Enterprise High School is ranked the top Wiregrass high school and No. 16 in the state, according to a national survey.
Achieving that ranking is a team effort, Enterprise City Schools Superintendent Greg Faught told those attending the Enterprise Board of Education meeting April 30. “We’re real proud of that report and I think everyone in our school system would acknowledge that it takes everyone to achieve that.”
Faught was referring to a recent U.S. News and World Report ranking of the 2019 best high schools in the United States. “The rankings are those whose attendees demonstrated outstanding outcomes above expectations in math and reading state assessments, passed a diverse array of college-level exams and graduated in high proportions,” according to the authors of the national magazine article. “We looked at thousands of public schools to identify the top performers.”
Of the 357 traditional, charter or magnet public schools in Alabama, EHS ranked No. 16 in the state.
Of the 23,000 public high schools reviewed by U.S. News and World Report, 17,245 were ranked and EHS placed 1,348 in that ranking.
EHS’s total enrollment for students is higher than any other school on the list, said ECS Assistant Superintendent Dr. Patrick Cain. “It’s important to note that three of the 16 schools are magnet schools so they are essentially pulling the highest performing students in that area and putting them into one school.
“It’s also important to note that we ranked first in student population of all the Top 16,” Cain said. “That’s important to know because we are testing more kids.”
“We require all of our students that take Advanced Placement classes to take an AP Exam,” Faught said. “That is not the case everywhere.”
Cain agreed. “In some schools, only the students who think they will pass it, take the AP Exam,” he said. “We require students to take it because we see some benefit in taking that caliber of a test, having to study for it and we think that will help them in college.”
Cain said that is especially significant to note that of the Top 16 schools EHS has the largest population of “free and reduced lunch” eligible students and ranks No. 1 in the survey in terms of the percentage of economically disadvantaged students. EHS has 35 percent considered economically disadvantaged students as opposed to 6 percent at the No. 1 ranked school Loveless Academic Magnet Program in Montgomery and 0 percent at No. 2 ranked school Mountain Brook High School.
“To be in the top 4 or 5 percent in the state is noteworthy but it’s not just an accolade for the high school,” Faught said. “It starts in kindergarten where they build that foundation and the kids begin to soar and by the time they get to the high school, they do very well.
“I want to make sure that we commend all of our school-based staff, the bus drivers, the custodians and our maintenance personnel,” Faught said. “All of those people are equally important in making sure that we get our kids to where we want them to go. So they all deserve the credit.
“There’s still room for growth but we’re headed in the right direction,” Faught said. “Realistically, we may never be No. 1 in the eyes of some but we can always be our best.”