DATE: December 9, 2015
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
Albemarle County Public Schools Among Top Five in Virginia,
Top Two Percent in the U.S. in 2016 National Ranking
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – A national education assessment company has ranked Albemarle County Public Schools among the top five school divisions in Virginia. Niche, which each year evaluates more than 100,000 public and private schools and divisions based on a comprehensive survey of performance data and the views of more than 27 million students and parents, also placed Albemarle County Public Schools in the top two percent of all school divisions in the nation.
The school division’s better than 90 percent graduation rate, 12:1 student-to-teacher ratio, and SAT and ACT student test scores all were well above national averages, and its drop-out rate was much lower than the national average.
In specific categories, Albemarle County Public Schools was rated A+ for academics, educational outcomes, and teaching staff. The division also received A ratings for its administration & policies, extracurricular, sports & fitness, and culture & diversity programs. In the three other categories that were evaluated, resources & facilities, food, and health & safety, the division received B grades.
Within the Commonwealth, Albemarle County Public Schools was the top-rated school division outside the Northern Virginia region. Arlington, Falls Church, Loudoun, and Fairfax were ranked by Niche as the top four school divisions, and Charlottesville City was sixth.
According to Niche’s data, these school divisions spend more per pupil than does Albemarle, as much as 70 percent more. The four Northern Virginia divisions and Charlottesville City all provide between $14,013 and $22,554 per pupil, compared to Albemarle’s $13,144.
“This study confirms the excellent work our students are doing every day and the valuable support and encouragement they receive at home. Studies show that family involvement with a child’s education adds a great deal to classroom performance,” said Dr. Matthew Haas, the assistant superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools.
“The other essential contributors to these state and national rankings are our teachers,” Dr. Haas continued. “What especially is meaningful is that the A+ they received incorporates the views of many of our students and parents. Our teachers earn high marks for the positive difference they are making in preparing our students for college and career success,” he said.
Niche says their rankings differ from those of many other organizations. “We believe the quality of a school or district should be measured, at least in part, by the parents and students who actually go there. They should also be measured by hard data and across a number of key factors so that no one factor dominates a ranking. Most importantly, they should be measured by their results,” the organization says on their web site.