U.S. News & World Report ranks Arkansas high schools

The U.S. News & World Report yearly ranks high schools throughout the nation. This year, the organization ranked Haas Hall Academy in Fayetteville as the best high school in the state out of 294 Arkansas high schools. The outlet published its results April 27. Here’s a list compiling how well high schools in the area did.

Greenwood 

Ranked #16

At Greenwood High School, 35% of the students took at least one AP exam, and 21% of those students passed at least one test. The graduation rate at the school is greater than 95%, and the U.S News & World Report found the school’s reading proficiency to be 53% and its mathematics proficiency to be 52%.

Assistant Superintendent Suzanne Wilson said she was disappointed with a ranking of 16 and noted that Greenwood typically ranked within the top five high schools according to state reports and within the top three high schools according to Niche reports. 

Wilson also pointed out that seven of the top 15 schools that the U.A. News & World Report rated are charter or private schools, making Greenwood eighth in non-chartered public schools. 

She said that Greenwood achieves high rankings by attracting and keeping the best teachers in the state. 

“So providing a safe environment, good teachers and good instruction are really kind of the grassroots for having students success,” Wilson said.

Booneville High School 

Ranked #32

At Booneville High School, 52% of the students took at least one AP exam, and 13% of those students passed at least one test. The graduation rate at the school is greater than 95%, and the U.S News & World Report found the school’s reading proficiency to be 45% and its mathematics proficiency to be 32%.

“Oh we’re very proud of our students here at Booneville,” Booneville Principal Amy Goers said. 

Goers said that Booneville’s teachers actively encourage students to take as many college and AP courses as they can. 

“We want to provide a lot of opportunities for our students,” Goers said.

Norfork High School 

Ranked #34

At Norfork High School, 31% of the students took at least one AP exam, and 3% of those students passed at least one test. The graduation rate at the school is 92%, and the U.S News & World Report found the school’s reading proficiency to be 57% and its mathematics proficiency to be 43%.

Paris High School 

Ranked #65

At Paris High School, 26% of the students took at least one AP exam, and 7% of those students passed at least one test. The graduation rate at the school is 89%, and the U.S News & World Report found the school’s reading proficiency to be 35% and its mathematics proficiency to be 31%.

“We are pleased with what we’re doing locally,” Paris Principal Mike Nichols said. “But I also think you cannot quantify the care and preparation that teachers put into these students.”

He said the school is always striving to do better and improve its ranking. In the midst of COVID, the Paris principal said one of the biggest ways the school is trying to improve is by helping students catch up from their time attending school from home.

Van Buren 

Ranked #67

At Van Buren High School, 46% of the students took at least one AP exam, and 25% of those students passed at least one test. The graduation rate at the school is 90%, and the U.S News & World Report found the school’s reading proficiency to be 33% and its mathematics proficiency to be 34%.

Yellville-Summit High School

Ranked #71

At Yellville-Summit High School, 44% of the students took at least one AP exam, and 16% of those students passed at least one test. The graduation rate at the school is greater than 95%, and the U.S News & World Report found the school’s reading proficiency to be 29% and its mathematics proficiency to be 32%.

Yellville-Summit Principal David Wyatt said he prefers to rely on state reports than the rankings from the U.S. News & World Report. 

“I have found out in years that the ranking doesn’t mean a whole lot,” Wyatt said. He later added, “They don’t know anything about Arkansas or Yellville-Summit school I”m pretty sure.” 

Mountain Home High Career Academics 

Ranked #92

At Mountain Home High Career Academics, 35% of the students took at least one AP exam, and 8% of those students passed at least one test. The graduation rate at the school is 85%, and the U.S News & World Report found the school’s reading proficiency to be 42% and its mathematics proficiency to be 36%.

Fort Smith 

Northside High School – Ranked #118

At Northside 43% of students took at least one advanced placement (AP) exam, and of those students, 19% of them passed at least one test. The graduation rate at the school is 92%, and the U.S News & World Report found the school’s reading proficiency to be 29% and its mathematics proficiency to be 22%. 

Southside High School – Unranked 

The graduation rate at Southside is 95%. 

“We are always thrilled when an outside organization recognizes any school within our district. The News Section on our website shares some of these recognitions our schools have received, and we look forward to sharing more as our schools are recognized,” Christina Williams, coordinator of public information for Fort Smith Public Schools, wrote in an email.

Charleston High School 

Ranked #122

At Charleston High School, 22% of the students took at least one AP exam, and 3% of those students passed at least one test. The graduation rate at the school is greater than 95%, and the U.S News & World Report found the school’s reading proficiency to be 37% and its mathematics proficiency to be 41%.

Charleston Superintendent Melissa Moore said that the district is always striving to do better. 

“We look at that as a way to gauge where we are and implement things that will make us even stronger,” Moore said about the ranking. 

Moore said that at the high school, she is trying to up the number of STEM classes the school offers. 

“Those are things we’re focusing on right now,” Moore said. 

Alma 

Ranked #148

At Alma High School, 35% of the students took at least one AP exam, and 10% of those students passed at least one test. The graduation rate at the school is 95%, and the U.S News & World Report found the school’s reading proficiency to be 32% and its mathematics proficiency to be 34%.

Flippin High School 

Ranked #206

At Yellville-Summit High School, 4% of the students took at least one AP exam. The graduation rate at the school is 87%, and the U.S News & World Report found the school’s reading proficiency to be 36% and its mathematics proficiency to be 30%.

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