Kingsport Times News Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Local News Education

D-B makes magazine's list of top high schools

April 26th, 2014 12:05 am by Rick Wagner

D-B makes magazine's list of top high schools

KINGSPORT — Dobyns-Bennett High School is back on the U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools list after a year's hiatus, ranking second highest of Northeast Tennessee high schools.

D-B this year is ranked 10th overall in Tennessee, or 6th if magnet schools and others with selective admission policies are not considered.

Elsewhere in Northeast Tennessee, University School in Johnson City — which admits students through a lottery — ranked fifth in the state, Morristown West 13th and Johnson City's Science Hill 15th.

Nationally, D-B was ranked 1,210 among all high schools, including public, charter and magnet schools.

"It's just a great validation of all the things they've been doing at D-B," Kingsport City Schools spokesman Andy True said.

D-B was listed as a "Silver" Award winner, and utilizing the number of schools the magazine cited as being considered — 345 in Tennessee and "more than 19,400" in the nation — True said D-B is ranked in approximately the top 3 percent of Tennessee high schools and the top 6 percent of all high schools nationally.

A link to the Tennessee rankings is available at http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/tennessee?int=9abb08.

University School, part of the Washington County school system, is located on the East Tennessee State University campus and is governed under the auspices of the Claudius G. Clemmer College of Education.

"We are honored to receive this recognition from U.S. News & World Report," said Doyle Brinson, director of University School. "Our faculty, staff, students and parents work very hard to make these types of awards happen and the full credit goes to them."

Angela Lewis, ETSU interim dean of education, said she has been "particularly pleased with the school's expansion of its AP (Advanced Placement) course offerings and dual enrollment, which provide high quality academic challenges for its students."

Last year, D-B didn't make the list, which school system officials questioned since it was ranked eighth in the state in 2012.

One of the requirements of making the list in 2013 was to have a certain percentage of freshmen test proficient in algebra I. The issue with Kingsport was that many students take that class in the seventh grade instead of their freshman year.

True said it was unclear whether that had been changed this year or D-B simply did better with students who didn't take algebra I until their freshman year.

City school officials in 2013 questioned the U.S. News methodology of counting only high-schoolers who take algebra I and test proficient in high school. They said that year about 250 middle-schoolers a year, about 40 percent of students, take and pass algebra I in either the seventh or eighth grade.

Some systems have no middle-schoolers taking algebra I.

The information, based on 2012-13 data, gave D-B a college readiness index of 30.7, an algebra proficiency of 2.8, English proficiency of 2.9 and student/teacher ratio of 15:1 with 1,904 students and 124 teachers,

Since then, D-B has grown to almost 2,000 students grades 9-12. University School has 506 students in grades K-12 and admits students based on priorities including having parents working at ETSU or having a sibling in the school.

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