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Education

Lincoln Prep And Blue Valley Schools Win Big In High School Rankings

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The Daily Beast

For the second year in a row, U.S. News & World Report has named Lincoln College Preparatory Academy the top high school in Missouri. The publication also named Blue Valley North the top high school in Kansas.

The annual report looked at graduation rates, state assessment results, college readiness and low-income student performance to rank 174 Missouri and 116 Kansas public high schools. 

U.S. News ranked Lincoln Prep in the top 100 nationally, and gave it a "gold" ranking for its college readiness and graduation rate. It was previously named among the best high schools in the country in 2014 by The Daily Beast.  Park Hill High School was also recognized as one of the top 10 high schools in Missouri.

On the Kansas side of things, Blue Valley North was joined on the top 10 list by the the Blue Valley district's four other high schools, Olathe Northwest, DeSoto and Mill Valley. None of the Kansas top 10 earned "gold" rankings. 

Blue Valley Interim Superintendent Al Hanna says the district refocused its efforts on academic achievement about 10 years ago, and credits the teaching staff with carrying that out.

"We've always scored well, but we thought that we could do a little better," Hanna says. "For instance, 10 years ago, our average ACT score was 24.0, it's now 25.4, and we've just steadily moved up.

"There's a level of commitment that starts in the home and translates when you can get a great teaching staff in place with very talented students," he says.

Nationally, both Missouri and Kansas didn't fare well compared to other states and Washington D.C.; Missouri came in at 44th and Kansas at 46th . 

Cody Newill is the digital editor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him on Twitter @CodyNewill or send him an email at cody@kcur.org

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