Three schools recognized in national rankings (updated)

Published 1:19 pm Thursday, August 6, 2015

Three local high schools were honored by U.S. News and World Report in its most recent rankings of the “Best High Schools in Alabama.”

Chilton County schools Isabella and Verbena, plus Billingsley in Autauga County, received the Bronze Medal, meaning they met a national standard of excellence.

“I am very proud these two schools,” Chilton County Superintendent of Education Tommy Glasscock said. “It just shows that a smaller setting often lends more time for student achievement. [Isabella Principal Ricky] Porter is an excellent example of what true leadership looks like. Carla White is new at Verbena and will continue the rigor that [former principal Kelvin] Boulware expected of our students before moving on to lead Clanton Middle School.”

No Alabama schools were awarded higher than a bronze medal, though there were gold medal and silver medal schools recognized nationally.

There were 108 bronze medal schools in Alabama, which requires high school students earn at least 24 credits in various subjects to graduate, including one credit in career preparedness, which covers career and academic planning, computer applications and financial literacy.

State students take end-of-course assessments in English and algebra, and in the 11th grade, they take the ACT college entrance exam.

Isabella was determined to have a “mathematics proficiency” of 3.0 and a “reading proficiency” of 3.0, along with a student-teacher ration of 14:1.

Those factors, along with the “college readiness index,” were used to determine the rankings. College readiness was not determined for most Alabama public schools.

“I’m extremely proud of what our school has accomplished and all of the hard work and the time that our teachers grade K-12 have put into making our school successful,” Porter said. “We hope to continue that success.”

Verbena was given a 3.1 in mathematics proficiency and a 3.0 in reading proficiency, along with a 14:1 student-teacher ration.

“We are proud of our students,” White said. “We strive for excellence at Verbena.”

Billingsley was given a 3.1 in mathematics proficiency, 3.1 in reading proficiency and 14:1 student teacher ratio.

Other Chilton County schools weren’t far behind. Their numbers are listed below:

•Chilton County High School (3.2 mathematics proficiency, 3.0 reading proficiency, 17:1 student-teacher ratio)

•Jemison High School (3.1, 3.0, 16:1)

•Maplesville High School (3.0, 3.0, 14:1)

•Thorsby (2.9, 3.0, 15:1)

Students in the Chilton County School District were determined to have an 87-percent reading proficiency and 89-percent mathematics proficiency on average.

More information was released by U.S. News and World Report, including enrollment (total, minority and economically disadvantaged), number of teachers, test scores and student body makeup.

The see the full report, click here.