Pine-Richland Gets High Marks in Washington Post Rankings

Pine-Richland rated sixth in Pennsylvania and 772nd in U.S.

For the second time this week,  was named one of the nation's top schools.

Pine-Richland was ranked sixth in Pennsylvania and 772nd in the U.S. in The Washington Post's High School Challenge.

For the Pittsburgh area, Pine-Richland ranked highest.

The school also was named this week to

The Washington Post's Challenge Index is based on the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or other college-level tests a school gave in 2011 divided by the number of graduating seniors, according to the Post. 

The Challenge Index also measures how effectively a school prepares its students for college, according to The Washington Post's website.

Of the 1,900 public high schools ranked nationally, Pine-Richland came in at 772 with an index of 2.212.

The Post notes that while the index is "not a measure of the overall quality of the school, the rating can reveal the level of a high school’s commitment to preparing average students for college."

An information page showed that Pine-Richland offers 15 AP courses and 11 varsity programs. Also, the four-year graduation rate is 98 percent, the average SAT score is 1,650 and the average ACT score is 25.

Local schools in the listing and their rankings include:

Pine-Richland, sixth in Pennsylvania and 772 in U.S.;

Upper St. Clair, eighth in Pennsylvania and 969 in U.S.;

Quaker Valley, 13th in Pennsylvania and 1,200 in U.S.;

North Allegheny, 14th in Pennsylvania and 1,211 in U.S.;

Hampton, 16th in Pennsylvania and 1,352 in U.S.;

South Fayette, 21st in Pennsylvania and 1,509 in U.S.;

North Hills, 22nd in Pennsylvania and 1,595 in U.S.;

Mt. Lebanon, 24nd in Pennsylvania and 1,652 in U.S.;

Chartiers Valley, 30th in Pennsylvania and 1,868 in U.S.;

The High School Challenge does not include certain high-achieving magnet or charter high schools, the website states.

