Fairfax County high school named best in the nation
Newsweek has ranked a Virginia school, the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, No. 1 in the nation.
The school, located in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County, was one of four making the Newsweek’s annual list of top 500 high schools.
The other three were :
• West Springfield High School in Springfield, No. 394.
• Western Albemarle High School in Crozet, No. 413.
• Grassfield High School in Chesapeake, No. 453.
Gerald L. Gordon, president and CEO, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, says the quality of a community’s public schools is one of the top considerations of any business prospect that wants to start, expand or locate in an area.
“High-quality schools are a recruitment tool for employers. They want to know education is valued there, they want their employees’ children to be well-educated, and they know a high-quality education means a better educated workforce of the future,” he said in a statement.
Having “TJ” ranked as the top high school in the country “is a great talking point for the Economic Development Authority and a top selling point for companies here,” said Gordon, who is a former chairman of the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools.
To compile the list, Newsweek created a high school achievement index based on performance indicators (i.e., proficiency rates on state standardized assessments) using data reported by states to EDFacts at the U.S. Department of Education.
Then schools that met threshold criteria were surveyed to obtain in-depth data on the college readiness indicators such as:
• Number of counselor FTE
• College acceptance and enrollment
• SAT and ACT participation and performance
• AP, IB, and AICE participation and performance
• Dual enrollments
Newsweek worked with Westat, a research firm based in Rockville, Md., to produce the list.