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Albion district likes balance of college classes and AP

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 December 2016 at 5:13 pm

The U.S. News & World Report recently awarded Albion a bronze ranking in the list of top high schools in the U.S.

Albion outperformed many peers with math and English scores, and its graduation rate.

Kendall also earned a bronze and Medina was at the silver level.

Medina topped Albion because of its College Readiness Index. Medina had a CRI of 23.0 with 39 percent of high schoolers taking Advanced Placement classes. Albion’s College Readiness Index was 11.9 with 22 percent of students taking AP classes.

Albion also has many students taking college classes through Genesee Community College. Those GCC classes give the students college credits, saving them on tuition after high school.

However, the GCC classes don’t count for the College Readiness Index established by U.S. News.

“It’s a decision we made as a district years ago,” Mike Bonnewell, Albion school superintendent, told the Board of Education at a recent meeting. “I don’t think we want to change our educational practice to be seeking recognition.”

In order to be recognized by U.S. News, districts needed at least 68 percent of students to graduate with their 4-year cohort. Bonnewell said that was a low standard. Albion had 88 percent of students graduate with their cohorts, he said.

Albion pushes both AP and GCC classes, offering a balance for students who want academic rigor, said Mary Leto, the district’s assistant superintendent for instruction.

“You also get some intangibles when you send a kid to a college classroom,” Bonnewell said.

The district also reported to the Board of Education that a higher percentage of district residents are paying their school taxes on time compared to the mid-1990s.

In 1994, 13.13 percent of school taxes were not paid. That fell to 10.70 percent in 1996, 8.51 percent in 2000, 6.08 percent in 2007, and now 4.56 percent in 2016.

The district has only increased taxes once in the past decade, and the STAR program has also reduced taxes for many district residents, helping many residents to afford their school taxes, said Shawn Liddle, the district’s assistant superintendent for business.

“It was a good tax collection year,” Liddle told the Board of Education. “We’re glad to see folks paying their taxes on time.”

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