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FHS ranked among top schools in nation

Farragut High School has been ranked No. 1,186 on Newsweek’s Web magazine’s Top of the Class list of the 1,300 top public high schools in the United States for 2007.

The list, compiled by Newsweek and Washington Post reporter Jay Matthews, is comprised of the top 5 percent of U.S. public high schools that challenge their students to take Advanced Placement classes.

“It means a lot to us in knowing that we are on the right direction in comparison to other schools,” FHS principal Michael Reynolds said.

“It is one of those national measures that [tells you] how well you are doing in relation to other schools across the country,” he added.

In order to rank the schools, Matthews divided the number of AP, Baccalaureate and Cambridge tests taken by all students at a school by the number of that school’s graduating seniors.

The honor was not surprising to Reynolds.

“We have been very fortunate. Two years ago we were recognized by Siemens and the College Board as the top A-P school in Tennessee and we have had students each year selected as top A-P students. That is something we strive for with all our students,” he said.

Taking an AP class benefits a student in that if they pass the AP test in that subject with a score of 3 out of 5 they can receive college credit for that course, but Reynolds said that is not the only benefit.

“Just to take an A-P class increases a students survival rate in college by something like 50% of those that just encounter that kind of rigor. Certainly that is one of the reasons why we want our students to take these classes.

“We want them to be prepared for college and university standards and I think that rigor is necessary, so we want as many of our students taking A-P classes as we can,” he added.

FHS students have traditionally done very well on AP tests.

“80 percent of our students score three or better on them, and that is, I think, outstanding.

“Even if they do not score a three, just the fact that they went through the rigor of the class will make that individual better prepared for a college curriculum,” Reynolds said.

“We are not the only Knox County school that made the list and that is something to be proud of, that Knox County as a whole has made an effort in pushing for AP among all the schools,” he added.

The only other Knox County school to make the list was West High School.

Other area schools on the list were Oak Ridge High School and Dobyns-Bennett High School.


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