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SSP Secondary again named to national “Best High Schools” list by U.S. News and World Report

 US News Best High School Rankings Logo Friday, May 10, 2019 – Once again, South St. Paul Secondary School has been honored and ranked in the top 25 percent of more than 17,000 eligible high schools from across the country, according to the U.S. News and World Report recent rankings. SSP Secondary was included in the top 100 high schools in Minnesota, ranking 78th out of 853 Minnesota high schools.

For the 2019 Best High Schools rankings, U.S. News said that it entirely revamped the methodology compared with all previous U.S. News Best High Schools rankings. Schools are no longer being categorized as gold, silver and bronze, as they were in the past.

“We are pleased that even with a new ranking methodology, South St. Paul Secondary is still ranked among the top quarter of all high schools in the nation,” said Chuck Ochocki, principal. “We know that our staff, not just at the secondary but throughout the district, work hard to prepare students for their next step. This award is really a recognition of how we are all working together to personalize learning for each and every student in South St. Paul and help them reach their full potential.”

According to U.S. News, the new methodology was developed with a core principle in mind: that the top schools must serve all students well and must produce measurable academic outcomes that support this mission. As such, the researchers implemented the comprehensive rankings methodology, which reflects how well high schools serve all of their students, not just those who are planning to go to college.

Ochocki said he was pleased to see the rankings shift away from a focus solely on college-bound students. “We know that some students are destined for college, but other students will choose a different path after high school,” he said. “Our goal is to make sure each graduate has what they need to be successful in whatever path they choose, be it college, career, military or another service. With the grounding of a strong IB learner experience that emphasizes inquiry and global citizenship, we feel we are headed in the right direction in preparing our students for an ever-changing world.”

The U.S. News rankings include data on more than 23,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. The new 2019 ranking methodology uses six factors based on a school’s performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college and life after graduation. These factors include:

  • College Readiness (30 percent): The proportions of 12th graders who took and passed at least one AP or IB exam.
  • Math and Reading Proficiency (20 percent): Aggregated scores on state assessments that students may be required to pass for graduation.
  • Math and Reading Performance (20 percent): How aggregated scores on state assessments compare to U.S. News’s expectations given the proportions of students who are black, Hispanic and from low-income households.
  • Underserved Student Performance (10 percent): Scores on state assessments aggregated just among students who are black, Hispanic and from low-income households and compares them to what it typical in the state.
  • College Curriculum Breadth (10 percent): The proportions of 12th graders who took and passed AP and IB exams in multiple areas, with more exams being valued more than fewer exams.
  • Graduation Rate (10 percent): The proportion of ninth graders who graduated four academic years later.