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RCS high schools rank among nation’s best

Adams places 11th in the state, Rochester comes in at 24th

May 1, 2013

ROCHESTER — Of the more than 21,000 public high schools recently called America’s Best High Schools by U.S. News & World Report, two are from the Rochester Community Schools district.

The 2013 rankings gave a silver medal to Adams High School, which was named the 11th best public high school in the state, as well as Rochester High School, which placed 24th in the state.

Adams High School — which has approximately 1,540 students in grades nine-12 — received a score of 41.2 in college-readiness, a 3.3 in math and a 2.9 in reading.

Principal Kevin Cumming said in an email that the school is “very proud and honored” to be ranked 11th in the state.

“We continually rank near the top in the state because we have great students, supportive parents and dedicated, hard-working teachers,” he said in an email. “This is the third silver medal Adams has received, and we continue to strive for excellence in all we do. This award is a wonderful confirmation of the combined efforts of the Adams family of students, parents and staff.”

Rochester High School received a score of 33.8 in college readiness, a 2.9 in math and a 2.8 in reading. Principal Charles Rowland III could not be reached for comment at press time.

RCS Community Relations Manager Debbi Hartman said the district is “very puzzled” by the list, which did not rank Stoney Creek High School, which had score of 39.9 in college readiness, a 3.1 in math and a 2.8 reading.

“Stoney Creek’s numbers are so similar to Rochester and Adams that we can’t figure out why Stoney Creek isn’t mentioned in there,” she said, adding that she has an email in to U.S. News & World Report to ask why Stoney Creek was not ranked. “We really don’t understand why Stoney Creek isn’t in the mix.”

The top five schools in the state, according to the list, are International Academy in Bloomfield Hills, City Middle/High School in Grand Rapids, Frankenmuth High School in Frankenmuth, Grosse Pointe South High School in Grosse Pointe Farms, and Seaholm High School in Birmingham.

“Our understanding is that this (list) is primarily based on Advanced Placement participation, so naturally (it would make sense that) the schools like the International Academy and those that have a very specialized population would rank higher than schools like those in Rochester Community Schools, which are more comprehensive,” Hartman said.

According to U.S. News & World Report’s website, nearly 21,035 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia were put through a three-step analysis for the ranking.

The first two steps ensured that the schools serve all students well, using performance on state proficiency tests as the benchmarks, according to the website. 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.

The nation’s top 500 high schools, with the highest college-readiness index scores, were ranked numerically and were awarded gold medals. The next 1,790 top-performing high schools earned silver medals, and 2,515 high schools — which passed the first two steps — were awarded bronze medals.

For more information about the 2013 U.S. News & World Report rankings of America’s Best High Schools, visit

About the author

Staff Writer Mary Beth Almond covers the city of Rochester, Rochester Community Schools and Avondale Schools for the Post. Almond has worked for C & G Newspapers since 2005 and attended Michigan State University.

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