Western Chesterfield high schools rank high in state

Two schools in Chesterfield ranked in the top 1,000 schools in the country according to a recent U.S. News magazine report. Cosby High School off Hull Street Road west of Woodlake ranked number 23 in Virginia and 565 in the country. Midlothian High School ranked better than Cosby last year but was rated slightly behind Cosby this year at number 28 in Virginia. Midlo ranked number 736 in the country.

There are 24,651 high schools in the United States and 339 high schools  in Virginia.

The nine remaining schools in Chesterfield didn’t rank in the top 1,000. A parent of a student in southeastern Chesterfield said he realizes why students on the other side of the county do better in school.

“I wonder why our high schools can’t be brought up to snuff compared with schools in the other part of the county,” he said. “My son still attends Bird, why aren’t the resources brought in to put our school at the top? I know the School Board places the blame on parents, but I wonder.”

At least one Chesterfield County School Board Member sees state and national recognition as a good thing and says she is proud of the rankings Chesterfield Schools continually get.

“We are very proud of the state and national recognition many of our schools continually receive,” said Carrie Coyner, the Bermuda District School Board Member. “While we do not rank our own schools, this national spotlight on our efforts to challenge students with rigorous coursework is greatly appreciated and validates the hard work of our students and staff. Thomas Dale High School is a great school with highly talented students in an array of fields.”

US News uses a three-step process to determined the best high schools, the magazine’s website stated. “The first two steps ensure that the schools serve all of their students well, using performance on state proficiency tests as the benchmarks. For those schools that made it past the first two steps, a third step assessed the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work.”

To graduate, Virginia high school students must earn a minimum of 22 credits, including one credit in economics and a newly mandated course on personal finance. The state measures the math, science, English and history proficiency of students with the Standards of Learning tests.

Virginia is home to many schools ranked in 2013 among the U.S. News Best High Schools. The highly ranked Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is located in the Fairfax County Public Schools, near Washington, D.C. and about 100 miles from the Virginia capital of Richmond.

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