Oakton High School ranked 5th in state

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Rebecca Woodhouse, Editor-in-Chief

In the rankings released on Tuesday, April 19 by U.S. News & World Report, Oakton High School was ranked as #5 for best high school in Virginia. Oakton Cougars closely followed three other Fairfax County Public Schools also in the top five. Fairfax County Public Schools contains 30 high schools, 16 of which received gold, silver, or bronze medals in the U.S. News Best High Schools rankings.

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology was ranked first in Virginia, but also ranked fifth in the nation. McLean High School followed as second best high school in the state and Madison High as third. Right before Oakton High is George Mason High School, located in Falls Church.

The U.S. News base their high school rankings based off a couple key points. For a high school to be considered, it either has to be in one of the 50 states or in the District of Columbia, and it has to be large enough. To be determined Best High School, there is a four step process. First, students in the high school have to perform better than statistically expected- to determine this, things like reading and math scores are looked at. Second, the math and reading proficiency rates for disadvantaged students at the high school are looked at, and if they were better than the state average. The third step is new as of 2016. In order to be considered a “top-performing school”, high schools also have to meet or exceed a national standard high school graduation rate. Step four is based of college-readiness performance, using either Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) test data.

TJHSST has a 100.0 college readiness score, as the AP participation and pass rate is at 100%. Seventeen high schools in the nation received the maximum College Readiness Index of 100. By comparison, Oakton High had a college readiness score of 74.2, with the AP participation rate at 85% and the pass rate at 71%, which is still above VA average at 57.8. The student-teacher ratio is 16:1, with 2,235 students enrolled to 144 teachers.