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Rochester Adams ranked fifth-best high school in the state

U.S. News & World Report releases 2019 Best High Schools list

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published May 22, 2019

ROCHESTER/ROCHESTER HILLS/OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — Rochester Adams High School is ranked among the best public high schools in the state, according to U.S. News & World Report.

This year, U.S. News & World Report ranked more than 17,000 schools nationwide — up from last year’s 2,700 schools.

Anita Narayan, the managing editor of education at U.S. News, said the mission of the Best High Schools rankings has always been to educate families about the schools in their district.

“By evaluating more schools than ever before, the new edition expands that focus so all communities can see which schools in their area are successfully serving their students — including historically underserved populations,” she said in a statement.

Officials from U.S. News said they revamped the rankings this year using six factors: reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth, graduation rates, and college readiness — which was measured by participation and performance on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams. The new methodology assigned weights to the six factors and then produced an overall score on which the ranking was based, officials said.

U.S. News & World Report said the 2019 rankings aren’t comparable to past rankings because the report’s previous methodology involved a four-step process in which the final step used college readiness as the sole basis to determine a school’s numerical rank.

In Michigan, the nationwide report pit approximately 650 high schools in the state against each other, listing Rochester Adams High School in the top five in the state for 2019 and No. 269 out of over 17,000 schools nationally.

Rounding out the state’s top five are the International Academy of Macomb in Clinton Township at No. 1, City Middle/High School in Grand Rapids at No. 2, the International Academy in Bloomfield Hills at No. 3, and Washtenaw International High School in Ypsilanti at No. 4.

In Oakland County, three other high schools made it to the top 10: Troy High School at No. 7, Northville High School at No. 8 and Seaholm High School in Birmingham at No. 9.

“We strongly believe this recognition is representative of the work and commitment of our district’s outstanding students and staff,” RCS Superintendent Robert Shaner said in a statement.

Stoney Creek and Rochester high schools also ranked high on the list. The report ranked Stoney Creek as 21st in Michigan and 706th nationally, and Rochester High as 52nd in the state and 1,556th nationally. The district’s alternative high school, the Alternative Center for Education, ranked below 457. Schools ranked between 457 and 650 were put into a single category and did not have individual rankings.

In the Avondale Schools district, Avondale High School ranked 170th in the state and 4,706th in the nation.

“The ranking puts us almost in the top quarter of the high schools in the state and almost in the top quarter of high schools nationally,” said Avondale Schools Superintendent James Schwarz. “To be near that top quarter of state schools and national schools really helps to validate some of the great things that we’re doing at the high school, particularly in the area of math and reading, because that’s what this study is really looking at.”

The report, Schwarz said, is mainly predicated on test scores.

“While we are happy to be progressing forward the foundational skills behind these tests scores, we’re also proud of the fact that we’re going beyond that in extending those skills into real-world situations, projects and partnerships that students can take into the world beyond high school,” he said.

Robert Morse, the chief data strategist at U.S. News, said the new methodology provides an even more comprehensive ranking that is easier to understand, and therefore, is more useful to parents and educators.

“Now each school’s score correlates to its national percentile — a school with a score of 70 is in the 70th percentile and ranks higher than 70% of schools. Going forward, this methodology will allow for intuitive comparisons of a school’s performance year after year,” Morse said in a statement.

For the full rankings, visit