by Jeff Zbar
Updated 9 months ago
When U.S. News & World Report released its 2018 high school rankings, seven Miami-Dade schools earned spots among the top 100 out of more than 20,000 ranked. In fact, Miami-Dade nabbed spots from No. 25 for its Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH) in the Design District to No. 89 for MAST (Maritime and Science Technology) Academy. Between those, its International Studies Charter High School (No. 26), Archimedean Upper Conservatory Charter School (No. 47), International Studies Preparatory Academy (No. 62), Young Women’s Preparatory Academy (No. 73) and Jose Marti MAST 6-12 Academy (No. 85) rounded out the county’s top rankings.
4th Largest School District in the US
2 Research Universities
250,000 College Students
What’s more, just outside the top 100 nationally, at iPrep Academy (No. 126), with Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho doubling as principal, all seniors were accepted into college. Miami-Dade Public Schools, one of the largest public school districts in the country with almost 350,000 students, has been ranked first among U.S. school districts to provide wireless connectivity to all its schools.
“When I became superintendent in 2008, we had nine failing high schools that were facing closure by the state,” Carvalho says. “However, employing a student-focused commitment to drive our work, we turned the impossible into the inevitable. Since then, we have witnessed the rising trend of student achievement in Miami-Dade classrooms.”
When families scout new neighborhoods to call home, the area’s education often rises high on the list of critical qualities. Public, private, parochial and charter schools offer students top-tier options across Miami-Dade County.
Curricula at schools countywide have been designed with students’, colleges’ and employers’ needs in mind. The county offers award-winning industry magnets, colleges, coding camps, universities and training programs in engineering, marine science, business and the arts.
Top-ranked private schools include Ransom Everglades School, Gulliver Preparatory School, Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, Palmer Trinity School, Scheck Hillel Community School, Miami Country Day School and Belen Jesuit Prep School.
“Quality schools are the hallmark of a great community,” says Jeannette Acevedo-Isenberg, head of school with Downtown Doral Charter Elementary School. “Happy communities are those that are involved with preparing our children to serve as leaders in the community.”
Miami-Dade high school graduates have excellent higher ed options close to home. The county boasts some 250,000 college students. Miami-Dade College, University of Miami, Barry University, St. Thomas University, Florida Memorial University, Johnson & Wales and others participate in world-class research in fields such as sustainability, artificial intelligence and supply chain management, as well as medicine, law and accounting, plus trades that are vital to tomorrow’s workforce.
At the University of Miami, research in climate change, business and finance, design and architecture, science and engineering, health and medicine, and even early American exploration and navigation is yielding knowledge used the world over, says President Julio Frenk.
“We are answering the higher calling for higher education — building bridges and fostering skilled change-makers whose passion to serve will shape a better future for us all,” Frenk says. “A technological revolution in learning is sweeping the globe, and we have positioned the university to be at the forefront of this transformative development.”
By working with local business, students emerge prepared for work — and change.
“We’re trying to get as much input as we can from industry … so that we make sure we’re teaching the students what you need them to know when they go into your offices and workplaces,” says Joan Phillips, dean of Barry University Andreas School of Business. Barry has invested in a simulation hospital as well as technology behind its new animation and gaming program to train students in animation, augmented reality, virtual reality for entertainment, health care, real estate and tourism. “The challenge is to stay at the forefront of what’s needed to make us attractive to students who will then be your future workforce.”
Florida International University recently became a top-100 public university. Six graduate programs were ranked by U.S. News & World Report as among the top 50 in public universities.
In all, more than 35,000 degrees (associates, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorates and certificates) were awarded countywide in 2015-2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Upon graduation, many students stay close to home. The region’s urban core is attracting highly educated, diverse and young professionals. College grads there have increased by 25% in the past decade.
“Student success is at the heart of our mission to be a major economic engine, solutions center and innovation hub for South Florida,” says FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. “We’re fortunate to have so many outstanding industry partners and supporters who are working with us to remain responsive to workforce needs and create an education that is enriched through collaboration, and also helping our graduates — who are among the highest earners in the state — go on to great, in-demand jobs.”