DCS again top state ranking of high schools
By BOB BAKKEN
Another proof about the quality of education in DeSoto County public schools has come out, this time from the publication U.S. News and World Report.
The magazine annually releases a ranking of public schools in the nation and also ranks them by state.
In the latest report that has been released, three of the top five high schools in Mississippi are located in DeSoto County, four of the top six and five of the top 20 high schools come under the banner of DeSoto County Schools (DCS).
Topping the list once again is Lewisburg High School, which indicates a 94 percent graduation rate and a college readiness index of 33.4 out of 100.
Nationally, Lewisburg stands at number 723 of all the high schools in the country. Student population at Lewisburg is listed at 1,009.
Right behind Lewisburg is DeSoto Central High School, which is ranked number two in the state. DeSoto Central has a graduation rate of 95 percent and a college readiness index of 21.8 out of 100 for its 1,723 students.
The other high school to reach the top five was Hernando High School, just behind Pass Christian and Oxford, in that order.
Hernando reported a 91 percent graduation rate and a college readiness index of 12.3 for its 1,160 students.
Also making the top 10 was Center Hill at number six, with a 91 percent graduation rate and a 14.3 college readiness index out of 100 for its 1,005 students.
Olive Branch came in at number 16 to complete the DCS high schools in the top 20 for Mississippi. Southaven is next from the county at number 37.
“I’m very proud of all of our students, teachers and administrators,” said DCS Supt. Cory Uselton Tuesday afternoon. “This is a great honor for our school district and it’s a team effort for everyone, kindergarten through 12th grade. This gives validity to all of the hard work of our students and staff and we’re proud that they’re being recognized for their efforts.”
The rankings are done using several factors. College readiness, the proportions of seniors who took and passed one Advanced Placement or what is called International Baccalaureate examination counted for 30 percent of the methodology, the report said. Math and reading proficiency accounts for 20 percent and math and reading performance counts for another 20 percent of a school’s score.
Underserved student performance amounted to 10 percent of a total score. What it termed college curriculum breadth and graduation rate weighed for 10 percent each.
“The main reason for the success of DeSoto County Schools is the people,” Uselton said. “The people who are working in the schools, the parents who support the school district, the community that supports the school district. That’s that deciding factor.”
More on the rankings may be found at: Best High Schools.
Bob Bakken is Managing Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.