“Best High School Rankings” Misleading According to Educators

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - High schools across the nation have received a report card of sorts, a U.S. News and World Report study that ranks schools for state proficiency and student abilities.

And although school systems use the rankings as a benchmark, educators say you must look deeper into other statistics for a true overview of their performance.

Florence High School ranked 2,222 among other high schools across the nation.

Against Alabama schools, the recent ranking issued by U.S. News and World Report, placed Florence High School at number 18 statistically among 363 state high schools.

Florence Schools Superintendent Dr. Janet Womack is pleased with the rankings, but knows there is much more than meets the eye.

According to Womack, “Much of that rating is based on your students that are in advanced placement or our AP classes with a college board.”

Doctor Womack says Florence High School has a large contingency of students who skip advanced placement classes, and choose dual enrollment.

Meaning students are taking college classes at the University of North Alabama, while also being enrolled at Florence.

And according to administrators, there’s also more data that’s not looked at, like the schools poverty rate.

“Regardless of what factors that people say influence a student’s success,” said Womack. “We don’t accept that those factors hinder students from being successful.”

Womack says despite the challenges Florence High School faces, the goal remains the same, be the highest ranked school in the state of Alabama.