Two Gaston County high schools, Gaston Early College High School and the Highland School of Technology, have been ranked the top two public high schools in the region for career and college readiness according an analysis performed by the Charlotte Business Journal. Gaston Early College High School was ranked #2 with a 93.8 college readiness score, and Highland School of Technology was ranked #1 with a college readiness score of 95.
The Charlotte Business Journal produced these rankings utilizing the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s “college and career readiness standard,” which factored in a number of metrics. According to the Charlotte Business Journal, after analyzing end-of-course performance tests with a focus on biology, English and mathematics, students were graded and placed in one of five categories that rated the degree of college readiness. Levels three and above meet the state proficiency standard. Levels four and above meet the college and career readiness standard.
The college readiness score reflects the percentage of students that scored at or above the college readiness level, meaning for Highland School of Technology, having a score greater than 95 means that more than 95 percent of its students were performing at a college-ready level or higher. A number of other Gaston County schools were also listed along with Highland and Gaston Early College in the Charlotte Business Journal rankings.
Gaston County Schools have a number of other notable achievements in the last year, including being the beneficiary of the largest school bond referendum in the county’s history. The voters of Gaston County approved a $250 million school bond referendum to fund renovations, repairs and new school construction, and a contract was just awarded to begin construction on the new Belmont Middle School. A number of Gaston County schools, teachers, and administrators have also been recipients of awards for excellence, as Gaston County Schools celebrated 50 years as a unified county-wide system.