Franklin High School Named One Of Top High Schools In U.S.

Franklin High School has been named one of the top high schools in the nation for 2023-2024 by US News and World Report.

The ranking was announced at the September 28 Board of Education meeting.

The school scored in the top 40 percent of nearly 18,000 high schools nationally ranked by the magazine.

FHS ranked 164th in New Jersey, out of nearly 400 schools, and 4,186th in national rankings, according to the magazine.

This is the first time FHS has qualified for the designation, said schools Superintendent John Ravally.

“We climbed several hundred spots over the last five years to make that list,” he said.

School board president Nancy LaCorte said the district is “really proud” of the ranking.

“If you can’t find something at Franklin High School that piques your curiosity, then you need to look harder because there’s something for everybody,” she said.

FHS principal Nicholas Solomon said the school is “ecstatic” over the news.

“This is not something that just happened in the last year, or last two years,” he said. “We certainly have staff who have been there for a very long time, and it speaks to their efforts and the time they put into what they do each and every day for their students and our community.”

“But I’m competitive, when I see numbers, I want to be number one,” Solomon said. “So we’re going to keep pushing, there’s a lot more work that we can do.”

US News and World Report uses six criterion in making their rankings, each with its own assigned weight:

  • College Readiness, 30 percent
    The proportions of 12th graders who took and earned a qualifying score on at least one AP or IB exam. Earning a qualifying score is worth three times more than just taking.
  • State Assessment Proficiency, 20 percent
    Aggregated scores on state assessments that students may be required to pass for graduation.
  • State Assessment Performance, 20 percent
    How aggregated scores on state assessments compare with U.S. News’ expectations given the proportions of students who are Black, Hispanic and from low-income households.
  • Underserved Student Performance, 10 percent
    Scores on state assessments aggregated just among students who are Black, Hispanic and from low-income households. These scores are compared with what is typical in the state for non-undeserved students, with parity or higher being the goal.
  • College Curriculum Breadth, 10 percent
    The proportions of 12th graders who took and earned a qualifying score on AP and IB exams in multiple areas. More exams are valued more than fewer exams up to a maximum of four. Earning a qualifying score on an exam is worth three times more than taking.
  • Graduation Rate, 10 percent
    The proportion of entering ninth graders who graduated four academic years later.

The magazine partnered with RTI International to rank “approximately 17,680 public high schools out of nearly 25,000 reviewed. This is the count of public high schools that had a 12th grade enrollment of 15 students or greater, or otherwise had sufficient enrollment in other high school grades, during the 2020-2021 school year to be analyzed,” according to its web site.

“We did this by summing their weighted scores across six indicators of school quality, then computed a single zero to 100 overall score reflective of a school’s performance across these metrics,” according to the web site. “The overall scores depict how well each school did on a national percentile basis. For example, a school with a score of 60 performed in the 60th percentile among all schools in the rankings.”

Board members praised district and school staff.

“It’s the collective teamwork that has been going on for years and years,” said Board vice-president Ardaman Singh. “There were times when you would say our schools are doing great, and now we have something to show and tell. People need to know Franklin.”

“The courses the high school offers are phenomenal,” Board member Dennis Hopkins said. “I’m going to keep beating the drum to encourage the parents to take advantage of them. If you want it, Franklin has it. If you find your lane, you will progress.”

Board member Sami Shaban told Solomon that the Board is “here behind you, anything you need. We’re going to do whatever it takes to keep climbing.”

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