Masterman Tops Keystone Exam Rankings

Most of the other usual suspects also appear in the top 10 on the Business Journal's ranking of area high schools based on their performance on the state Keystone exams.

Julia Reynolds Masterman School

Another survey, another first-place ranking for Masterman. | Photo: Public domain image by Smallbones from Wikimedia Commons

Thanks to a law passed in 2016, passing the Keystone exams won’t be a graduation requirement for Pennsylvania high school students for another two years. But that doesn’t keep them from being used right now to judge the quality of the state’s public high schools.

Thus the Philadelphia Business Journal has come out with a list of the region’s top 50 high schools based on student performance on the Keystone exams in three subjects: Algebra I, biology and literature.

The schools that usually top such rankings — starting with Philadelphia’s Julia Reynolds Masterman in the No. 1 spot — top these too, with a few surprises thrown in. The scores the Business Journal assigned them are the sum of the percentages of students who scored at the “advanced” level on the Keystones in the three subjects. The top 10, their school districts and their scores, in order:

  1. Julia Reynolds Masterman, Philadelphia, 205.6
  2. Downingtown STEM Academy, Downingtown, 197.7
  3. Conestoga, Tredyffrin-Easttown, 152.8
  4. Radnor, Radnor Township, 148.8
  5. Unionville, Unionville-Chadds Ford, 148.4
  6. Strath Haven, Wallingford-Swarthmore, 142.9
  7. Lower Merion, Lower Merion, 141.6
  8. Central Bucks East, Central Bucks, 139
  9. New Hope-Solebury, New Hope-Solebury, 134.6
  10. Central, Philadelphia, 134.4

All of the high schools in the Central Bucks, Council Rock, Downingtown Area, Lower Merion and West Chester Area school districts scored in the top 50, as did two other Philadelphia schools, George Washington Carver and the Science Leadership Academy. (Like Central and Masterman, these are citywide magnet schools.) Other districts with schools in the top 20 were Colonial, Great Valley, Haverford Township, Lower Moreland, North Penn, Rose Tree Media, Spring-Ford and Wissahickon.

Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, Pennsylvania public high school students will be required to score at the “proficient” level or above in Algebra I, biology and literature in order to graduate. The full battery of Keystone exams also includes Algebra II, geometry, English composition, chemistry, U.S. history, world history and civics and government.

Metro Philadelphia’s best high schools: Keystone Exams (Philadelphia Business Journal)