Fairmont High ranks well again

FAIRMONT – Fairmont High School has been listed in US News and World Report as one of the nation’s best high schools, for the second year in a row.

The rankings, published online, were compiled by American Institutes for Research and designed to highlight schools serving all their students well – not just college-bound students.

Ranked in the state and national lists, the data from Fairmont High School, along with 21,000 other schools, was scrutinized based on three factors: overall performance on state tests, better than state average performance in disadvantaged subgroups and performance on college-level coursework, as evidenced by how many students take and pass Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses by their senior year.

Schools with fewer than 15 students in the graduating class of 2010-2011, the data year used in the comparisons, were not ranked.

That left Fairmont ranked 42 of 136 schools in the state eligible for ranking and 2,043 out of 21,035 in the nation, placing it in the top 10 percent of schools nationally.

In addition to placement on a ranked list, schools were given gold, silver or bronze medals, based on how high a school scored in all three areas of ranking.

The 500 schools with the highest unrounded college readiness index values were given gold awards.

Fairmont earned the silver award, placing it with schools with the highest unrounded college readiness index ranked 501 through 2,290.

Superintendent Joe Brown believes the ranking is a reflection of the variety of coursework available to students.

“I am very proud that Fairmont High School is ranked as one of the best high schools in Minnesota. I believe that the main reason is that we have a comprehensive high school that offers a wide variety of classes for students of all abilities and interests,” he said. “My hope is that we will increase our ranking over the next few years.”

Bronze awards were given to schools that passed the first two areas of scrutiny, but that do not offer AP or IB courses, or have a lower than median college readiness score.

Truman High School and Blue Earth Area High School both earned bronze awards.