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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

U.S. News: School among top science, math schools in country

On Sept. 29, Saratoga High was ranked as the 37th best high school for math and science in the country using a new ranking methodology by U.S. News.

The ranking methodology utilizes information from the vigorous and enriching college-level courses of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The STEM courses defined by College Board for math are Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Computer Science A, Computer Science AB and AP Statistics. STEM science courses include AP Biology AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, Physics B, Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism and Physics C: Mechanics.

To qualify as one of the best high schools for math and science, the school had to first qualify for either the Gold, Silver or Honorable Mention lists of the U.S. News Best High Schools in December 2009.

With the list narrowed down 598 schools, U.S. News then evaluated math and science AP exams based on student participation and performance. The ranking methodology weighs taking an AP course by 25 percent and passing the AP test by 75 percent. This takes into account that many students who take AP courses opt out of taking the AP test.

This data was used to form a Math and Science Achievement Index based on the number of students who took and passed the AP math and science tests. Schools with an Achievement Index of 20 or lower did not qualify to be ranked. The Achievement Index of Saratoga High was 43.5.

There were 40 High Schools in California that were ranked as Best High School for Math and Science, more than any other state in the country. A few other schools that were ranked include Mission San Jose High at 10th, Monta Vista High at 20th, Lynbrook High at 29th and Gunn High at 31st.

Principal Jeff Anderson was very impressed with the ratings because many of the schools that ranked lower than Saratoga were private schools.

“For us to be scoring so well as a public high school is very impressive,” Anderson said.

Being the 37th best high school for math and science does not mean that Saratoga High is only focused on math and science, however. Anderson believes that Saratoga is a very well rounded school.

“I think we are one of the most balanced schools in our area, in terms of offering a broad experience for our students and do not just emphasize strict academic performance,” Anderson said.

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