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Mammoth Spring High School earns elite designation

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

MAMMOTH SPRING -- The Mammoth Spring High School is one of only 40 schools in Arkansas to be named as one of the best schools in the country.

Mammoth Spring School Superintendent Ron Taylor announced last week the Mammoth Spring High School was given the honor by the U.S. News and World Report, a highly respected national magazine.

"The real credit for this honor goes to the teachers, students and high school principal Brian Davis," Taylor said.

A total of 18,790 public high schools across the country were analyzed in a complicated three step process comparing academic data to determine the list of top performing schools in America.

"The magazine rates the students in the 2005-2006 school year. We were rated on three steps. The first two steps ensured our schools serve all of their students well using state proficiency standards," Taylor said.

The first step determined whether each school's students were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in Arkansas.

"They looked at reading and math test results for all students on each state's high school test. They then factored in the percentage of economically disadvantaged students (who tend to score lower) enrolled at the school to find which schools were performing better than their statistical expectations," Taylor said.

He said the second step, and you had to pass the first step to get to the second step, was to determine whether the school's least advantaged students were performing better than average for similar students in Arkansas.

"The magazine compared each school's math and reading proficiency rates for disadvantaged students with statewide results for those disadvantaged student groups and then selected schools that were performing above the state average, and we were," he said.

Taylor said the third step involved college readiness using advanced placement data as the benchmark for the success.

"The state of Arkansas mandated that all schools in the state have some sort of advanced placement over a four-year period course several years ago," he said.

Mammoth Spring High School offers advanced placement classes in math, science, English and social studies.

"We also offered college readiness classes this past summer that helped students with their ACT test scores," he said.

"We do a good job in preparing students for college. We try to do the best with every student. I think this is demonstrated by the honor in the magazine," the superintendent said.

High school principal Brain Davis was also pleased with the honor the school received.

"We are all honored by the recognition. I am always appreciative when our staff receives recognition for their hard work and efforts. Our students and their parents played a large role in our school receiving this honor," he said.

Davis said that Mammoth Spring High School received the bronze award from the magazine.

Only two schools in Arkansas received the next higher award, the silver award. Those school districts were Valley View in Craighead County and the Dardanelle School District in Yell County.

No schools in Arkansas or Missouri received the gold award.


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