crosbycat May 24, 2012 at 11:19 AM
As stated above, this is only based upon how many AP tests are offered. If AP classes and tests are being offered to help students gain college credit, and not just to get accolades from outside irrelevant organizations, that's great. But in my time in P-R, I have heard complaints from many parents that all the admin cares about is AP tests (just as in lower grades all anyone cares about is PSSA scores) and we see programs for regular kids being cut. These "regular" kids are just as valuable and have just as much chance for successful life as the AP kids and our school district should care about them, not just crave awards.
Stacy May 24, 2012 at 01:41 PM
this year the PRHS dramatically extended the time students spent taking assessment tests hence pulling them out of class time more than even the previous year. What I found completely short-sighted about that approach was that they pulled students from AP classes which infringes on their preparing for an AP exam which can not be moved nor fudged in any way. That lost time for students with those instructors can never be replaced. It was really unfair and it will be interesting to see if the average AP score at PRHS drops even further, since they seem, on a shallow level, concerned with AP scores. I honestly believe that the high school is being run more and more like a short-sighted elementary school, and that's a shame.
Elizabeth May 24, 2012 at 11:33 PM
I am curious to see how the ratings will be next year. I am sure PR parents don't realize what is happening now with the teachers being furloughed, if they have seniority they are able to take ONE state test, yes ONE test in any subject and then bump the current teacher with less seniority who might even have a masters in that subject. High School parents look over your schedules next year very carefully, you will have a phys. ed. teacher teaching 11th grade English with out any background in that subject. Are you serious? 11th grade English, a very important year, college essays etc. hmmmm don't know about you but I don't want my child being taught English by a teacher who should be instructing dodgeball! I guess Administration forgot to mention that at the meeting and in the letter Dr. Bucci sent everyone. I am sure they will be further teacher lay-offs next year. Unbelievable. Maybe there should be some type of report card for the teachers so we can keep the good ones.
livininpr May 25, 2012 at 03:09 AM
This is all impressive for the smart kids, but sometimes I feel they neglect the average kid. The district focuses on special Ed and enrichment but cuts from the average B/C student. Those students compose most of the student body. J
a mom May 25, 2012 at 03:10 AM
A report card for teachers is not an option. In an ideal world it would be nice to get rid of the teachers who do not perform, but on the other hand the "Dodgeball" teacher will do an excellent job as an 11th grade English teacher. That teacher is smart, well spoken, diligent and you might find yourself surprised. Wait and see. This is the only way these teachers can protect their jobs. You will never be able to get rid of the bad eggs. This practice is called checkerboarding and it is perfectly kosher in the realms of contracts and agreements with the school district. It is just the way it is. Thank God that most of the teachers who are jumping the board will be outstnding educators in their new positions. Give them a chance, because you can't get rid of them. This is not a democracy people!
Elizabeth May 25, 2012 at 09:58 AM
Only having to take one state test to be certified in teaching a subject you have never taught before, something doesn't seem right. If you have a background in that subject - that's a different story. This checkerboarding practice might have always been kosher before but with more teachers losing their jobs in the future this doesn't seem right. I don't think they ever the problems with the budget like this in the past. I would hope the state looks at this test and makes it a LITTLE more involved than ONE short test. I cant imagine parents will be pleased with this when then realize what will be happening. Yes,while that person is smart, well spoken, and diligent 11th grade English, any Math or Science class is a little different from pickle ball. Dont want my kid in that class.
another PR mom May 25, 2012 at 11:37 AM
Just one more thing to hate about the teacher's union. While some individual teachers may be concerned about their students their union and many among them are most decidedly not. The children that they teach are just an afterthought it seems. It is ridiculous that teaching our children is one of the only career paths where you will have no valid job performance review. And a guaranteed job for life-even if you are not technically qualified for that position., This is the first I have heard about checkerboarding and I have to say that I am appalled. I wholeheartedly disagree with you A Mom that a gym teacher will make a qualified English teacher The breadth of experience and education with this teacher will definitely be limited by inexperience with the subject matter. This is not the education that we expect from our tax dollars.
a mom May 25, 2012 at 12:09 PM
another mom, I did not say that I agree with the practice I am merely enlightening you as to how this process works. We do get evaluated and do have performance reviews every year.
another PR mom May 25, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Sorry if I misunderstood you and I really do appreciate your explanation of somethiing most of us know nothing about. - From what I hear the evaluations are just a formality and almost 100% of teachers get a positive review. Also-I don't mean to imply that we do not have good teachers here. I have had nothing but great experiences with my children's teachers so far.
DeeDee Kennedy May 26, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Really? This has got to be a joke.
Elizabeth May 26, 2012 at 08:27 PM
It's not a joke, and more parents need to realize this will and is going to happen starting with the 2012-13 school year.
PR Mom 18 June 09, 2012 at 01:19 AM
I have been closely watching PR for some time now and have often thought about posting my thoughts but have refrained from doing so. I can no longer refrain. There are many points that need further consideration. One being the teacher evaluation process. It is true that teacher evaluations are mostly a formality and the percentage of teachers receiving a positive rating is very close to 100%. I will gladly pay for quality teachers because they are instrumental However, with wonderful teachers across the state being furloughed we can not and should not stand for ineffective teachers being employed. The majority of our district's budget is spent on salary and benefits. We should be a district focused upon attracting, hiring and retaining the best. This is not happening within PR. That I am absolutely sure. If our taxes are going up, which they are, then we should expect that our children will have professionals that motivate, inspire and install a passion for learning within our children. We should have leaders who inspire our excellent teachers and are not afraid to dismiss those who should not be with children. This is a leadership issue and one that needs closely scrutinized and examined. We need leaders who are able to navigate us through these difficult economic times while still increasing the quality of education. We do not have this type leadership, do the research and you will see the truth.
Tripitapodria June 09, 2012 at 06:44 PM
I wish there was a way to evaluate teachers who are very complacent in their jobs because they are tenured and are only there to collect a paycheck. Let's keep the ones who pour their heart & soul into teaching and love to make a difference in kids' lives. Let's face it, teachers dont choose this profession to become rich. They choose it because they love what they do. In the combined 37 years that my children have been at PR we have had more complacent teachers than good ones, more so at the HS. Very disappointing. Let's get rid of the dead weight. & keep the teachers that really want to teach. And no, phys Ed teachers don't have the education nor the experience to teach English at the HS level, just as much as a math teacher doesn't have the education nor the experience to teach a spanish class.
another PR mom June 10, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Unfortunately due to the union stranglehold on education in PA we will never realize the commonsense approach to furlough the dead weight and the ineffective teachers over the good ones. Our leadership is tied on this one and there is absolutely nothing any of us can do about it. And union teachers HAVE become rich relative to most people today. PR top of scale is something like $90.000 with a pension for life. THIS is the 1% make no mistake about it. The sooner our country wakes up and realizes this the better. We need more officials like Scott Walker to wage battle against the unions -praying that this has started a trend.


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