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.

Belle Chasse High School

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

Erath High School

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, camaraderie, 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.

North Vermilion High School

Factor

Rank
Algebra EOC Score14
English EOC Score15
Student/Teacher Ratio195
School Size23
Diversity115

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!

Early College Academy

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.

Pickering High School

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 thought 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.

Louisiana's Best Public High Schools by Size

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.

The Top 100 Louisiana Public High Schools

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 have 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

SchoolFinal Score

90

Abbeville High School281.6

70

Airline High School247

93

Alexandria Senior High School288.6

84

Alfred M. Barbe High School276.4

7

Anacoco High School109.6

86

Assumption High School278.2

17

Avoyelles Public Charter School128.2

77

Basile High School262

79

Bell City High School265.8

1

Belle Chasse High School68.4

57

Benton High School219

49

Berwick High School204.6

80

Bolton High School270.2

11

Brusly High School114.6

72

Buckeye High School257

40

C.E. Byrd High School179

78

Castor High School263.8

85

Centerville High School277.4

100

Central Lafourche High School297

14

Chalmette High School120.2

87

Converse High School279.2

88

Covington High School280.8

37

D'Arbonne Woods Charter School171

32

Delcambre High School163.4

65

Delhi Charter School241.4

46

Deridder High School202

61

Destrehan High School226.2

19

Dutchtown High School139

4

Early College Academy103.4

52

East Ascension High School210

97

East Beauregard High School292

58

East Iberville Elementary/High School224.2

81

Ebarb School270.8

26

Elizabeth High School152.8

33

Elton High School163.6

2

Erath High School90.2

15

Evans High School123

9

Fontainebleau High School111

24

Forest School151.8

21

French Settlement High School142

53

Gibsland-Coleman High School212.2

41

Glenmora High School179.4

94

Grace King High School290

29

Grand Lake High School159.8

75

H. L. Bourgeois High School260.6

39

Hahnville High School177.2

18

Harrisonburg High School132.8

25

Holden High School152.2

44

International High School Of New Orleans198.4

76

Iota High School261.2

66

Jennings High School241.4

38

Kaplan High School172.2

74

Kinder High School260.2

60

Lafayette High School226.2

55

Lake Arthur High School212.8

34

Lakeshore High School167.2

31

Leesville High School163.2

56

Loreauville High School216

47

Louisiana Connections Academy203.8

43

Magnet Academy For Cultural Arts198

62

Mamou High School228.4

10

Mandeville High School111.4

5

Many High School105.4

23

Maurepas School149.8

12

Midland High School116

71

Morgan City High School249

96

Natchitoches Central High School291.4

35

New Orleans Charter Science And Mathematics High School170

36

North Desoto High School170.8

3

North Vermilion High School95.6

16

Northshore High School125.4

83

O. Comeaux High School272

64

Oak Grove High School239.2

42

Oak Hill High School181.6

63

Oberlin High School232.6

91

Parkway High School284.8

20

Pearl River High School139

6

Pickering High School105.4

95

Pine School291.2

82

Ponchatoula High School271.6

30

Quitman High School162.4

54

Riverdale High School212.6

13

Rosepine High School117.2

48

Ruston High School204.6

22

Saline High School144.4

45

Sam Houston High School201

68

Sci Academy244.4

99

Simpson High School296.2

28

Slidell High School158.2

89

South Plaquemines High School281.4

59

South Terrebonne High School224.4

50

St. Amant High School209

51

St. James High School209.8

67

Sterlington High School243.6

98

Ville Platte High School292

8

West Feliciana High School109.8

69

West Monroe High School247

73

Winnfield Senior High School258

27

Zachary High School154.6

92

Zwolle High School288.2

Sources: Louisiana Department of Education,NC State Board of Education

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