School News

News for Marion Community Schools

National award puts MHS among top schools in the country

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News U.S. News and World Report has awarded Marion High School a bronze medal in its rankings of more than 19,000 public high schools across the country. This puts MHS in the top 27 percent of high schools in the country, according to this ranking!

You may be familiar with U.S. News and World Report for its rankings of higher ed institutions (such as Grant County’s own Taylor University, which has been named the No. 1 Midwest University in the category of Best Regional Colleges for seven years straight). The high school rankings released recently use data, primarily state proficiency tests and AP or International Baccalaureate testing, as the main benchmarks to sift out the best high schools in the state and the nation.

“When you think about where we were a few years ago to where we are today, this is honestly fantastic news,” MHS Principal Lennon Brown said. “Going from being in danger of state takeover to being mentioned in a national publication’s list of high-quality schools just a few years later, it’s definitely something worth celebrating.”

The rankings methodology, according to U.S. News, “is based on the key principles that a great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show the school is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators.”

The top 500 high schools in the nation, based on highest college readiness (as reflected by AP / IB test data), were awarded gold medal status. About 1,700 other high schools earned silver medal status. Fewer than 3,000 high schools earned bronze medal status. That means according to this ranking, MHS is in the top 27 percent of high schools in the country.

“It’s a credit to our staff, it’s a credit to our students, it’s a credit to our community,” Brown said. “But we’re not resting on our accomplishments. Good schools can become better. Better schools can become great. That’s what we strive for every day.”

And one recent piece of data does indeed reflect continued improvement: the MHS graduation rate.

Finalized numbers recently certified by the state confirmed what leaders at Marion Community Schools had projected: in 2012-13, the graduation rate jumped again, to more than 95 percent — far higher than the state rate, and higher than three of the four other Grant County high schools.

For the 2012-13 school year, the MHS graduation rate was 95.4 percent. That’s 4.3 percentage points higher than the previous school year’s 91.1 percent rate, and it’s 7.1 percentage points higher than the state’s overall rate, 88.6 percent.  (Mississinewa’s 97.7 rate is the only one higher in the county.)

The number is a reflection of the continued success at Marion High School, now an Indiana Department of Education honor roll school, earning a “B” on the most recent grade card.

“The national recognition in the U.S. News and World Report rankings is really a reflection of the hard work of staff and students, and the support of our community,” said MCS Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Instruction Amy Rauch, also the district’s chief academic officer. “The improvement over recent years at MHS has not happened by accident. It has taken serious, unflinching conversations, tough decisions, intentional action. This ranking reiterates that hard work and dedication is paying off.”

The accolade is one for the entire Marion community to take pride in, MCS Superintendent Brad Lindsay said.

“This is another distinction of excellence for Marion High School!,” he said. “I am thankful to our Marion Community Schools team for growing the extra-mile to meaningfully and productively engage the hearts, minds, behaviors, and habits of each student, each day!"