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Clark Magnet, Crescenta Valley highs ranked among top schools nationally

Crescenta Valley High School principal Dr. Linda Gubler Junge attended the Glendale Unified School D
Crescenta Valley High School principal Linda Junge, here at a 2017 State of the Schools Breakfast, said it “meant a big deal” for her school to be considered one California’s and the nation’s best, along with Clark Magnet, in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings.
(File Photo)

An already banner year for Clark Magnet and Crescenta Valley high schools continued this week as U.S. News & World Report released its high school rankings Tuesday and included the pair of schools among the best in the state and in the country, while Glendale and Hoover highs are not far behind.

Overall, Clark Magnet was Glendale Unified’s top school, finishing 84th in California and 597th in the nation, which just nipped by Crescenta Valley at No. 89 in the state and No. 631 in the country.

Those rankings would put both between the top 3% and 4% of schools in California and in the United States.

Glendale High finished No. 603 in California and No. 4,130 in the nation, good for the top 25% in both categories, while Hoover was No. 762 in the state and No. 5,494 nationally, which places the Tornadoes in the top 30% to 32% among schools in both categories.

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“It’s important to analyze what contributed to these rankings,” Glendale Unified interim Supt. Kelly King said. “It’s very much a source of pride, but it also needs to be taken in context.”

A total of 2,494 schools in California and 17,245 schools across the country were ranked. However, private schools were excluded.

U.S. News & World Report used six factors in its methodology. College readiness topped the list in importance, with a weight of 30%, followed by math and reading proficiency and math and reading performance at 20%, math and underserved student performance, also at 20%, curriculum breadth and graduation rate, each at 10%.

College readiness was measured, according to the publication, as “the proportions of 12th-graders who took and passed at least one [advancement placement] or [international baccalaureate] exam. Passing is worth three times more than just taking.”

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In that instance, Crescenta Valley was the best locally with a 59.5 rating in college readiness, which beat Clark’s 45.9 rating. Both schools had a 96% graduation rate, according to the publication.

“I’m a proud principal today,” said Clark Magnet’s Lena Kortoshian. “This recognition confirms the efforts of our hard-working staff, students and parents. It really reflects the strength of our program here, which prioritizes student-to-teacher ratios. That affects our success in our [advanced placement] scores, state tests and graduation rates.”

Not surprisingly, Clark Magnet and Crescenta Valley were named 2019 California Distinguished Schools in February, while the two were also among 22 schools statewide acknowledged in March for having an exemplary program in arts education, career-technical education or physical activity and nutrition by state Supt. Tony Thurmond.

“For us, the bottom line … is student achievement,” Crescenta Valley principal Linda Junge said. “To rank in the top 3% nationally means a big deal.”

Junge added, “We are just consistently performing at a high level, and it really means a lot to the staff to validate the work we do every day along with parents and community partners who stand beside us.”

A higher number of English learners may have pushed down the rankings for both Glendale and Hoover highs.

“That’s really where the analysis comes in,” King said.

She added, “You look at Glendale and Hoover, and they have language diversity. That’s a challenge to rank high on the U.S. News & World Report. For them to have ranked as high as they did, it’s a point of pride.”

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South Carolina’s Academic Magnet High School was named the country’s top high school, while Cerritos Whitney High School finished No. 1 in California and No. 14 in the nation.

Regionally, La Cañada High was the area’s top school, ranking 26th in California and 218th in the United States.

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