2015 Study: Are These the Best Public High Schools in Louisiana?

While being a top tier high school is largely about how well the students are being educated and what grades they're obtaining on various proficiency tests, that doesn't always tell the entire story. In our 2015 study of the top public high schools in the Bayou State, we looked at a handful of the more quantifiable factors that aren't always considered when ranking high schools across the country. In our report below we have included the Top 100. How accurate do you think our methodology is? Let us know in the comments.

The variables we looked at for our study were:

  • Algebra Test Scores - we looked at the percentage of students who scored "excellent" on their EOC exam
  • English Test Scores - here, we also looked at the percentage of students who scored "excellent" on their EOC exam
  • Student/Teacher Ratio - lower student/teacher ratios were considered better
  • School Size - for a number of reasons, studies have shown that 600 students is the ideal high school size. We ranked schools based on their proximity to this number.
  • Diversity of Student Body - diversity can enhance students classroom experience and help them prepare for life after high school 

For more details on our methodology and rationale please check out the Methodology section towards the bottom of our study.

The 5 Best Public High Schools in Louisiana

Four of the top 5 high schools in Louisiana were geographically situated in the southern half of the state, with Pickering HS located closer to the middle. Because our ranking system was weighted more aggressively towards high test scores in Algebra and English, it'll be no surprise that these 5 schools all had a high percentage of students that scored "excellent" on their end-of-course exams in these two subjects. 

1. Belle Chasse High School

Home of the Fighting Cardinals, Belle Chasse HS places as the #1 ranked high school in our 2015 study of public schools in Louisiana. Looking at test scores, the percentage of students who had "excellent" scores on their EOC Algebra and English exams was 16th and 22nd best in the state, respectively. The school also boasts a 13.5 student/teacher ratio which puts in in the top 30% of LA high schools. Finally, we give points to schools with a diverse student body relative to other schools. Belle Chasse's student body was the 45th most diverse in the state, better than over 200 other high schools.

Factor Rank
Algebra EOC Score 16
English EOC Score 22
Student/Teacher Ratio 79
School Size 28
Diversity 45

2. Erath High School

Recently ranked as the 3rd best public HS in Louisiana by the Department of Education, our independent study showcases Erath as the 2nd best overall high school in the state. What drove EHS's score was an outstanding performance in academics with almost half of their students receiving "excellent" scores for their 2013-2014 end-of-course tests. These scores were amongst the best in the state especially considering the size of the student body. The school received slightly above average marks for diversity in their student population and below average marks for their student/teacher ratio of 18.3

Factor Rank
Algebra EOC Score 3
English EOC Score 12
Student/Teacher Ratio 235
School Size 26
Diversity 115

3. North Vermilion High School

Students and parents associated with North Vermilion HS speak of the great teachers, camraderie, and the preparation they receive before heading off to college as the biggest selling points for this Maurice, LA-based school. Our numbers also reflected that sentiment. Students seem to be quite well prepared as the number of kids with excellent test scores in Math and English are 14th and 15th best in Louisiana. Also, with a HS student body size between 500-600 the school is large enough to provide plenty of social opportunities, but not so big that students get lost in the shuffle. 

Factor Rank
Algebra EOC Score 14
English EOC Score 15
Student/Teacher Ratio 195
School Size 23
Diversity 115

4. Early College Academy

While not known as a "traditional" high school, Early College Academy ranks as the 4th best Louisiana high school in our study and is an ideal fit for students interested in academics. Located in Lafayette, the Academy produces students with some of the best EOC test scores in the state (and tops within our Top 5). With 53% of students scoring "excellent" on their Algebra exam, and 48% scoring "excellent" on their English exam, it's no surprise that Early College Academy places towards the top of the list. Beyond just the test scores, the school also has the 43rd most diverse student body in Louisiana!

Factor Rank
Algebra EOC Score 5
English EOC Score 4
Student/Teacher Ratio 156
School Size 273
Diversity 43

5. Pickering High School

Rounding out the Top 5 best public high schools in Louisiana is Pickering High School in Leesville, LA. Founded over 100 years ago, the high school is home to around 400 students, many of whom come from military families. So how did Pickering find their way onto our list of best schools? The biggest reason they performed so well was because of their EOC Algebra scores. A whopping 53% of students who took the EOC exams in 2013-2014 scored "excellent". This number was 5th best in the state. Their EOC English scores also put them in the top 15% of high schools. Additionally, Pickering HS had the 20th best score for diversity of their student body.

Factor Rank
Algebra EOC Score 5
English EOC Score 40
Student/Teacher Ratio 214
School Size 68
Diversity 20

Louisiana's Best Public High Schools by Size

Beyond breaking down the best public high schools on an overall basis, we also though it would be interesting to look at the best-rated schools on a "size" basis. The following table shows just that and divides the schools up into three separate categories.

