Randy Wyrick

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April 24, 2014
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Eagle Valley ranked among top schools

GYPSUM — Eagle Valley High School is again among the nation’s top 10 percent, in rankings released Thursday by U.S. News & World Report.

Eagle Valley was ranked 44th of 458 Colorado high schools, and 1,937th among more than 21,000 high schools nationally.

Eagle Valley principal Greg Doan found about it Tuesday when U.S. News notified the school that they were again in the top 10 percent.

In fact, Doan found out about it early in the morning and it kept him smiling all day. He had high praise for students, faculty and staff.

“Eagle Valley High School is very excited to be a Silver Medal School in the U.S. News & World Report high school rankings for the second consecutive year,” Doan said. The recognition is great, he said, but it’s the improving college readiness scores that caught his eye.

“We put in a lot of hard work on college and career readiness, getting kids ready for whatever they choose after they leave here,” Doan said.

Weighing the data

The U.S. News calculations gives added emphasis performance by a school’s minority and disadvantaged students.

Of Eagle Valley’s 700 students, 34 percent are on the federally subsidized free and reduced lunch program, the benchmark for measuring the percentage of disadvantaged students.

Ethnic minorities comprise 48 percent of Eagle Valley’s population.

Schools in affluent areas with largely white student populations might have had higher marks in some U.S. News categories, but Eagle Valley was ranked higher because of the way the data was weighted.

Colorado School Grades crunches the same numbers without weighting any of the data. Eagle Valley got a C, as did Battle Mountain High School. Great Schools ranked Battle Mountain 226th of Colorado’s 333 high schools, and Eagle Valley was Colorado’s 176th-ranked high school.

Colorado School Grades bases their rankings on a straight bell curve, saying that most schools are average.

In the U.S. News rankings, Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette was Colorado’s top-ranked high school for the second straight year.

Telluride (12th), Steamboat Springs (27th), Sangre de Cristo (40th) and Basalt (42nd) were the only Western Slope high schools ahead of Eagle Valley in the U.S. News & World Report.

U.S. News also rank doctors, hospitals and all kinds of other things.

About the rankings

U.S. News and American Institutes for Research, a D.C.-based organization, collected data on 31,242 public high schools from 49 states and the District of Columbia; 88 Colorado schools made the rankings.

The School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas was again ranked the nation’s top high school.

They measured student performance on state-mandated tests, as well as how effectively schools educate their black, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students.

Performance on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams was used to determine the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work.

In the national rankings, 500 schools earned gold medals, 1,790 were awarded silver and 2,515 took home bronze.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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The VailDaily Updated Apr 25, 2014 11:10AM Published Apr 24, 2014 10:00PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.