Pinkerton Academy has been named one of the Best High Schools in America on the U.S. News and World Report website’s annual school ranking. Pinkerton was one of seven New Hampshire schools receiving a Bronze ranking. Twelve New Hampshire schools received Silver ranking; there were no Gold rankings in New Hampshire.
Chris Harper, academic dean of the semi-private Derry high school, said the school did not apply for the award or actively seek the recognition. “They did their research, worked their magic with data,” he said.
Harper said the researchers look at data including state tests, SATs, and Advanced Placement (AP) testing; the number of students in AP courses; the dropout rate and more. “Then they enter it into whatever formula they have,” Harper said. And it came out bronze.
“We were pleasantly surprised,” Harper said of himself and the other staff members. “We do feel we have a very good school, and we have done a lot to meet the needs of students with very good programs.”
The data on the website included participation in AP courses, 14 percent; student/teacher ratio, 13.1 percent; college readiness, a score of 13.4; math proficiency, 39 percent or a score of 2.2; and reading proficiency, 85 percent or a score of 3.2.
It’s not the first time Pinkerton has been recognized. The school has produced several Teachers of the Year, both in New Hampshire and on the national stage, he said; has been honored for its courses; and has had National Merit finalists.
“The accolades are nice,” Harper concluded, “but our biggest accolades are our students.”