• Local Schools are “America’s Best”


    by Winston Chua

    ALHAMBRA – Twolocal high schools recently received the honor of being named as two of“America’s Best” schools, according to the U.S. News and World Report. The schoolsranked in the top 3 percent among 21,000 public high schools examined.

    “It’san outstanding program,” said Quoc Tran, Alhambra Unified’s director ofeducation equity. “It is quite an accomplishment for a high minority schooldistrict to be able to maintain that level of consistency.”

    Alhambrafaces unique tests because 64 percent of its students come fromsocioeconomically challenged conditions and 30 percent of its students havelimited command of the English language. Minorities make up 95 percent of thestudent body. For several years now, Tran, who tracks performance among variousethnic groups and tries to enhance education for all students, said thatexcellence for the high schools is just par for the course, even amidstobstacles.

    ArcadiaHigh School was also honored as one of California’s top schools.

    “This honorby US News and World Report is yet another testament to the hard work anddedication of the faculty and staff at Arcadia High School and is a recognitionof the wonderful students and families in our community,” said Craig Wiblemo,assistant principal for curriculum and instruction at Arcadia High School.

    The Report partly based their decision on a school’s abilityto prepare students for college-level work based on Advanced Placement tests,statewide tests and International Baccalaureate tests. That was part of athree-step U.S. News process that analyzed education methodology for itsstudent body as well as their minority and disadvantaged students.

    Virginia’s Thomas Jefferson High School for Science andTechnology was rated the top school in the nation for not only intensivescience courses in DNA science, neurobiology, and quantum physics, but alsoeducation in social responsibilities like conservation and ecology.

    Not everyone was thrilled with the choices selected, aspeople expressed their opinions online asking why their schools were notchosen. Alhambra and Arcadia high schools each received the Silver Award. LaCanada was one of the few schools in Southern California to achieve the GoldAward, representing .5 percent of those surveyed.

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