Improved schools were selected based on the most recent available state math, reading, and science standardized test scores for public schools. Math and reading were weighted twice as heavily as science.
The schools with the Best Overall Academic Performance had the best weighted test scores. The Best Low-Income school in each state had the highest weighted test score of the most economically disadvantaged schools. The Best Improved school is the school in each state that had the biggest weighted test-score improvement compared to the previous year.