U.S. News ranks Houghton High as top local high school

HOUGHTON — Houghton High School was the top high school in the area in the U.S. News and World Report ranking of American high schools released Tuesday.

The high school was ranked 50th in Michigan and 1,453rd in the country.

“We’re very pleased to see that our student and school success is being recognized by U.S. News & World Reports,” Principal Cole Klein said Thursday. “I think our students, staff, parents and overall community are to thank for creating a culture that sustains this success. We’re very proud of our students and our academic accomplishments.”

Houghton’s highest rank nationally came in math and reading proficiency, where it was 1,163rd.

U.S. News provided rankings for the top 457 of the 650 high schools in Michigan.

Other rankings of local schools:

•Chassell: 252

•L’Anse: 269

•Dollar Bay: 299

•Calumet: 300

•Hancock: 359

•Lake Linden: 442

Baraga, Ewen-Trout Creek and Ontonagon fell between 457 and 650.

U.S. News did not provide a ranking for Jeffers High School.

U.S. News significantly revamped its rankings for 2019, to the point where it discourages comparing schools’ rankings to previous years. More than 17,245 high schools were ranked nationwide, versus 2,700 the year before.

Previous rankings used the College Readiness Index, which measured how many students took the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams and how well they did.

In addition to college readiness, the new rankings weigh five other factors:

•College curriculum breadth, looking how how many students took and passed those exams in multiple content areas.

•Math and reading proficiency, as measured by state standardized tests.

•Math and reading performance, based on how the school’s performance on state standardized tests compared to what was expected based on the school’s proportion of underserved students.

•Underserved student performance, measured by black, Hispanic and low-income students’ performance on state tests compared with those not underserved in the state.

•Graduation rates, as compared to how many of them had entered ninth-grade in 2012-13.

The gold, silver and bronze medal designations of prior years were also eliminated.

Klein said the school looks at the U.S. News rankings and other like it to look for ways to better serve students.

“It is something we look at, and we’re honored to see our school being on that list,” he said.