Map of HS in Louisiana

Here's a map of Louisiana with all 100 high schools plotted on it. If you roll your mouse over the individual dots you'll see how highly each schools ranks within the state.

The Top 100 Louisiana Public High Schools

Here is the complete list of the 100 public high schools that topped our list in the 2015 study. The "Final Score" is the number to the right, and the lower it is, the better the school performs relative to others. If you're interested in how we arrived at our scores you can check our methodology below.

Methodology

This study only includes public schools in the state of Louisiana. In the event we weren't able to obtain an Algebra or English score for a particular school we decided to not include them in our study. There were 270 public high schools that we looked at in this year's study, out of which we've highlighted the Top 100 scores. As mentioned towards the top of the piece, we looked at students who scored "Excellent" on their Algebra and English EOC exams. This was weighted as 80% of the Final Score because we think that academic performance (even though the other factors are important, too) are the most direct barometer of success at an institution. We also looked at student/teacher ratio with lower ratios indicating greater individual attention and receiving a better score. The next variable we considered was student enrollment size. There have been studies conducted showing that test scores for high school students were maximized when the number of students fell between 400-800. Using this data, we gave more favorable scores to schools that were closest to this range. Finally, we looked at the diversity of the student body and ranked the schools in the state accordingly. 

To make finding your school easier (assuming it made our Top 100) we've included a list of the schools in alphabetical order:

Rank School Final Score
90 Abbeville High School 281.6
70 Airline High School 247
93 Alexandria Senior High School 288.6
84 Alfred M. Barbe High School 276.4
7 Anacoco High School 109.6
86 Assumption High School 278.2
17 Avoyelles Public Charter School 128.2
77 Basile High School 262
79 Bell City High School 265.8
1 Belle Chasse High School 68.4
57 Benton High School 219
49 Berwick High School 204.6
80 Bolton High School 270.2
11 Brusly High School 114.6
72 Buckeye High School 257
40 C.E. Byrd High School 179
78 Castor High School 263.8
85 Centerville High School 277.4
100 Central Lafourche High School 297
14 Chalmette High School 120.2
87 Converse High School 279.2
88 Covington High School 280.8
37 D'Arbonne Woods Charter School 171
32 Delcambre High School 163.4
65 Delhi Charter School 241.4
46 Deridder High School 202
61 Destrehan High School 226.2
19 Dutchtown High School 139
4 Early College Academy 103.4
52 East Ascension High School 210
97 East Beauregard High School 292
58 East Iberville Elementary/High School 224.2
81 Ebarb School 270.8
26 Elizabeth High School 152.8
33 Elton High School 163.6
2 Erath High School 90.2
15 Evans High School 123
9 Fontainebleau High School 111
24 Forest School 151.8
21 French Settlement High School 142
53 Gibsland-Coleman High School 212.2
41 Glenmora High School 179.4
94 Grace King High School 290
29 Grand Lake High School 159.8
75 H. L. Bourgeois High School 260.6
39 Hahnville High School 177.2
18 Harrisonburg High School 132.8
25 Holden High School 152.2
44 International High School Of New Orleans 198.4
76 Iota High School 261.2
66 Jennings High School 241.4
38 Kaplan High School 172.2
74 Kinder High School 260.2
60 Lafayette High School 226.2
55 Lake Arthur High School 212.8
34 Lakeshore High School 167.2
31 Leesville High School 163.2
56 Loreauville High School 216
47 Louisiana Connections Academy 203.8
43 Magnet Academy For Cultural Arts 198
62 Mamou High School 228.4
10 Mandeville High School 111.4
5 Many High School 105.4
23 Maurepas School 149.8
12 Midland High School 116
71 Morgan City High School 249
96 Natchitoches Central High School 291.4
35 New Orleans Charter Science And Mathematics High School 170
36 North Desoto High School 170.8
3 North Vermilion High School 95.6
16 Northshore High School 125.4
83 O. Comeaux High School 272
64 Oak Grove High School 239.2
42 Oak Hill High School 181.6
63 Oberlin High School 232.6
91 Parkway High School 284.8
20 Pearl River High School 139
6 Pickering High School 105.4
95 Pine School 291.2
82 Ponchatoula High School 271.6
30 Quitman High School 162.4
54 Riverdale High School 212.6
13 Rosepine High School 117.2
48 Ruston High School 204.6
22 Saline High School 144.4
45 Sam Houston High School 201
68 Sci Academy 244.4
99 Simpson High School 296.2
28 Slidell High School 158.2
89 South Plaquemines High School 281.4
59 South Terrebonne High School 224.4
50 St. Amant High School 209
51 St. James High School 209.8
67 Sterlington High School 243.6
98 Ville Platte High School 292
8 West Feliciana High School 109.8
69 West Monroe High School 247
73 Winnfield Senior High School 258
27 Zachary High School 154.6
92 Zwolle High School 288.2

Sources: Louisiana Department of EducationNC State Board of Education

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