Jay Mathews Lists The Gatton Academy as a Public Elite School for Tenth Consecutive Time
- Author: Zack Ryle
- Author: Wednesday, May 29th, 2019
The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science has been named to Jay Mathews’ list of top-performing public schools with elite students for the tenth consecutive time.
Since 1998, educational columnist Jay Mathews has ranked public high schools using the Challenge Index, his measure of how effectively a school prepares its students for college. The Challenge Index is the oldest high school ranking system in the country. Prior to the 2019 list being posted on Mathews’ website (https://jaymathewschallengeindex.com/), the list could be found annually in The Washington Post or Newsweek. The Gatton Academy first appeared on Mathews’ list in 2009 and has been recognized in each subsequent publication of the list, making this the tenth consecutive appearance.
The Challenge Index is designed to recognize schools that challenge average students. Twenty-seven top-performing schools, including The Gatton Academy, were excluded from the regular list because, as the Mathews states, “their standardized test scores indicate they have few or no average students.” Instead, these schools are named to the list of top performing schools with elite students.
Once again, The Gatton Academy found itself among the nation’s twenty-seven most distinguished public high schools. Schools such as the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Science and the Arts, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, and Thomas Jefferson High School make perennial appearances on the top-performing schools with elite students list.
“We are excited and honored to be considered among the best schools in the country. We are proud to represent Kentucky’s commitment to education,” said Director of The Gatton Academy, Dr. Lynette Breedlove. “The Gatton Academy’s university model provides bright, highly motivated students with the academic rigor they crave and the social-emotional support they need. Our school’s success is shared with schools and districts across the Commonwealth that prepare students for our environment and with WKU faculty and staff who challenge our students in their classrooms alongside traditional college students.”
When a student enrolls at The Gatton Academy, they may remain enrolled in their sending schools while they earn more than 60 hours of college credit through WKU coursework. This partnership between The Gatton Academy and each student’s sending school is unique, as the student’s test scores and SEE funding remain with the sending school. To that end, Jay Mathews’ list is one of the only lists that considers The Gatton Academy, as Mr. Mathews does not exclusively use the Department of Education’s data in which students’ scores remain attributed to their sending schools.
“Being recognized as a top performing school with elite students for ten appearances is definitely noteworthy,” stated Dr. Julia Roberts, Executive Director of The Gatton Academy and Mahurin Professor of Gifted Education. To be commended are teachers at the students’ sending schools, WKU faculty, and the staff at The Gatton Academy.”
About The Gatton Academy: Established in 2007, The Gatton Academy is Kentucky’s first residential two-year program for gifted and talented junior and seniors. The Gatton Academy’s students enroll as juniors and are full-time WKU students pursuing their interests in advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematical careers. The Gatton Academy has been named to Jay Mathews’ list of top-performing schools with elite students, marking the tenth consecutive appearance.