Sallisaw High School is ranked as the top 4A high school in Oklahoma, according to the U.S. News and World Report in a study released this week.
U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in education rankings, announced the 2017 Best High Schools, based on a study done in the 2014-15 school year. The rankings identify the top-performing public high schools at the national and state level and include published data on more than 22,000 schools. Out of the 80 Oklahoma schools reviewed, regardless of class, Sallisaw ranked 21st.
The report said Sallisaw students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® course work and exams. The AP® participation rate at Sallisaw High School is 34 percent. The student body makeup is 53 percent male and 47 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 59 percent.
Sallisaw Schools Superintendent Scott Farmer said about the report, “We are very excited about that for our staff and students. I’m happy about the accolade.”
The report indicates Sallisaw High School has an enrollment of 618, with a 77 percent graduation rate. The student to teacher ratio is 14 to one, and the staff includes 43 fulltime teachers.
Farmer said Sallisaw High School strives to prepare students for their future lives.
“Our philosophy is we are training children for the next stage in their lives,” Farmer said, whether that be through a college or a vocational-technological education.
Farmer said he hopes to see the numbers increase, including for those who plan to continue their educations after high school.
He said, “We are growing opportunities through the ACT exams. The exam can be given as early as the third grade.”
That exam is designed by the ACT non-profit corporation for various age and grade groups, as a way to prepare the student for college.
Ernie Martens, Sallisaw High School principal, said, “We are really, really proud of all our students and staff and how hard they work and how much they put in to make this a good school. We try to help them all prepare for college or career tech, whatever they want to do.”
The U.S. News rankings highlight public schools that best serve all of their students, including disadvantaged populations. Overall, the rankings focus on student outcomes with an emphasis on graduation rates and state proficiency tests. Students at the 6,041 schools that receive national recognition from U.S. News graduate at rates that are 15 percent higher, on average, than students at schools nationwide that are not ranked.
The accomplishments earned Sallisaw High School a bronze medal from U.S. News & World Report.
Edmond North High School earned the top award in the state. Oklahoma has 470 high schools in 431 school districts.
Public schools in Arizona make the strongest showing in the national rankings, taking four of the top five spots. BASIS Scottsdale was No. 1 in the national rankings, followed by BASIS Tucson North at No. 2 and BASIS Oro Valley at No. 3.
New this year, U.S. News made a change in the way it factors Advanced Placement® exams as part of the tiebreaker in the methodology to better reflect schools that are preparing their students for college. The measure includes giving more weight to schools where students participate – and pass – a variety of college-level courses and exams.
"Research has shown that students exposed to a more diverse high school curriculum are better equipped for college success," said Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News. "With this new tiebreaker measure, U.S. News is rewarding schools that make an effort to challenge their students in a broad range of subjects."
U.S. News worked with RTI International, a global research firm, to implement the comprehensive rankings methodology.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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