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U.S. News and World Report names Weston fourth ‘best’ high school in the state

Weston High School is among the top high schools in the country, and ranked No. 4 in the state, according to a study that looked at AP participation and scores to gauge “college readiness.”

Weston ranked No. 270 nationally in the U.S. News and World Report Best High Schools report, earning the district a “gold medal” designation for the top 500 among nearly 22,000 schools in 49 states.

The top school in the state was Connecticut International Baccalaureate Academy in East Hartford, and No. 2 was Conard High School in West Hartford. Five other Fairfield County towns made the top 10 list in Connecticut: Ridgefield was No. 3; Staples, No. 5; Darien, No. 7; and Wilton, No. 8.

The rating was based on three indicators of success: proficiency in reading and math, college readiness, and the racial and economic achievement gap compared to the state average, according to the study on the magazine’s website.

Most of the data is from the 2009-10 school year.

Math and reading proficiency was based on the state’s standardized testing, which here is the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) taken by 10th graders.

Of 184 Weston test scores counted in the study, 99% of takers scored “proficient” or better in reading, with 11% earning the “proficient” level, 38% at “goal” and 50% of students earning “advanced” scores.

In math, 182 tests were counted, and 98% of students earned proficient or better, with 13% “proficient,” 37% at “goal” and 48% advanced.

College-readiness was based on college-level courses, either Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB). For Weston, AP was used.

Some 60% of seniors participated in AP exams, and 91% earned passing scores of 3 or better on a 5-point scale on at least one exam. On average, students took 3.8 AP exams, according to the study’s website.

Though the third metric regarded the achievement gap between the general student population poor and minority students, no performance data was available for Weston’s “disadvantaged” students.

The study said Weston’s students are 93% white, 4% Hispanic, 3% Asian and 1% black, with 3% “economically disadvantaged,” either receiving free or reduced price lunch.

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