Newsome High tops in college prep, Newsweek says
It’s Joe E. Newsome in Lithia that was judged best among public high schools in the Tampa area at preparing students for college, a survey by Newsweek and the Daily Beast shows.
The Tribune reported incorrectly that the survey results released Monday placed H.B. Plant High in South Tampa at the top among local schools.
But Newsome placed No. 273 on the Newsweek/Daily Beast ranking of 2,000 schools, which weighed graduation rate, college acceptance rate, advanced tests taken per student, average SAT and ACT test scores, average advanced exam scores, and percent of students enrolled in at least one advanced course.
That was the highest ranking local school, ahead of Plant at 371, Palm Harbor University in Pinellas County at 407, George M. Steinbrenner in Lutz (958), Bloomingdale in Valrico (1,172), and J.W. Mitchell in Pasco County’s New Port Richey (1,580).
Newsome ranked No. 20 among all Florida public schools on the list.
International Baccalaureate School at Bartow High in Polk County was No. 2 on the national list, topped by the Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Bowling Green, Ky.
“We’re not too surprised to see our schools listed on there,” said Steve Hegarty, communications director for the Hillsborough district. “We focus on challenging students to take the most rigorous courses because we feel that best prepares them for life after college.”
Newsome’s ranking comes on the heels of an April survey by the Washington Post that ranked Plant highest in the area based on its “Challenge Index.” The Post’s index took the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year and divided by the number of seniors who graduated in May or June.
Plant finished 106th in that survey, just ahead of Land O’ Lakes in Pasco County at 117 and C. Leon King High School in Tampa at 118. Newsome ranked 199.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story reported incorrectly that H.B. Plant High School was tops among local public high schools in the Newsweek survey.