Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
A D from the state, but on magazine's honor roll
A D from the state, but Hillsborough High is named the 10th best school in the country by Newsweek.
By RON MATUS
Published May 10, 2005
[Times file photo]
Hillsborough High School has beefed up the number of AP test takers in recent years, helping boost the school's ranking in Newsweek magazine. More school rankings from Newsweek
Hillsborough High School in Tampa earned a D grade from the state last year. And under federal standards, it fell far short.
But on Monday, Newsweek magazine named it the 10th best high school in the country.
In the country.
Hillsborough was one of 16 Florida high schools to rank in the top 100, including five from the Tampa Bay area.
"We knew we were good," principal William Orr said. "But we didn't know how good."
The Newsweek list is based on a single factor: the number of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests taken by all students at a school, divided by the number of graduating seniors. The students don't have to do well on the tests either. It matters only that they take them.
Test scores? No.
Graduation rates? Nope.
Closing the achievement gap between whites and minorities? Forget it.
Critics say the formula is simplistic. For example, a school's rank can actually improve if it has a high dropout rate.
Two other Hillsborough schools made the list, King High (No. 36) and Plant High (No. 69), as well as two Pinellas schools, St. Petersburg High (No. 35) and Palm Harbor University High (No. 83).
Jacksonville's Stanton College Preparatory School finished tops in Florida and No. 3 overall.
Newsweek stands behind the rankings, saying it rewards high schools that push average students to take rigorous courses.
Much like the U.S. News & World Report college rankings, the Newsweek high school list has been steadily growing in popularity.
Now, principals and superintendents are doing what university presidents have done for years: griping about how unfair the formula is when they tumble down the list, and sending out glowing news releases when they move up.
Monday's list is more proof Hillsborough schools are on their way to "providing the best education in the nation," superintendent Earl Lennard said in a written statement Monday.
State and federal grading systems offer a less rosy view.
Under Florida's system, only five of the 16 Florida schools on the Newsweek list earned A's last year.
Only three met federal standards.
The state system factors in improvement among struggling students, while the federal system rates a school based on how well subgroups do, including low-income students, minorities and children with disabilities.
That's not to say the Newsweek system isn't without merit.
Hillsborough High has beefed up the number of AP test takers in recent years by identifying students who it thought could benefit from a more rigorous curriculum. And at Plant High, students took a combined 1,700 AP tests this year, about 300 more than last year, said principal Eric Bergholm.