Eight Chester County schools listed in top 50, T/E ranked 5th in state
By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times
At least by one third-party measure, the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District is the top district in the entire commonwealth in 2014, according to rankings released by the Pittsburgh Business Times, released Friday.
UCFSD moved up from no. 3 in the 2013 rankings, unseating Upper St. Clair from the top spot in the ranking of the state’s 784 school districts.
Pittsburgh Business Times says that it uses the results of state-administered tests, such as PSSA’s, to establish its rankings.
Not surprisingly, UCFSD Superintendent of Schools John Sanville was delighted with the news and said it is a credit to the entire district.
“Everyone at UCFSD works hard, every day, to ensure that our students have the best opportunities for success,” Sanville said. “This approach rewards achievements of all kinds and on all levels — and we do our best to acknowledge each one. When our efforts are recognized at the state level we are both humbled and gratified that our pedagogical instincts have been on target.”
But, Sanville cautioned, rankings, no matter how gratifying, are not the only story to tell, but merely one mile post in a journey to success for students, for the district and the community as a whole.
“Rankings play a role in determining the value of a school district but are not the only measure of success,” he said. “UCFSD is honored to be named number one in the commonwealth and will carry that banner proudly. However, we will not rest on our laurels as we know that that the hard work of providing students with a solid education takes place every day in every classroom in every school. We are dedicated to ensuring that every student in UCFSD has access to the best learning opportunities possible.”
He also noted that this ranking did not come from one year, or one testing cycle, but decades of dedication from staff, students, parents and local residents to make the school district a point of local pride.
“Alexandre Dumas said it best: Nothing succeeds like success,” he said. “UCFSD did not earn the top spot overnight because academic achievement is a process not a goal unto itself. The hard work and dedication of everyone at UCFSD has contributed to creating a learning environment that rewards accomplishments of all kinds. We are humbled by the recognition and grateful for the efforts of the many at UCFSD who embody the spirit of excellence.”
Following UCFSD in the rankings are, Mt. Lebanon in Allegheny County, Radnor Township in Delaware County, Upper St. Clair in Alleghany County, Tredyffrin-Easttown in Chester County, Hampton Township in Allegheny County, South Fayette Township in Allegheny County, North Allegheny in Allegheny County, Lower Merion in Montgomery County and Wallingford-Swathmore in Delaware County.
Other Chester County school districts were ranked in the top 50 in the state, including Great Valley which was ranked 11th, Downingtown ranked 22nd, Spring-Ford was 28th, West Chester Area School District was ranked 33rd, Owen J. Roberts ranked 41st, and Avon Grove ranked 47th.