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List of US News & World Report releases

U.S. News & World Report this week released its list of the Best U.S. High Schools of 2024. Both Alabama’s highest and lowest ranked schools are located in Montgomery.

Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School ranked No. 21 nationally and was ranked No. 1 in the state accordingly. Meanwhile, all of MPS’s traditional high schools are among those tied for last in the state.

LAMP has not fallen below second place in the past decade and typically competes with Mountain Brook High School. This year, however, New Century Tech Demo High School, a Huntsville draw, took second place and ranked only No. 282 nationally.

From there the order goes: Homewood High School, Mountain Brook High School, Vestavia Hills High School to round out the top five.

“A great high school educates all of its students from diverse social and economic backgrounds, providing them with challenging courses on the path to graduation,” U.S. News & World Report analysts Robert Morse, Eric Brooks and Owen Turnbull said in a statement.

They scored and ranked nearly 18,000 public high schools across the country using six key indicators – namely college readiness, college curriculum breadth, state assessment proficiency, state assessment performance, disadvantaged student achievement, and the success rate.

Montgomery’s Best Schools

In addition to LAMP, the top 20 high schools in Alabama also include BrewTech at No. 9 and Booker T. Washington at No. 16.

Notably, all of the Montgomery Public Schools in the top half of the state rankings are magnets.

All three schools remain at the exact same rank they achieved in 2023. Other similarities included high Advanced Placement participation and over 65% reading proficiency.

Every student at LAMP took at least one AP exam last year, and 87% of students passed at least one AP exam. LAMP also saw significantly higher reading and math proficiency rates than other high-performing high schools in the state, 100% and 96%, respectively.

By comparison, No. 2 New Century Tech Demo High School had a reading proficiency of 66% and a math proficiency of 67%.

BrewTech’s data falls slightly lower: 66% of students are proficient in reading and 55% of students are proficient in math. The school is designated as a STEM magnet. There, 69% of students took at least one AP exam and 25% passed at least one exam.

In BTW, Montgomery’s arts-focused magnet, the reading proficiency rate is 69% and the math proficiency rate is 33%. About 37% of BTW students took at least one AP exam last year, and 20% passed at least one.

Where the rest ended up

Pike Road High School and Prattville High School fell into the group of schools that were neither the best nor the worst. Elmore County High School and Wetumpka High School are also in this group.

Pike Road reported a 43% proficiency in reading and 26% in math, earning a 24 on the college readiness scale. Prattville saw a reading proficiency rate of 36%, a reading proficiency rate of 26%, and a high graduation rate of 81%.

A total of 93 schools are at the very bottom of Alabama’s list, all in last place. This category includes all of MPS’s traditional high schools: GW Carver, Johnson Abernathy Graetz High School, Sidney Lanier High School, Percy Julian High School and Park Crossing High School.

None had a college readiness score above 4.8 out of 100, and all had very low AP participation.

Overall Montgomery High School Rankings

Here is the ranking of public high schools in the Montgomery area, according to U.S. News & World Report. The bottom eight schools tied for last place and all received a score lower than 25 out of 100.

  1. Loveless High School Academic Magnet Program
  2. Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School
  3. Booker T. Washington Magnet High School
  4. Elmore County High School
  5. Wetumpka High School
  6. Holtville High School
  7. Pike Road High School
  8. Stanhope Elmore High School
  9. Prattville High School
  10. Tallassee High School
  11. Edge virtual school
  12. Calhoun High School
  13. Tie: Billingsley High School
  14. Tie: GW Carver High School
  15. Tie: Central High School
  16. Tie: Johnson Abernathy Graetz High School, still listed as Jefferson Davis High School
  17. Tie: Sidney Lanier High School
  18. Tie: Percy Julian High School, still listed as Lee High School
  19. Tie: Marbury High School
  20. Tie: Park Crossing High School

Hadley Hitson covers children’s health, education and well-being for the Montgomery Advertiser. She can be reached at [email protected]. To support her work, subscribe to the advertiser.