5 area high schools rank in Ohio’s top 100 in new report

The annual U.S. News and World Report ranking of top public high schools in the state shows five of the top 100 in Ohio are in Butler and southern Warren counties.

The area’s highest-ranking high school is in Mason, which earned the 16th highest standing among Ohio’s 683 public high schools.

Several organizations rank K-12 schools, using a variety of formulas. U.S. News’ formula is based 90 percent on student testing — both state exams and the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests that some students choose to take.

The data is on a significant lag, as the test results for these rankings are from the 2018-19 school year.

The area schools rated highest among Ohio schools were:

16. Mason High School

32: Kings High School

54: Lakota East High School

74: Lakota West High School

84: Ross High School

Regardless, said Matt Miller, superintendent of Lakota Schools, the listing of the district’s two high schools – Lakota East at 54th in the state and third highest locally and Lakota West at number four locally and 74th in Ohio – is still a source of pride.

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“We have incredibly hard-working staff and students throughout Lakota. As our mission states, everything we do is designed to provide a future-ready, student-centered learning experience for every single child. I am proud that both Lakota East and Lakota West high schools are being recognized,” said Miller, whose 16,800-student district is the ninth largest in Ohio.

The second-highest area high school is Kings, which was ranked 32nd.

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“This recognition by the U.S. News and World Report is a reflection of our entire school community’s commitment to education,” said Kings Superintendent Tim Ackermann.

Education analysts often point to the correlation between wealth/poverty and test results, and the same is true with the U.S. News ranking. Of the schools U.S. News ranked as its top 20 in Ohio, all but one are in districts that rank in the top 7 percent of the state in median income.

The outlier, Ohio’s No. 1-ranked public high school, is Walnut Hills, a Cincinnati Public school that only admits student who score high on an entrance exam.

The US News rankings break down this way:

* 40 percent is tied to how many students take and pass Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests;

* 30 percent on the school’s state math/reading test scores in context of the school’s poverty/minority demographics;

* 20 percent on the school’s raw results on state math and reading tests;

* 10 percent on graduation rate.