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TAHS named among America’s Best High Schools by national magazine

The Tyrone Area High School has been recently selected through the U.S. News and World Report magazine assessment as being among America’s Best High Schools 2008, based upon overall student achievement, academic performance of disadvantaged students, and college readiness.
The magazine released the results of the first study of its kind last week, after analyzing data from 18,790 high schools in the nation for the 2005-06 year. The study considers the number of low-income and minority students, the number of students who participate in the Advanced Placement (AP) tests, state standardized test data, and how well students score. The heart of the evaluation is determining whether the schools are meeting the needs of all students, not just the elite.
TAHS received the Bronze Award among 1,086 high schools that also shared the honor across the nation. There are 501 school districts in Pennsylvania alone. Only Tyrone and Bucktail Area High School shared the bronze honor, and only 20 other Pennsylvania schools earned either silver or gold. State College Area High School was another local district recognized, receiving a Silver Award.
With a 61.82 percent of TAHS’s students basically considered disadvantaged, students have consistently beaten statistical odds by scoring above average on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PASA) tests.
TASD Superintendent Dr. William Miller said the district personnel are very pleased and elated to receive this award and are well aware, through Standards and Poor, that our students have always done exceptionally well in the state exams.
“We thank all our staff, in particular the Math Department and Chairperson Francis Bloom, and the English Department and Chairperson Steve Everhart, former administrators and current administrators, and TAHS students for their commitment to excellence,” said Miller. “We also thank our school board for their support and commitment to quality education.”
Miller added that there’s so much more to education than awards, and he thinks school districts continue to lose sight of the other characteristics of education with the big push by the national government on rating schools on test scores.
“Personally, I never cared for school rankings,” said Miller. “A quality high school does more than meet the criteria listed in the U.S. News and World Report. A quality high school challenges and provides support and opportunities for students to explore career options and pathways, develop good citizenship traits, develop an emotional IQ, and an understanding and acceptance of others.”
It’s those intangibles and human characteristics that Miller says are most important.
He added, “Our school is the center of the community with students and teachers working together. It is how our students greet each other and relate to each other in the halls. It is how well students do after school, years in the future; how well they are prepared for life – not the factors enumerated in a U.S. News and World Report article.”
“It’s an honor and a tribute and we accept the recognition, but we need to temper it with all these other characteristics of education that we provide in the Tyrone school district,” ended Miller.