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The_sandlapper

The South's best public schools

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I saw this posted on another thread on this site and thought it was note worthy. Despite the south's horrible reputation for public education (esp. SC) it seems that there are a few shining gems to consider. Some cities are expected others I'm sure will come to a surprise.

According to expansion management magizine these are the south's top public shool systems in 2005.

MSA's with over 250K students:

1. Tampa (#5 nationally)

2. Dallas (#6)

MSA's with 100K - 250K students:

1. Austin, TX (#1)

2. Raleigh, NC (#2)

3. Richmond, VA (#7)

4. Columbia, SC (#9)

MSA's with 50K - 100K students:

1. Sarasota, FL (#3)

2. Palm Bay, FL (#6)

3. Huntsville, AL (#10)

These were the only MSA's to rank in the top ten in their category.

Any thoughts questions concerns?

The south always gets a bad rap for public education, but its good to see some positive recognition for what it's worth.

source: public school rankings

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This is actually quite a refreshing education ranking for once. I was expecting this thread to be an <insert suburban school district here> thread, but it's nice to see entire metros being recognized. It's also nice to dispel the myth that you can't get a good education in the south.

From SC, I'm surprised to not see Spartanburg and Greenville on the top of the lists. From what I read those cities/metros are blessed with an abundance of over-achieving schools. I also have to add that Tampa is quite surprising, as I generally hear more about the Orlando area schools when it comes to state rankings.

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That makes sense that Columbia is ranked high - whenever we visited Irmo High or met anyone from that high school we were alway impressed. This is coming from someone from Northwestern high in Rock Hill which wasn't too bad of a school.

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Jacksonville has the number 2 and 3 ranked high schools in the country.

The schools are:

2. Stanton (I went there for 1 year and is usually ranked number 1)

3. Paxon

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I'm not surprised to see Columbia's schools so highly ranked. The schools in the Columbia area are adequately funded and supported. The reason South Carolina as a whole is so low on school rankings is that our rural schools are dismally funded and supported. The school s are often in deplorable condition and the teachers are insufficiently paid. The state needs to put all education money in one pot and distribute it according to the number of students in the district. As the system stands now, schools in wealthy school districts have plenty of money and schools in poor districts have little money.

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Jacksonville has the number 2 and 3 ranked high schools in the country.

The schools are:

2. Stanton (I went there for 1 year and is usually ranked number 1)

3. Paxon

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

According to who? Its kinda hard to rank high schools...theres so many of them. Plus the method used to rank the schools is usually biased one way or another. For example the challenge index is a popular method to rank schools but that method excludes all high schools that chose more than half of their students by grades or test scores. The school I graduated from (Hume-Fogg in Nashville) had both grade and test score requirements for entry so it wasn't even eligible to be ranked by that method. However, the College Board has ranked my old high school among the top 20 in the nation, but that could be construed as unfair since it got to pick the "cream of the crop" for entry. All in all I say that no matter which method is used to rank schools it is going to be biased in some way or another and therefore I don't put much weight into rankings.

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From multiple sources and listings. Have a look yourself.

If you use one style, it's ranked number 2. If you use the other method, it's ranked number 1.

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Does anyone have a list showing the worst public school sytems in the South?

I think that would be interesting to see as well. I looked on the site from the first post, but didn't find anything.

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That makes sense that Columbia is ranked high - whenever we visited Irmo High or met anyone from that high school we were alway impressed. This is coming from someone from Northwestern high in Rock Hill which wasn't too bad of a school.

Irmo, and maybe one other HS from that part of the area are really the only decent high schools in the Columbia metro. Frankly, I'm shocked that Cola ranks as high as they do, when you consider the area has several other high schools that are just abysmal, such as Brookline-Cayce.

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Irmo, and maybe one other HS from that part of the area are really the only decent high schools in the Columbia metro. Frankly, I'm shocked that Cola ranks as high as they do, when you consider the area has several other high schools that are just abysmal, such as Brookline-Cayce.

Columbia has Richland District 2 which has plenty of good schools in all of SC and Richland District 1 has Hand and Crayton which I think are very good and Richland/Lexington 5 isn't bad either :thumbsup:

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It makes sense to me!!

The Tampa Bay area has some great nationally ranked high schools. Most of the elementary and middle schools in the new upscale suburbs are also very good despite some overcrowding.

#10 Hillsborough High -Tampa

#35 St. Petersburg High - St. Petersburg

#36 King High -Tampa

#69 Plant High - South Tampa

#83 Palm Harbor - Palm Harbor (Tampa Suburb)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7761678/site/newsweek/

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Irmo, and maybe one other HS from that part of the area are really the only decent high schools in the Columbia metro. Frankly, I'm shocked that Cola ranks as high as they do, when you consider the area has several other high schools that are just abysmal, such as Brookline-Cayce.

