For the second consecutive year, Perry High School has been named a Bronze Medalist for the state of Iowa in the U.S. News and World Report “Best High Schools in America” rankings. The honor is the fourth time PHS has been recognized in the rankings.
“We are very pleased with this honor,” PHS Principal Dan Marburger said. “It’s a testament to our staff but most especially our students.”
While Perry has struggled to score well under certain State of Iowa guidelines, those used by U.S. News and World Report place the school much higher by factoring in native language and family income. These are different ways to judge the success of individual schools.
“We might have a student come in speaking little or no English and then have to put a test down in front of them,” Marburger explained. “As an example, you might have a student in the 11th percentile, and in one year we raise him to the 44th percentile. Technically, he’s still not proficient, but look at the progress that was made — that’s why you have to be careful when you’re looking at just raw numbers alone, because there could be a whole set of factors at play.”
U.S. News and World Report conducts their rankings in conjunction with RTI International, a global not-for-profit social science research firm based in North Carolina. A total of 19,908 public high schools were studied in the 50 states and Washington, D.C. The top 500 received gold medals, with 2,173 schools awarded silver medals and 3,545 bronze medals, the latter of which classifies a school among the top 18 percent nationwide. A total of 13,690 schools did not receive a medal.
“This honor shows how hard our students are working,” Marburger said. “We ask them to give us the best effort they can and tell them we’ll do all we can to help them do so. Almost all of them try their best, and it is reflected back upon us when we receive this kind of recognition.”