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Turlock high schools recognized for student achievement

No matter what comes next for Turlock High School and Pitman High School seniors set to graduate at the end of this month, they can rest assured knowing that they will be prepared thanks to new rankings released by U.S. News & World Report.

As was detailed in the report, the two Turlock area high schools were included in only 10 percent of schools nationwide to receive a silver medal from the ranking organization.

Schools awarded with a silver medal are considered higher performing schools with lower college readiness than of the three percent of schools that were awarded with gold medals.

“We are very humbled by this recognition, but also feel validated that our efforts at THS to increase academic achievement and educational opportunities for our students are paying off,” said THS Principal Marie Peterson.

“As a 1991 THS grad myself, it personally means a great deal to me that the U.S. News and World Report gave us this recognition and that the future holds even more promise for us as a school and a District,” continued Peterson.

Taking into consideration more than 21,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia, THS was ranked at 1,800. Throughout the entirety of California, which encompasses 900 schools, THS was ranked at 389.

Additionally, PHS was ranked at 2,277 out of the 21,000 public high schools review nationwide and 498 throughout the 900 schools reviewed throughout California.

U.S. News & World Report detailed the ability of both PHS and THS students to take Advanced Placement course work and exams. As a result, the AP participation rate at 34 percent at THS and 28 percent at PHS.

“Over the past five years, starting with our former Principal Dana Salles Trevethan, Turlock High School staff has been on a mission to close the achievement gap and increase the number of students eligible to attend a four year college after high school,” said Peterson. “Part of this effort was expanding our Advanced Placement program options and encouraging more students, especially those students who were formerly under-represented in AP, to enroll in our most rigorous course work."

To back this up, Peterson referred to TUSD’s recent placement on College Board’s fifth annual AP District Honor Roll in 2014 for increasing access to AP course work, while also maintaining or increasing the number of students who earn a 3 or higher on the AP exams.  

“We are proud at THS to have played a part in this achievement,” said Peterson.

In order to compile this year’s Best High School rankings, U.S. News & World Report partnered with RTI International, a global nonprofit social science research firm based in North Carolina and took into consideration a number of factors, including each high school’s ability to serve all students successfully and a number of measurable academic outcomes.

To view the complete 2015 Best High Schools Rankings, visit