Report ranks IA top high school in state, 18th in nation

By: Robin Ruehlen | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published May 1, 2013

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — The International Academy in Bloomfield Hills continues to be a nationwide standout in academic achievement and overall college readiness, according to the latest rankings released by U.S. News & World Report April 23.

The IA was ranked the top public high school in the state and 18th overall in the United States in the organization’s 2013 Best High School Rankings report. 

U.S. News partners with  American Institutes for Research, based in Washington, D.C., to collect data on more than 21,000 public high schools in 49 states. The rankings are based on how well students perform on state-mandated assessments and Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams, and how effectively schools educated their black, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students.

IA Central Campus assistant principal Chris Smith called the rankings “a really nice validation of the hard work our students and staff do on a daily basis.”

“We really appreciate the recognition,” he said.

“We are an all-International Baccalaureate curriculum, which has very high standards. From the first minute our students walk through the doors as freshmen, to the minute they walk out at the end of senior year, they have it in their minds that they are working to achieve that IB diploma.”

A public, tuition-free high school with three campuses in the metro area, IA is the largest International Baccalaureate Diploma school in the United States and the third largest in the world.

According to the International Baccalaureate Organization, the IB course of study is geared to “develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessments, and designed to encourage students all over the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners.”

Bloomfield Hills Schools Board of Education President Ingrid Day said that, as a district, BHS is proud to be but one small part of the successful educational practices at the IA.

“We are fortunate to be able to offer our families several alternatives to meet the needs of their high school students. When you are associated with a school that is rated so highly, it certainly helps to have this consortium school located within your district,” she said.

“All of the praise should go to the students and staff for continuing their path of success. We remain proud of all our high school choices and work diligently to provide solid educational choices for all of our students.”

Grosse Pointe South High School was ranked No. 4 in Michigan, followed by Birmingham’s Seaholm High School at No. 5, Troy High School at No. 8 and Rochester Adams High School at No.11 and Groves High School at 18.

Birmingham Public Schools Superintendent Daniel Nerad credits the honors to the district’s expansive program offerings combined with the dedicated and involved community of parents.

“I am extremely pleased with the work of our two comprehensive high schools. We offer a comprehensive array of learning and extracurricular offerings to our students, and our students perform very well on a variety of measures of student achievement,” said Nerad in an email. “Another key ingredient for these schools is the level of parent involvement that supports these great young people. We have much to be proud of and we have much work that lies ahead to ensure that all of our high school graduates are college and career ready.”

For more information, visit and click on the Rankings tab.