The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


US News & World Report Ranks MSJ as the 76th High School Across the Nation

By Staff Writer Gloria Chang

MSJ recently ranked 12th in California and 76th among 20,000 public high schools across the nation according to the US News & World Report’s 2017 Best High School Rankings.

MSJ ranked 15th nationally as a STEM high school and 19th among more than 900 magnet high schools. US News defines magnet high schools as “public high schools that may attract the most talented students in a region using an application process that typically involves test scores and grade-point averages.”  Based on MSJ’s performance during the 2014-15 school year, US News awarded the school a Gold Medal for readily preparing students for college. Only the top 500 high schools throughout the nation received this award, which places MSJ in the top 2.4 percent.

To determine the awards and rankings, US News partnered with North Carolina-based research firm Research Triangle Institute International, evaluating 20,487 public schools. For national rankings, a four-step process determined the specific order of best schools. First, each school’s student performance on reading and math proficiency state assessments was compared with the state average. If these scores were one-third of the standard deviation from the average, the school moved to the second step. This second step assessed whether disadvantaged students from black, Hispanic, or low-income families performed better than the state average for least-advantaged students. Next, the third step required schools to meet or surpass the graduation rate of 75 percent.

If a school passed the previous three steps, the final evaluation was based on a college readiness score, a calculated weighted average based 25 percent on the AP participation rate and 75 percent on the quality-adjusted AP participation rate. The school’s AP participation rate was the number of 12th grade students in the 2014-15 academic year who took at least one AP test before or during their senior year, divided by the total number of 12th-graders at the school. The quality-adjusted AP participation rate is the number of 12th-grade students in the 2014-15 academic year who took and passed — received an AP score of 3 or higher — at least one AP test before or during their senior year, divided by the number of 12th-graders at that school. MSJ earned a college readiness score of 87.1 out of 100.

Additionally, MSJ students on average scored 95 percent for both state reading and math assessments. Brief statistics also listed demographics of the school population, teacher to student ratios, and comparison of test scores to other schools in FUSD.

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