Lower Merion School Rankings: Are You Impressed?

Philadelphia Magazine pegged both district high schools in the area's top 5.

When Philadelphia Magazine this month ranked the top 100 public schools in the Philadelphia area, both Lower Merion High School and Harriton High School made the top 5.

Using graduation rate, test scores, student/faculty ratio, spending per student and other factors, the magazine ranked Lower Merion No. 2 and Harriton No. 5. Rounding out the top 5 were Masterman in Philadelphia (No. 1), Unionville (No. 3) and Conestoga (No. 4).

So we ask students, parents, teachers and taxpayers:

  • Are you impressed by where Lower Merion's schools ranks? Are you surprised?
  • Do you think of Lower Merion as better than Harriton or vice versa?
  • Taxpayers: do you feel you get your money's worth from the school district's performance?

Tell us in the comments.

Susan of Wynnewood October 08, 2012 at 03:07 PM
I am sure transportation is a large cost, but we are talking a difference of $4K per student cost as compared to Radnor. Radnor likely has a similar transportation demographic with large transportations costs for both public and private students as well.
Jepsontwin October 08, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Susan, if we play one of these things is not like the other, the thing that sticks out with Lower Merion schools is that it has TWO high schools. Had the District gone with a one school option, there would have been significant savings. Two high schools means DOUBLE everything. Of course, that also means much more opportunity for the public school children on a per/student basis. This is land of milk and honey for students. No other schools in the area offer the same level of programming and opportunities per student. Not even close; you decide whether that's good thing or bad thing i dont know, but in my book these should not be GIVEN to you in PUBLIC SCHOOL! you should have to PAY for these things (ie PRIVATE SCHOOL). Other factors are LMSD's comparatively high special education and transportation costs. But with 80% of annual budget tied up in teacher salaries and benefits there's not much they can do short of closing Harriton high school to really cut costs here.
Phillyjazz October 09, 2012 at 11:56 AM
Without the reputation of our schools, our property values would PLUMMET! We bear the brunt of having "special needs" families move in, and then from time to time SUE our schools to fund sending their kids to PRIVATE facilities if ours cannot accommodate them. Parents here EXPECT our Public schools to behave like Private ones, That costs money. Our taxes are low. I gladly pay what I do for the benefits we receive. My son started at a private University last year, and is doing EXCEEDINGLY well vs. his peers. He credits the LM system with preparing him better than them.
Ellen November 15, 2012 at 05:37 PM
I wonder if the cost of renovating a number of schools in the district in recent years was taken into account in the cost per pupil. If so, it would certainly be higher.
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