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Harding again one of the ‘most challenging schools’

Mr.+Brandt%2C+English+teacher+and+IB+coordinator.+Photo+by+Andy+Thao
Mr. Brandt, English teacher and IB coordinator. Photo by Andy Thao

Mr. Brandt, English teacher and IB coordinator. Photo by Andy Thao

Mr. Brandt, English teacher and IB coordinator. Photo by Andy Thao

Andy Thao, Reporter

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          According to the Washington Post, a newspaper company that has most of their newspapers sold around Washington D.C., Harding has been nominated as one of the most challenging schools in Minnesota, ranked 23rd.

         “I feel proud; it’s great that we got the recognition,” said Erik Brandt, an 11th grade English teacher and the IB coordinator for Harding.

Mr. Brandt isn’t the only one pleased, another person that works at Harding is too. “It really honors our community that we have a place where students can thrive and work really hard,” said Doug Revsbeck, the principal at Harding.

To rank schools in Minnesota is the post takes the number of Advancement Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and Cambridge tests and divides by the numbers of seniors that graduated. That means the more tests seniors take and the more seniors graduate, the number increases.

Along with Harding is on the list, there is another school in the Saint Paul Public Schools district that is even higher on the list. “Even though Central is an IB school, Central gives their students IB tests, and if they want to, they can take AP exams, which really sets the numbers high,” said Mr. Brandt. “They also have a set of kids where they can take AP classes and take the AP exam, which also helps set their numbers high.”

Central, according to the Washington Post, is ranked number 12. Going back to how the formula works, the more tests the students at Central take and the more students graduate from Central, the more the number drastically increases.

Although a ranking in a newspaper is good, some people don’t really think it matters.

         “I don’t think it does matter,” said Mr. Revsbeck. “Our school is fairly huge and if most of the students take the IB exam then our stats should be really comparable to other top schools like Central.”

Going back to how the formula works, as long the seniors here at Harding take more tests and their graduation rate increases, Harding will grow upon the ranks.

         “We can get to a higher ranking like Central by doing the same thing; however, not many teachers support that idea as they don’t want to make a change right now,” said Mr. Brandt. “So for those who want to be on the higher ranking schools in Minnesota is possible, but keep in mind that Harding doesn’t follow what Central does and that Harding still is ranked is kinda surprising.”

         “The culture where all the kids here at Harding feel welcome whether they take regular, accelerated, or IB classes is what I think what got us here,” said Mr. Brandt. “Even students who want to move up to accelerated, IB or even move down from IB or accelerated classes, the students feel comfortable with the teachers and feel welcome for dropping or moving up the classes.”

        “I am really familiar with the rankings, but right now the important thing is to provide better services and programs to make the school a better place for the students here,” said Mr. Revsbeck.

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The student news site of Harding High School
Harding again one of the ‘most challenging schools’