Cannelton schools earn bronze medal

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Organizations name top education facilities in nation

By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

CANNELTON – Cannelton City Schools earned a bronze ranking in a U.S. News and World Report best-high-schools search for 2009.

"I was quite pleased to learn that," Cannelton Schools Superintendent and High School Principal Al Chapman said Wednesday. "I didn't know they did those rankings. This is something we're quite proud of."

Selection methods are "based on the key principles that a great high school must serve all its students well, not just those who are bound for college," Robert Morse wrote in the magazine's Dec. 4 edition. Also, "it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show that the school is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators."

He said with help from School Evaluation Services, data from the 2006-07 school year for 21,069 public high schools in 48 states was analyzed. "This is the total number of public high schools in each state that had grade-12 enrollment and sufficient data to analyze," he explained. Evaluators used the results to assign schools to gold, silver, bronze or honorable-mention categories.

School Evaluation Services is a Standard and Poor's service that provides parents with education data at www.schoolmatters.com. Its criteria for gold and silver rankings did not apply to Cannelton's schools, the magazine reported.

The bronze ranking is based on two other key performance indicators. Among those is a poverty-adjusted performance index, where Cannelton was assigned a rating of 1.51. The measurement is described as "the 'distance' from statistically expected performance, using the relationship between poverty and the state performance index," according to Morse. "Only values of 1 or greater meet the criteria for selection."

Cannelton was also assigned a non-disadvantaged students' state test proficiency rating of 55.1. The magazine defines it as "a measure of the aggregate proficiency rate of a school's least typically disadvantaged students (white, and where available, non-economically disadvantaged students).