Well that's the great thing about forums like this, there is always a chance to educate and share experience with others outside of the region. I'm sure there are many other positive things about Columbia that people assume do not exist without of course seeing of interacting with the area.

I know Richland-Lexington District 5 is one of the top if not the top district in the State!

Also there are a few shining gems in Richland District 1 such as Dreher, AC Flora, CA Johnson, and also Lexington HS.

But I can say I'm not shocked after growing up there. Again Richland County has a high % of high school graduates 85 exactlly which I believe is second in the state only behind fast growing Beaufort Co with 87.8%, Lexington county 83%, followed be the Charleston metro with Dorchester 82%, Berkely 80.2%, & Charleston 81.5%, then the Upstate with Greenville Co. 79.5%, Anderson Co. 73.4% , and Spartanburg Co. 73.1%, so the area (Columbia) has to be doing something right! :thumbsup: I still don't get where people get these false preconcieved notions of the Columbia area?

You can see a similar corelation in the other metro areas on the list with Raleigh and Austin. Wake County has 89.3% and Travis Co is 84.7%. Which is cool because Columbia is following the same pattern of growth (public/private sector of business) both of these town are.

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MSA's with 100K - 250K students:

1. Austin, TX (#1)

2. Raleigh, NC (#2)

3. Richmond, VA (#7)

4. Columbia, SC (#9)

Notice that these are all capital cities? :shok:

Anyways, one of the best small town/small county school systems in North Carolina are Newton-Conover Schools and Lee County Schools.

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Interesting to see Dallas rated #2. There are a plethora of truly exemplary school districts in the surrounding cities but the major one in Dallas proper, the DISD, is awful with only a couple of exceptions (Woodrow Wilson HS and Hillcrest HS). One thing that surprises a lot of people is that parts of Dallas are in other school districts: Richardson, Plano, and Coppell come to mind. As a matter of fact, more than half of the Richardson ISD is actually in the city of Dallas.

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Irmo, and maybe one other HS from that part of the area are really the only decent high schools in the Columbia metro. Frankly, I'm shocked that Cola ranks as high as they do, when you consider the area has several other high schools that are just abysmal, such as Brookline-Cayce.

Dead wrong. Lexington-Richland 5 is superb. Irmo, Chapin and Dutch Fork high schools and their corresponding middle and elementary schools are routinely called the best in the state. Lexington School District 1 has Lexington High School and White Knoll, also excellent with excellent corresponding middle and elementary schools. Richland 2 has Spring Valley, Richland Northeast, Ridge View and brand new Blythewood high schools, also excellent, ditto with the corresponding schools. Incidently Richland 2 just won national recognition for being one of the most wired (computers) school districts in the nation. What a lot of people don't realize is that Dreher and A. C. Flora high schools, Columbia's two largest inner city high schools (Richland District 1), are also ranked excellent, ditto on the coresponding stuff.

What tells us this? SAT scores and the SC education report card (Education Improvement Act) that ranks schools in general performance from year to year and in improvement from year to year. If you look at the rankings charts on the schools I listed, all you see is excellent, excellent, excellent across the board, with only an occasional good.

Dead wrong. Lexington-Richland 5 is superb. Irmo, Chapin and Dutch Fork high schools and their corresponding middle and elementary schools are routinely called the best in the state. Lexington School District 1 has Lexington High School and White Knoll, also excellent with excellent corresponding middle and elementary schools. Richland 2 has Spring Valley, Richland Northeast, Ridge View and brand new Blythewood high schools, also excellent, ditto with the corresponding schools. Incidently Richland 2 just won national recognition for being one of the most wired (computers) school districts in the nation. What a lot of people don't realize is that Dreher and A. C. Flora high schools, Columbia's two largest inner city high schools (Richland District 1), are also ranked excellent, ditto on the coresponding stuff.

What tells us this? SAT scores and the SC education report card (Education Improvement Act) that ranks schools in general performance from year to year and in improvement from year to year. If you look at the rankings charts on the schools I listed, all you see is excellent, excellent, excellent across the board, with only an occasional good.

I forgot Gilbert and Pelion high schools, also in Lexington 1, ditto on the corresponding stuff.

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Irmo, and maybe one other HS from that part of the area are really the only decent high schools in the Columbia metro. Frankly, I'm shocked that Cola ranks as high as they do, when you consider the area has several other high schools that are just abysmal, such as Brookline-Cayce.

That sounds like a little upstate bias to me. There are ALOT of good High Schools in the Columbia area: Dreher, AC Flora, Irmo, Chapin, Dutch Fork, Spring Valley, Ridge View, Blythewood, Lexington, etc. When you say "Brookline-Cayce" are you referring to Brookline, Massachusetts? You must be referring to "Brookland-Cayce", which isn't a bad school either. I have a co-worker who's son just graduated from B-C and was accepted by schools from MIT to Harvard to USC's Honors College.

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