Reading High Makes 'Best Of' Schools List for State

GoLocal Worcester released its third annual ranking of the best high schools in Massachusetts.

Reading Memorial High. Credit: Patch file photo
Reading Memorial High. Credit: Patch file photo
Using propriety test score ranking and school data, GoLocalWorcester released this week its third annual Top High Schools in Massachusetts. 

Reading Memorial High School placed at number 90 on the list, dropping from its position of 84 last year. 

According to statistics gathered by GoLocal, enrollment at the school 1,307, and the average SAT score is 1653. Its graduation rate is 96.6 percent. 

GoLocalWorcester released a list of the top 100 schools in the state, with Weston High School at the top spot and Pentucket Regional Sr High in West Newbury at number 100. 
Fred Van Magness Sr. June 19, 2014 at 09:08 AM
The real headline story here is probably not that the high school made the list at #90, but the fact that it dropped from last year. As a matter of fact, the real issue is also why we are so low. We pay plenty for quality education in reading and being #90 is embarrassing. We can and should do better and should not accept mediocre results...period !
Dave Miskinis June 19, 2014 at 02:22 PM
Might we have dropped since we cannot seem to keep a principal for more than two years. If I'm not mistaken, the class of 2015 will have had three different principals during their four years. Is this happening at other High Schools?
M June 19, 2014 at 08:03 PM
This ranking list includes about 20% charter schools, which can pick and choose the students they accept, so that skews results somewhat. But, we rank behind Lynnfield, Masconomet, North Reading (ranked #49), and even Burlington. However, if you look at the data (more below)it takes only a subtle shift in one category to raise ranking a lot. Amongst similarly situated schools, SAT-wise, Reading gets dinged because it has a low per pupil spending (partly because we provide virtually free school bus service). One could argue that, despite this ranking, the fact that our SAT scores are nearly 100 points higher than Burlington and Lynnfield, while spending $2-4K less per student, is a GOOD thing for Reading. (I don't like the principal changes, either, but I think it has no bearing on the rankings). If you look on this page http://www.golocalworcester.com/news/methodology-mas-top-high-schools-2014) you'll see that student/teacher ratio and per pupil spending make up about 30% of the ranking, MCAS 30%, SAT's 30%, and graduation rate 10%. As compared to the above 4 towns, Reading's SAT is higher than Lynnfield and Burlington and only a 20 points or so lower than Masco and N. Reading. Our per pupil spending is considerably lower; 11K, vs 12.5 K in N. Reading, 13K in Masco, 12.1K in Lynnfield, and 15.8K in Burlington. Our student/teacher ratio is on par with the other towns. But, Compare us with Winchester (#29): their numbers are virtually the same as Readings in many categories, including per pupil spending (actually Winchester is 11.9k vs our 11K) - BUT, Winchester's avg SAT is over 200 points higher. So they arguably get even better value for their per pupil spending.
M June 19, 2014 at 08:10 PM
I meant to say we provide NO free school bus service, which lowers per pupil spending as compared to Burlington, N. Reading, etc.
M June 19, 2014 at 11:51 PM
And I made another mistake, Winchester's SAT is "only" 100 points higher than Readings. But again, these rankings can be very skewed by one number being high. Consider #73, Franklin County Technical School in Turners Falls MA, that spends 21K per student and has SAT scores over 100 points lower than Readings, and only 70% math proficiency and 67% Science Proficiency (Compared to Reading's 94% and 90% respectively). How on earth would a reasonable person rank this as a "better" high school than Reading? It is only by virtue of the high per student spending, which seems to be common amongst all the technical high schools on the list.


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