By Vince Jackson
CENTRAL — In a national survey of high schools “ranking rigor of course offerings,” Central’s D.W. Daniel ranked 18th in the state this year and 1,087th nationally.
The “Newsweek” magazine/Washington Post annual survey determines what those publications deem the “top” high schools in the country. To determine rankings, officials measured the rigor of a course and the performance of the students in that course, according to South Carolina Department of Education officials.
The Newsweek article said the rating reflects not overall quality of a particular school, but how a school challenges students “with tough course work.”
“Daniel High School has the reputation as one of the best high schools in the state,” said Denise Witherspoon, an educational consultant based in South Carolina. “I am not surprised by this ranking or the fact that they are ranked high every year. They draw on a very select group of students with lots of Clemson (University) professor’s kids and students who have a drive to succeed academically. I have seen first hand the rigor of the Advanced Placement classes at Daniel. There is knowledge to be had by those who choose to learn.”
Daniel ranked 848 in the survey in 2007, 728 in 2006 and 820 in 2005.
Daniel officials could not be reached for comment.
This year’s list includes 1,358 schools and is said to recognize “schools that engage average students, and not magnet or charter schools that draw only the best students in an area,” according to the “Newsweek” article regarding the survey.Last year 15 South Carolina schools were represented in the survey. This year the number increased to 19. The year with highest number of South Carolina schools represented was 2006, with 23.
The No. 1 ranked school in South Carolina this year was the Academic Magnet High School in North Charleston.
The formula used to rank schools “divides the number of Advanced Placement and other tests that can lead to college credit by the number of students that graduated the previous year,” according to the “Newsweek” article.
By Vince Jackson