Olentangy Valley News

Olentangy high schools turn publications' heads

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All three Olentangy high schools are among the best -- and most challenging -- in the state, according to new rankings recently released by two national publications.

Olentangy, Liberty and Orange high schools leapfrogged other schools to claim higher spots on an annual list compiled by U.S. News & World Report.

They also were rated among the state's most challenging in a list by the Washington Post.

"Both of these reports really get to the core of college readiness and rigor at the high school level," said Superintendent Wade Lucas. "We're very pleased with the work our staff has done."

Lucas added: "If you can't be proud of that, I'm not sure what you can be proud of."

U.S. News & World Report rated all three schools among the top 11 in the state, and among the top four in central Ohio on its new list.

Liberty High School was named the top central Ohio high school and No. 4 overall on the state list, up from No. 7 last year. Meanwhile, Olentangy jumped from No. 10 to No. 7 in Ohio, and Orange went from No. 16 to No. 11.

The annual list rates high schools across the nation based on four factors: math proficiency, reading proficiency, college readiness of graduates, and student-to-teacher ratios -- fewer students per teacher is better.

All three schools were rated above the Ohio average in terms of college readiness, a factor based on the percentage of seniors who take and pass Advanced Placement tests.

At Liberty, 62 percent of students earned AP credit; Olentangy scored 54 percent; and Orange High School scored 48 percent.

The three schools also have roughly average student-to-teacher ratios -- about 16 or 17 students for each teacher.

All three schools scored high marks in math and reading proficiency as well. Students at the schools were 95 percent proficient or better in both subjects.

Proficiency scores are based on student performance on the math and reading sections of the Ohio Graduation Test.

Overall, seven central Ohio schools were ranked in the state's top 20 on the U.S. News & World Report list.

Bexley High School is the only other central Ohio school to crack the top 10 on the list this year, though it fell from No. 2 to No. 5. Meanwhile, Upper Arlington tumbled from No. 9 to No. 25 since 2012.

Additionally, all three Olentangy high schools also placed among Ohio's six most challenging and were named the three most challenging in central Ohio on a new list by the Washington Post.

Nationally, Orange High School was ranked No. 315 in terms of challenge; Liberty came in at No. 352; and Olentangy High School was named No. 360.

The Washington Post challenge index score was calculated by taking the number of college-level tests given at a school in 2012 then dividing by the number of graduates that year.

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