Superintendent, Paul Imhoff
My family and I became part of the Upper Arlington family in 2013, and we quickly learned what has drawn people to this special place for so many years. It's more than the tree-lined streets and beautiful parks - it's a deep sense of community pride and cooperation.
While I am proud to be a member of this great community and a parent in this fantastic school district, I am humbled to serve as its superintendent. It is an honor to work with this fine group of educators as they make a positive impact in the lives of our students. I am invigorated by the thoughts of what is yet to come. Over the next few years, we will be laying the groundwork to build upon the district's tradition of excellence and reach even greater levels of achievement and opportunity for all students.
If you have any ideas or questions about our schools, please feel free to contact me by phone or email.
Weighing the Value of Rankings
Each year, three major publications release separate rankings of the nation’s high schools. The Washington Post and U.S. News released their reports this month, ranking Upper Arlington High School 406th in the nation and 531st in the nation, respectively. Newsweek released its latest rankings last fall and identified UAHS as the 165th best school in the nation.
Clearly, our goal is to be among the very best in the nation no matter what ranking system is used. We are looking carefully at each publication’s methodology to determine if there are changes we can make that would improve our standing while staying true to our beliefs about what’s best for students.
Each publication has developed an interesting methodology that provides educators with one viewpoint on how their schools are serving students. But we all know that no single viewpoint can provide the whole picture. For example, the Washington Post’s methodology is as simple as counting the total number of Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests taken in a school and then dividing that by the number of students who graduated. The result is called the challenge index. The UAHS challenge index is listed as 3.609 or just more than 3.6 AP/IB tests for every graduate last year.
What do this figure and its corresponding national ranking tell us about the way Upper Arlington High School serves our community? They hint at the fact that some schools require AP students to take the test and that some schools, like ours, do not. They also hint at the fact that some schools use tax money to pay for exam fees and that some schools, like ours, do not. These facts don’t tell us that one school is better than another; they simply tell us that different schools are, well, different.
The other publications’ methodologies are a little more complex, but they still provide a single viewpoint on a school’s performance.
I believe our community deserves the whole picture, and that’s why I am so pleased to share our work on the Upper Arlington Quality Profile. The QP is meant to provide a full accounting of our district’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as plans to build on those strengths and remedy the weaknesses. A team of community members and educators put together a prototype of the QP, which you can find at www.uaschools.org/qualityprofile. We collected community feedback on this document for more than a month this winter. We’ll use that feedback to refine the report before its first official release this fall.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (614) 487-5030.
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