Lenox high school ranked 33rd in state


Lenox Memorial High School is ranked 33rd out of 352 public high schools in Massachusetts, according to the just-released annual U.S. News & World Report survey of the best high schools in the state and the nation.

The magazine analyzed data from 31,200 public high schools in all 50 states and D.C., ranking the schools on measurements such as state test results, student-teacher ratio, and college readiness based on Advanced Place-
ment test performance.

Lenox was the only Berkshire County high school to place in the top 60 of the Massachusetts survey.

With an 11-to-1 ratio of 467 students to 44 teachers, the school with its smaller class sizes was well ahead of the state average, the magazine reported.

On Advanced Placement results, 58 percent of students were tested and 37 percent passed, also above the state average.

English Language Arts, as measured by MCAS tests, scored far above the state average, with a 97 percent proficiency rate, while math results came in near the Massachusetts average, with 91 percent proficiency.

Lenox High was ranked No. 651 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report out of 19,400 public high schools that were awarded gold, silver or bronze medals based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college.

In the national rankings, 500 high schools earned gold medals, 1,519 took home silver and 2,688 were awarded bronze. Lenox scored a silver medal.

Responding to the results, Lenox Memorial Middle and High School Principal Michael Knybel cited "the amazingly talented teachers, students and a supportive community."

He credited the School Committee for playing a major role by funding the high school's expanding curriculum through the recently adopted eight-period course schedule.

"This has allowed LMMHS students to take a broader selection of course offerings in a variety of subject areas, both at a remedial and advanced level." Knybel stated. "As you read the criteria for the US World News and Report ranking, it is apparent that the success of advanced learners as well as the success of our least advantaged students were part of the process."

According to Robert Morse, a writer for the magazine, U.S. News worked with the American Institutes for Research, based in Washington, D.C., which he described as "one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world."

U.S. News bases its results on key principles "that a great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show the school is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators," Morse said.

Out of the 31,242 public high schools nationwide, the magazine analyzed 19,411, those with high enough 12th-grade enrollment and sufficient data from the 2011-12 school year to be eligible for the rankings.

Through a three-step process, U.S. News first determined that the schools serve all of their students well, using performance on state proficiency tests as benchmarks. For schools that made it past the first two steps, a third step assessed the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work.

That measurement of the College Board's AP results involved compiling an index based on a school's participation rate -- the number of seniors who took at least one of the tests before or during their senior year, divided by the total enrollment of seniors -- and how well the students who took the AP exam performed.

For state-by-state rankings, a high school first must be awarded a national gold or silver medal. Those schools are then numerically ranked in their states, based on their position in the national ranking.

For information: usnews.com or Boston.com.

To contact Clarence Fanto:
or (413) 637-2551.
On Twitter: @BE_cfanto


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