Shoals schools celebrate making top 25 in the state

Updated: Apr. 29, 2021 at 4:36 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A congratulations is in order for many schools right here in north Alabama. Nine Tennessee Valley Schools are among the Top 25 in the state according to U.S. News and World Report!

WAFF followed up with two of those schools in the Shoals to find out what the ranking means for students.

The U.S. News Top 25 school rankings are based on how well school systems prepare students for college.

There are more than 370 high schools statewide. Muscle Shoals High School ranked 24th and their neighbors over at Russellville High School came in at 21st.

“It’s always good to receive affirmations from an outside, independent, objective source and that’s kind of the way we view this,” Muscle Shoals Superintendent Chad Holden said.

The rankings were also influenced by graduation rates and underserved student performance. Alabama’s Education Report Card, created by the Alabama State Department of Education, calculates grades based on many of the same indicators.

However, it doesn’t make considerations for the performance of students based on race and socioeconomic conditions.

Russellville Superintendent Heath Grimes says these indications make a difference.

“It’s not measured apples to apples without taking that into account and I think what this U.S. News and World report does for us, it actually gives us the opportunity to be measured apples to apples growth when you take into account 63 percent poverty and 26 percent,” Grimes explained.

The rankings were determined from data from the 2018-19 school year.

Muscle Shoals Superintendent Chad Holden tells us they won’t know how they’ll be ranked post-pandemic for a few years.

He believes that’s why standardized testing is important.

“We need to know the impact. What impact the pandemic has had on the educational pathways of students and we won’t know that unless we test them,”

Moving forward, both superintendents say their school districts are already preparing to fill in the gaps for pandemic learning loss.

Check out the full list of ranked schools from the U.S. News and World Report below:

  1. Loveless Academic Magnet Program (Montgomery)
  2. New Century Tech Demo High School (Huntsville)
  3. Mt. Brook High School (Mountain Brook City)
  4. Vestavia Hills High School (Vestavia Hills City)
  5. Homewood High School (Homewood City)
  6. Bob Jones High School (Madison)
  7. Booker T Washington Magnet High School (Montgomery)
  8. Spain Park High School (Hoover City)
  9. Fairhope High School (Baldwin County)
  10. James Clemens High School (Madison City)
  11. Hartselle High School (Hartselle)
  12. Auburn High School (Auburn)
  13. Oak Mt. High School (Shelby County)
  14. Arab High School (Arab)
  15. Ramsay High School (Birmingham)
  16. Cullman High School (Cullman)
  17. Hoover High School (Hoover)
  18. Huntsville High School (Huntsville)
  19. Brewbaker Tech Magnet High School (Montgomery)
  20. Hewitt-Trussville High School (Trussville)
  21. Russellville High School (Russellville)
  22. Glencoe High School (Etowah County)
  23. Athens High School (Athens)
  24. Muscle Shoals High School (Muscle Shoals)
  25. Helena High School (Shelby County)

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