The Washington Post has released its annual school rankings*. City Honors School, from the Buffalo Public Schools, has been ranked #9 in the nation this year, up from #10 last year.
City Honors continues to hold the top rating in the Northeastern United States, and the school achieved its highest index rating ever with a score of 9.657. It also received a rating of 95.2 percent for students that earned college credit on at least one Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate examination. 31 percent of City Honors families fall below the federal poverty line, the third highest of top ten schools in the ranking. City Honors is believed to be the only school in the nation that mandates both AP and IB courses for every student as a part of its demanding graduation requirements.
City Honors Principal Dr. William Kresse says, “While the value of our magnet school mission and ‘framework of challenge’ continue to be recognized, it is important for the public to realize that educators and parents throughout the Buffalo Public Schools are doing extraordinary work each day to elevate students in need, though these efforts are not always accounted for when looking at the overall system.”
Superintendent of Buffalo Public Schools Dr. James A. Williams says he is happy for the accomplishments of Dr. Kresse and his staff and students who have “pushed forward to unprecedented excellence over the past several years, never losing footing despite a two-year relocation during construction.”
Dr. Williams adds, “When you have best practices in schools like City Honors in cities around the nation, it’s a wonder that state and federal government authorities don’t come into these schools and observe them as models when mandating new initiatives. After all is said and done, it’s about teaching and learning.”
Additional progress at City Honors over the past six years includes:
* Instituting an open access policy for the IB Diploma Program, allowing any student to choose to be exposed to the demanding rigor of a full slate of college level courses.
* Expanding IB and AP programs in a number of areas including the arts and environmental sciences.
* Creation of an autistic education program through STARS (STudents with Autism Rising to Success), that has grown to be the largest autistic education program in a traditional school setting in the state.**
* Successful expansion of an acclaimed Science Research Program at Roswell Park and Hauptman-Woodward Institutes.
* Completion of a stunning $43 million restoration and expansion of the school building, which opened its doors in September of 2010.
* Addition of a Mandarin Chinese Language track from grades five through twelve.
*The Washington Post rankings were previously hosted by Newsweek Magazine. Founder, education journalist, Jay Mathews migrated the rankings when Newsweek was sold last year.
**The City Honors graduation rate is listed at 94%. However, general education students have a graduation rate of 99.5%. Students in the STARS autistic education program at City Honors often earn IEP, and not Regents, diplomas.