Salem and Viola high schools have been nationally recognized as bronze schools by the U.S. News & World Report.
The report rated 21,069 public high schools in 48 states using information gathered from the 2006-2007 school year. The schools were rated as either gold, silver, bronze or honorable mention.
"A three-step process determined the best high schools. The first two steps ensured that the schools serve all their students well, using state proficiency standards as the measuring benchmarks. 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," wrote Robert Morse of the U.S. News & World Report.
"The first step determined whether each school's students were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in the state. We started by looking at reading and math results for all students on each state's high school test. We then factored in the percentage of economically disadvantaged students enrolled at the school to find which schools were performing better than their statistical expectations," Morse wrote. "For those schools that made it past this first step, the second step determined whether the school's least-advantaged students were performing better than average for similar students in the state. We compared each school's math and reading proficiency rates for disadvantaged students with the statewide results for these disadvantaged student groups and then selected schools that were performing better than the state average."
If the schools passed the first two steps, they were eligible for national judging on the final step of college-readiness. This step was based on Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) tests. This process was used to determine which schools had the highest quality of college-level achievement for most of their students.
The schools that went on to be ranked by their college-readiness ranked either as gold or silver. Schools that were ranked by the other two criteria were classified as either bronze or honorable mention.
Salem and Viola were both recognized as bronze ranked schools for their poverty-adjusted performance index and their disadvantaged students performance gap.