Nearby School Rankings

I’ve worked in a system where school rankings were always in the background – in my world, MIT and Cal Tech were always at the top, then the Ivys, moving down to a sub-Ivy League bunch that rated above my land grants, and then lower tiered schools ending at community and junior colleges. 

Spending a bit of time on the school board has me watching the next level – high schools.  I’m patiently waiting to see how the ACT scores place our local schools – but until that data is released, other scores exist.

US News rates high schools – I was familiar with their college rankings (there is something humbling about working with a couple that are recognized above the place that employs you).  So I checked their website to see where Lincoln County High School ranked.

“Lincoln County High School is ranked 63-85th within Montana. The total minority enrollment is 14%, and 54% of students are economically disadvantaged.”

US News

Whitefish was #2.  Glacier was #12.  Flathead #16.  Libby #33.  Columbia Falls #37.  Thompson Falls #48.  LCHS tied with Troy – between 63 and 85, at the bottom of the ranked high schools.

Niche also ranks LCHS.  The numbers require a bit of thinking – how can the state champions score 90th in the state in the category “best high school for athletes in Montana”?  (I think I’ve figured it out, but my hypothesis needs more data – while boys athletic participation is rated average, girls participation is rated at very low)  One of the upbeat rankings was the faculty – number 34 in the state, with an A- rating on the school’s report card.  On the other hand, academics are rated at C+ . . . a bit hard to reconcile with a teaching staff that is rated at A-.  Administration was rated at B, and food at B+ (hard for me to understand, but back when I went to school Mrs. Grace Cuffe ran the kitchen).

They did point out that “In Eureka there are a lot of bars.”  I suspect the reviewers didn’t understand the cultural aspects that accompany the nickname “Tijuana del norte.”  Ah, well, one day soon we can expect to see the ratings based on ACT results.

I’ll be glad when we can see ratings for Trego – 3 years ago, when I got on the board, we were down to 4 or 5 students.  Now we’re right around 30 students in 8 grades, and getting close to a spot where there are enough students in a class that scores can stay confidential. 

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