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Rivertowns High Schools Rate High in U.S. News Rankings

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August 31, 2023

By Barrett Seaman—

Four rivertown high schools, including Irvington and Dobbs Ferry, made the top 1,000 “best” high schools in the latest U.S. News and World Report ranking, with Irvington rated 271st out of 25,000 schools surveyed nationwide.

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Within New York State, Irvington was cited as the 34th best, while Dobbs Ferry notched in at number 40 (331 nationally). Here’s how area schools fared:

  • Irvington: No. 34 in state rankings, No. 271 nationally
  • Hastings: No. 38 in state rankings, No. 317 nationally
  • Dobbs Ferry: No. 40 in state rankings, No. 331 nationally
  • Ardsley: No. 82 in state rankings, No. 746 nationally

Sleepy Hollow High School ranked 120th in the state and 1,185 nationally, brought down somewhat by its relatively low graduation rate and lower AP testing.

U.S. News is arguably the best known of the many organizations that rate schools (including colleges, universities and graduate programs). All of them use different criteria that cause wide fluctuations in outcome—and considerable controversy within the academic community. A growing number of elite colleges and universities have chosen to stop cooperating with the magazine because they feel the methodology is misleading.

U.S., News’ high school rankings are based on six factors:

  • College readiness, based on the proportion of 12th grade students who took and earned a qualifying score on at least one Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exam (30% of ranking).
  • State assessment proficiency, based on aggregated scores on state assessments that students may be required to pass for graduation (20%).
  • State assessment performance, based on whether performance on state assessments exceeded expectations given the school’s proportion of underserved students (20%).
  • Underserved student performance, based on how Black, Hispanic and low-income students performed on state assessments compared with those who are not underserved in the state (10%).
  • College curriculum breadth, based on proportions of 12th grade students who took and earned a qualifying score on AP and/or IB exams in multiple content areas (10%).
  • Graduation rate, based on the proportion of students who entered ninth grade in 2017-2018 and graduated four years later (10%).

Missing in these evaluations are indications of how any one individual student in any high school will fare in learning and character development—far more important than bragging rights over a relatively arbitrary number.

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