In 2001, Time Magazine named Stonewall Jackson High School ” School of the Year.” Everyone on this end of town crowed and preened themselves over the recognition. How far they fall in a decade. Today, Stonewall Jackson HS barely ranked in the Washington Post High School Challenge. SJHS came in at a 92 rank of all area high schools in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. Osbourn Park ranked the highest of any of the Prince William County high schools. It came in at 45.
Osbourn and Manassas Park High Schools sure didn’t set the world on fire either. However, neither of these schools has the maneuverability that county schools have. As PW residents we should be asking why our top ranking high school comes in 45th behind other area schools. That doesn’t sound very world class to me. Loudoun County, Arlington, and Fairfax counties all had schools ranking much higher than Prince William County.
We have to start asking ourselves why this is. I say it is because Prince William County always wants to go on the CHEAP. It always wants to appear to have the lowest taxes. Are other jurisdictions putting more money into the school system so they can attract high quality teachers and keep class sizes low? PWC has the least competitive pay for teachers and also spends the least money per pupil than any other school system in Northern Virginia.