Hanford, Prosser among top Washington high schools

Tri-City HeraldMay 1, 2014 

Two Mid-Columbia high schools are among the top 50 public schools in the state when it comes to preparing their students for college, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Hanford High School and Prosser High School earned silver medals in the annual rankings recently released by the national news and analysis company. That put Hanford High at No. 45 in Washington and Prosser High at No. 47.

“I think our staff and our kids continue to set an expectation of doing their best and challenging themselves,” said Prosser High Principal Kevin Lusk.

There are more than 31,000 public high schools in the United States. U.S. News reviewed standardized test scores and also a school’s College Readiness Index, or CRI, score. The CRI was determined by how well students did on college-level Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests.

Hanford’s CRI score came in at 23.5 and Prosser’s at 23.

“We have a very involved population of parents and students that put a high value on education,” said Hanford High Principal Ken Gosney.

The honors aren’t new for the schools. This is the second straight year Prosser made it into the rankings with a silver medal, Lusk said.

Hanford has been recognized by U.S. News in the past and also recently made it onto the Washington Post’s Most Challenging High Schools, said Steve Aagaard, Richland School District spokesman.

Though not on the state’s top 50 list, Kamiakin High School in Kennewick boasted the highest CRI score in the area with 24.4.

The school also has more students taking AP exams than the two ranked local schools and roughly the same percentage of them passing those tests.

Kamiakin students were less proficient in math and reading than those at Hanford.

Prosser High is more diverse and economically disadvantaged than the west Kennewick high school, yet still on par academically.

While proud of the accomplishments that led to being listed, officials at both schools said they aren’t planning much celebration beyond emailing a congratulatory note to staff or notifying their school boards.

“We have AP testing in the next few weeks, so here we go,” Lusk said.

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