Natchez Early College ranked among the top high schools in state

Published 2:11 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2023

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A Natchez school is among the top five high schools in Mississippi, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Known for its education rankings of collegiate and K-12 schools, U.S. News & World Report released its 2023-2024 Best High School rankings on Tuesday.

In it, Natchez Early College was named the fifth best public high school in Mississippi.

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The rankings evaluate nearly 18,000 public high schools at the national, state and local levels based on enrollment, state assessment statistics, student body demographics and AP and IB data, where applicable.

The highest ranked public schools are those whose students achieved exceptional scores on state assessments for math, reading and science. These schools also had strong underserved student performance, college readiness and curriculum breadth, as well as graduation rates.

College readiness specifically measures participation and performance on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams, and underserved student performance focuses on students who are Black, Hispanic or from low-income households. The rankings include demographic information on schools ranked in the top 5%, 10%, and 25%.

In Mississippi, the top five schools included Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in Columbus; Ocean Springs High School; Lewisburg High School in Olive Branch; Biloxi High School; and Natchez Early College Academy.

According to the report, Natchez Early College boasts a 98 percent graduation rate; a 25.0 college readiness score; and 189 students in grades 9-12. The school gives students the opportunity to take Advanced Placement coursework and exams. The total minority enrollment is 95 percent and 100 percent of students are considered economically disadvantaged.

The school graduated 52 students in May, with 42 students earning both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree.

“Having access to a strong high school program is paramount for students as they face an ever-changing world,” says Liana Loewus, managing editor of education at U.S. News. “Making data on our high schools available helps parents ensure their child is in the educational environment that best sets them up to thrive.”

To review all the findings, click here.