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Keene Central gets national recognition

KEENE VALLEY - Residents in the Keene Central School District can be assured their education system is among the best in the nation.

In its Dec. 9 issue, U.S. News and World Report magazine ranked Keene Central among the top 500 high schools in America. That places the local school among the top 2 percent of schools nationally.

U.S. News, in collaboration with School Evaluation Services, a K-12 education and data research and analysis business that provides parents with education data on schoolmatters.com, analyzed academic and enrollment data from thousands of public high schools to find the best across the country.

Schools were ranked according to the College Readiness Index, a formulated measurement of how students are able to master some college-level material. The top schools were placed into gold, silver and bronze medal categories.

Schools that exceeded state expectations on standardized tests were given bronze status. Those schools could then get silver status based on the number of Advanced Placements exams taken by students. Gold status was awarded to the top 100 schools in the country on the silver list.

Keene was rated silver. With a College Readiness Index of 60, the school ranked just below those at the bottom of the Top-100 list.

"It's exciting to be recognized by a national publication," said Cynthia Johnston, superintendent for Keene Central School. "It's recognition the school has worked hard for and has deserved for a long time."

Keene currently offers AP courses in US History, English, Biology, and Environmental Science, as well as a College AP program through NCCC with courses in Mathematics, Government, Economics, and Spanish.

Ticonderoga High School was also listed with a silver award. No other schools from Clinton, Essex, Washington or Warren counties made the list.

Based on data from the 2006-07 academic year, the rankings examined almost 19,000 high schools in 42 states using factors such as college preparation, student achievement, and performance of disadvantaged students. There are 1,800 schools on the bronze list, 400 on the silver and 100 on the gold.

Twenty-one of the top 100 schools were from New York State. Most of the New York schools on the U.S. News list are from wealthy, suburban areas such as Westchester County.

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