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Back to school: Philadelphia's top-rated and most improved public high schools

Back to school: Philadelphia's top-rated and most improved public high schools
Photo: Unsplash
By Hoodline - Published on August 13, 2019.

How strong are the public high schools in Philadelphia?

With a fresh school year kicking off, we analyzed newly released data from Niche.com, which incorporates comprehensive report cards, rankings and reviews to help you choose the right school, to identify those schools that made the biggest strides last year, as well as those that top the city's best public high school rankings.

Horace Furness High School's overall rating improved the most among its peers in Philadelphia, rising from a C to a C+, according to data from Niche.

For the 2019-2020 school year, the school, located at 1900 S. Third St., enrolls 684 students. Horace Furness serves a fairly diverse population: 49% of students identify as Asian, 21% identify as Hispanic and 19% identify as black. Niche gave the school mixed grades: C- on an A-D scale for academics, B for administration and B for clubs and activities.

The overall ranking comes from Niche's proprietary algorithms. A school's ranking might change due to many factors, including the relative rankings of similar schools and whether a school gained or lost peers due to openings or closings. Other numbers come from current public data from the U.S. government.

Academically, 17% of Horace Furness High School's students scored as proficient or above in math, and 17% did so in reading. That's compared to city averages of 27% in math and 40% in reading. The school's improved overall rating is notable since it serves a less affluent population, with 100% of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch.

It's not the only school that's climbed Niche's rankings this year. South Philadelphia High School saw its overall rating jump from a D+ to a C-. The school is located at 2101 S. Broad St. and currently serves 603 students, of whom 57% identify as black, 17% identify as Asian and 12% identify as Hispanic.

Niche gave South Philadelphia High School mixed grades: D+ on an A-D scale for academics, C- for administration and B- for clubs and activities. South Philadelphia High School's latest math proficiency was at 17%, and reading proficiency was 22%. South Philadelphia High School also serves a less affluent population, with 100% of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch.

Parkway Center City High School also improved, from a C+ to a B-. The school is located at 540 N. 13th St. and has 562 students currently enrolled.

Niche gave Parkway Center City mixed grades — C+ on an A-D scale for academics, B for administration and C- for clubs and activities. Parkway Center City High School's latest math proficiency was at 62%, and reading proficiency was 92%.

While some public high schools are moving up the ranks, others are consistently top-rated overall, including:

  • Central High School, with an overall rating of A+.
  • Science Leadership Academy, with an A rating overall.
  • Academy at Palumbo, rated A- overall.

This story was created automatically using data from Niche.com, then reviewed by an editor before publication. Click here for more about how and why Hoodline is automating local news. Got thoughts about what we're doing? Go here to share your feedback.