2007-12-05 / News

Pettisville High School Among Tops In Ohio

by David Pugh Buckeye Staff Writer

Pettisville High School has made a list of the top 59 high schools, both public and private, in the state of Ohio.

Scott Gerber, a Columbus stock market investor who said he compiled the information as a hobby, prepared the list.

To make Gerber's list, a high school had to have at least 91% of its high school sophomores score "proficient" or better on their first attempts to take the Ohio Graduation Test. Students take the OGT for the first time in March of their sophomore year.

Of the students at Pettisville who took the OGT for the first time, 94% passed with grades ranked proficient or above.

Other high schools who had the same 94% score were Archbishop Alter, Montgomery County; Bishop Watterson, Franklin County; Our Lady of the Elms, Summit County; and Saints John & Paul-St. John, Ashtabula County.

Seven high schools saw 100% of their sophomores pass the OGT with proficient or above scores: Lake Ridge Academy, Lorain County; Seven Hills, Hamilton County; St. Charles Preparatory, Franklin County; St. Joseph Central, Lawrence County; University High School, Cuyahoga County; Ursuline Academy, Hamilton County; and Wellington, Franklin County.

In all, Gerber reported out of 996 schools for which OGT data was available, 59 schools, 6% of the total, had 91% or more of its sophomores pass all five sections of the OGT with proficient or higher scores.

Pettisville was the only Fulton County school to make Gerber's list.

Reaction

Steve Switzer, superintendent of the Pettisville Local School District, said, "The vast majority of the credit for any honors which we may receive has to be based on three elements: students, faculty, and community.

"Obviously, the most important part of the three are the students, who prepare for the tasks to be accomplished; be it academic preparation, getting ready for an event, or just paying attention in class.

"A second is the faculty, which includes the excellent teachers, support staff, and the principals that we are fortunate to have in our organization.

"A third is the support provided by the community. This, of course, includes the parents and extended family, but also includes those who support tax issues that provide the resources for the school system, those who come to events and support our student performers, and a board of education with one agenda, that of providing excellent educational opportunities for our students.

"It is a lot like a three-legged milk stool. Take one leg away, and the stool is useless; with all three, it is solid and serves its designed purpose.

Archbold

David Deskins, superintendent of the Archbold Area School District, said, "I always like to use a bit of caution when considering the findings of an individual that we don't know."

Deskins questioned whether Gerber had proper training "in research techniques for proper data acquisition.

"I typically look through a different lens at information that compares a majority of private schools with public schools, as private schools have the option of picking the students that they choose to enroll, which could substantially affect the school's test results.

"In contrast, public schools are obligated to educate all resident children who wish to enroll, irrespective of ability, knowledge, or economic standing.

"However, it is always good to review information even if possible flaws exist, as it allows us to consider what the purported 'best of the best' are doing academically."

Deskins pointed out the Archbold Area School District is one of only 24 districts out of 613 statewide that have received Ohio's "excellent" ranking for seven consecutive years.

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The grand essentials to happiness in life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.- Joseph Addison

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