Janesville Parker High School ranked in magazine’s list of top schools

Janesville Parker High School ranked in magazine’s list of top schools

A Janesville high school is the cream of Wisconsin’s crop, according to one national magazine survey of the best schools.

Janesville’s Parker High School ranks 19th in the state, according to

U.S. News and World Report said that Janesville’s Parker High School ranks 19th in the state among the Wisconsin’s top schools. That slot is higher than any Madison school on the list.

Students at Parker High School said they’re not surprised at their showing.

When she isn’t dancing a bit in French class, Parker High School senior Kaitlyn Biester said she’s busy preparing to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the fall. She said she feels her years at the school have readied her for what’s ahead.

“I feel absolutely prepared for college. My AP classes, my honors classes, even the regular classes, they’re really good,” said Biester.

According to the U.S. News and World Report story, the education that she and the other 1,500 Parker students are receiving is among the best in the nation.

Fellow senior Erik Vazques said that he doesn’t need a survey to know how great his school is.

“Me coming from a different country … and coming to a good school,” he said. “If I do succeed in my future, I know where it came from. I went to a good school and it shows that someone who is not from here can achieve their dreams and achieve something big.”

Principal Chris Laue said one of the keys to their success is the amount of time they spend building relationships with their each of their students.

“It’s important to have connections at school. That’s why kids come every day and it’s important for them to come to school to see adults who look like them and understand them,” said Laue.

Students Adam Vesterfelt and Mahoganie Franklin said that they’re excited to break the news about their school to their in city rivals at Craig High School.

“Everyone always boasts about Craig being better academically, and we’ve always been pretty good at sports and stuff. But, that’s pretty great that we’re ranked for nationwide as a top school,” said Vesterfelt.

“It’s cool we’re in the top 10 percent. (We) definitely have bragging rights,” said Franklin.

Biester said that at the very least, the ranking is recognition of years of effort by both teachers and students.

“We all know how great it is here. We’ve been going here for four years and we know how great our teachers are, but it’s really nice to see our work and their work being recognized on a state and national level,” said Biester.

Laue said that the results also affirm the efforts the school has made to narrow the achievement gap.

“The exciting thing about this award is it acknowledges the fact that we — our minority students especially — are making good gains and we’re … working very hard to close the achievement gap between our economically disadvantaged, our minority, our special ed students and those who are white and more privileged students,” said Laue

The magazine ranks the schools based on student performance on state achievement tests and college prep exams. They also looked at how economically disadvantaged and minority students fared because they tend to have lower test scores.

To read the U.S. News and World Report article, visit http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools