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Attleboro High on 'Challenging Schools' List

The school is ranked 48th in Massachusetts and 1,947th in the nation

The Washington Post's recently published list of "America's Most Challenging High Schools" includes Attleboro High. The school was ranked 48th in Massachusetts and 1,947th in the nation, placing it among the top 10 percent of schools in the United States.

The Post ranked schools based on a formula that took the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year.

"We're very proud of this," said Attleboro High principal Bill Runey in a press release issued by the school district. "Anytime that you can show that your rigor and high expectations put your school into an elite category, it validates the efforts of the students, the teachers, and the families. This also gives credibility to our philosophy that taking challenging courses is beneficial even if the qualifying score isn't attained."

Superintendent Pia Durkin said the school's inclusion on the list represents a significant milestone. 

"Seven years ago, Attleboro High School was not fully accredited and only 70 students were participating in a limited offering of Advanced Placement courses," she said. "Today, over 400 students, nearly one quarter of the entire student body, representing the full spectrum of diversity in our community, are taking and succeeding in a broad array of AP courses."

She added, "Our AP work has not only benefitted our high school students to seek deeper and wider college opportunities, but has also served as motivation and more rigorous learning in our elementary and middle schools."

Go here to see the Post's information about Attleboro High.

Duff White May 04, 2013 at 01:16 AM
Jerry: has anyone in the city of Attleboro ever done anything right in your eyes? Let's say that the results are "padded" as you say, there must be thousands of schools doing the same thing nationwide or else, the padding would make Attleboro number one nationally. And I am sure that all of the students who have busted their tails to undertake the challenge of AP courses and the like appreciate your demeaning their accomplishments. Not everything in the world is a conspiracy, not everyone is someone else's pawn and sometimes, good things are the result of hard work and desire by the collective. Congratulations to all who have worked to gain such recognition.
Jerry Chase May 04, 2013 at 05:14 PM
Duff White: I am not critiquing the local public schools----I am critiquing the adoption of a poorly-designed measurement, a ratio, promulgated by the liberal Washington Post newspaper. It is a flawed premise. Thus, I am merely critiquing adoption of a ratio or percentage that is misleading. Period. A more salient 'standard' would be the number of successfully passed AP tests divided by the number of graduates: that would indicate success in learning----not success in increasing the number of those simply taking the tests. It's just my opinion. All are free to have theirs. Note, however, that I am NOT criticizing Duff White. So, let's keep the focus on "things" instead of people and personalities. Peace to all of good will.
Amy May 04, 2013 at 09:11 PM
This is great news! Just wish our kids had a better facility to learn in.
Larry Rose May 05, 2013 at 12:52 PM
Amy, it is not the building, it is the quality of teachers. I would rather pay teachers and get a higher quality of teachers.
DebEgan May 13, 2013 at 03:30 AM
I hate to agree with Jerry. What a stupid way to say a school is challenging. Take the number of ap tests and divide by the number of graduating students. Stupid! Any school district could make this list if all they cared about was the status. Just throw more kids into ap even if you know they are not ready for the class. Force them to take the test like Attleboro does. So what if one out of ten or one out of five students aren't ready for this level. So what if those students will drag down the class or will do worse in their other classes or will have breakdowns because of the undue stress. So what if it lessons the meaning of ap in Attleboro! And colleges will know that Attleboro's ap means nothing because too many students are forced into it. Or colleges will know that Attleboro ap is only a good thing if the student got the 3 or 4 like Jerry said! I now see that making this list is a bad thing cause it shows Attleboro and Mrs.Durkin cares more about this status then the kids! This has to change for the kids even at the risk of losing this status next year!

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