Education

The best high school in Mississippi is on the Coast, report says

U.S. News & World Report's latest Best High Schools rankings named Ocean Springs High School as the best in Mississippi. Shown are members of the Class of 2017 during their graduation.
U.S. News & World Report's latest Best High Schools rankings named Ocean Springs High School as the best in Mississippi. Shown are members of the Class of 2017 during their graduation. Sun Herald file

Three schools on the Mississippi Coast were ranked among the top high schools in the state, according to U.S. News & World Report's latest Best High Schools rankings.

Ocean Springs took home the No. 1 spot — and is ranked No. 1,746 nationally. Pass Christian and Gulfport also came in at No. 4 and 5 respectively. The next closest Coast school is Gautier at No. 12.

“You always want to see your school ranked highly on such lists, not because of the prestige of the ranking, but because you know that means your students are in a position to succeed in the future,” OSHS Principal Vickie Tiblier said on the school's website. “None of this is possible without the hard work of students, teachers, and administration, and none of this is possible without the support of our parents and our community.

"It’s truly a great day to be a Greyhound!”

Ocean Springs' "scorecard" included a 33.3 College Readiness Index with 44 percent AP tested, 65 percent AP passed, 41 percent mathematics proficiency and 61 percent reading proficiency. The school also has a graduation rate of 87 percent.

Pass Christian has a 19.0 CRI with 29 percent AP tested, 54 percent AP passed, 64 percent mathematics proficiency and 60 percent reading proficiency.

Gulfport has an 18.4 CRI with 31 percent AP tested, 47 percent AP passed, 56 percent mathematics proficiency and 56 percent reading proficiency. The Admirals have a 90 percent graduation rate.

Joint venture between Ocean Springs High School and Gulf Coast Research Lab continues to grow.

According to U.S. News, there's a four-step process to determine the awards.

Step 1: Students exceeded expectations in their states: "We looked at whether each school’s relative performance in its state reading and mathematics assessments exceeded expectations, factoring in the proportion of its student body that is economically disadvantaged and projected to score lower."

Step 2: Underserved students performed better than the state average: "We compared each school's reading and mathematics assessment scores among only their historically underserved students — black, Hispanic and low-income — with the average statewide results for these subgroups. We selected schools that outperformed their state averages."

Step 3: Student graduation rates meet a threshold: "We excluded schools from consideration if their graduation rates were lower than 80 percent."

Step 4: Students were prepared for college-level coursework: "For schools passing the first three steps, we calculated a College Readiness Index based on the percentages of each school’s students who took and passed AP and IB exams. Tiebreakers determined the ranks of schools achieving the same CRI."

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2326, @patrickochs
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