Williamsburg, Corbin high schools in the top 3,000 nationally according to U.S. News and World Report
Two high schools in Whitley County ranked well in a recently published national news magazine’s online list of the best high schools in the state and country.
Williamsburg High School was the 27th top school listed in the state, and Corbin High School was the 32nd top school out of 227 Kentucky high schools that were ranked.
Whitley County High School ranked 123rd on the list, but school officials noted that the school’s ranking is a bit skewed because the method the school uses for enabling students to get college credit for high school classes is different than the one used in the rankings, and this accounts for nearly 40 percent of each school’s score under the ranking system.
The U.S. News & World Report Best High School rankings include data on more than 23,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 17,000 schools were ranked on six factors based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college.
“The Best High Schools rankings identify the country’s top-performing public high schools. The goal is to provide a clear, unbiased picture of how well public schools serve all of their students – from the highest to lowest achieving – in preparing them to demonstrate proficiency in basic skills as well as readiness for college-level work,” U.S. News wrote on an frequently asked questions portion of its website.
The first list of the U.S. News Best High Schools was posted online on Nov. 30, 2007.
According to the U.S. News Best High Schools methodology, schools were rated on six measures, including: underserved student performance (10%); graduation rate (10%); reading and math proficiency (20%); and reading and math performance (20%).
College readiness (30%) is the percentage of 12th graders from the class of 2016-2017, who took at least one Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam during high school and the percentage of 12th graders who passed at least one AP or IB exam in high school. Passing is weighted three times more than taking.
College curriculum breadth (10%) is the percentage of 12th graders from the class of 2016-2017 who took a wide variety of AP and IB courses across the multiple disciplines and the percentage of 12th graders who passed them. Passing is weighted three times more than taking.
Whitley County Superintendent John Siler noted that currently, it is very common for students at WCHS to take dual credit classes that allow them to receive college credit and high school credit for the same class.
In 2016-2017, 69 students took dual credit courses and earned 558 college credit hours. In 2017-2018, there were 115 students who took dual credit courses and earned 1,149 college credit hours.
“This allows students to earn college credits at a significantly lower price when compared to what a typical college class would cost. Due to the emphasis being placed on participation in dual credit classes, there has been a decline in the number of students enrolling in the AP program at Whitley County High School; therefore this negatively impacted the U.S. News & World Report ranking,” Siler noted in a press release.
Williamsburg High School
Williamsburg High School ranked 2,342 out of 17,245 ranked high schools nationwide.
Williamsburg’s AP participation rate is 55 percent with 30 percent of students passing at least one AP exam.
A total of 31 percent of Williamsburg students scored proficient in mathematics compared to 40 percent in the state.
A total of 68 percent of Williamsburg students scored proficient in reading compared to 60 percent for the state.
The total enrollment at the high school is 219 students, and there are 57 full-time teachers.
The total minority enrollment is 5 percent, and 70 percent of students are economically disadvantaged. The school has a 91 percent graduation rate.
Williamsburg Superintendent Dr. Amon Couch said “yes and no,” when asked if he was pleased about his school’s ranking.
“A 27 is wonderful. We are so excited. Williamsburg has been around since 1909, and has been producing great results all along the way. To get that kind of national recognition is so nice. Our people work so hard. It is just really cool to see an organization as reputable as U.S. News and World Report rank us as the 27th highest school district in Kentucky,” Couch said.
“We are not number one. That is why I am not happy. If you really believe in continuous improvement, you know we are always pushing to get better and that is where we want to go.”
Corbin High School
Corbin High School ranked 2,753 nationally.
Corbin’s AP participation rate is 49 percent with 19 percent passing at least one AP exam.
A total of 50 percent of Corbin students scored proficient in mathematics.
A total of 66 percent of Corbin students scored proficient in reading.
The total enrollment at the high school is 923 students, and there are 52 full-time teachers.
The total minority enrollment is 5 percent, and 50 percent of students are economically disadvantaged. The school has a 98 percent graduation rate.
Whitley County High School
Whitley County High School ranked 7,974 nationally.
Whitley County’s AP participation rate was 12 percent with 5 percent passing at least one AP exam.
A total of 26 percent of Whitley County students scored proficient in mathematics.
A total of 64 percent of Whitley County students scored proficient in reading.
The total enrollment at the high school is 1,079 students, and there are 67 full-time teachers.
The total minority enrollment is 2 percent, and 75 percent of students are economically disadvantaged. The school has a 93 percent graduation rate.
“Whitley County High School is continually striving to ensure student success and will continue to provide valuable educational opportunities for all students. Making sure that our students are prepared for academic and career readiness is a priority,” Siler said.
The Whitley County School District also aims to have a positive learning environment for all students, officials noted.
“The faculty and staff at Whitley County High School works continuously to provide the most current curriculum and educational opportunities to ensure that our students’ are well-rounded and prepared for life post-graduation,” added Deputy Superintendent Paula Rickett stated.