Newsweek Ranks Model Lab among Nation's Top High Schools

Model sign photo

Model Laboratory High School, on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University, ranks among the top 1 percent of the nation’s public high schools, according to Newsweek.

In the magazine’s “America’s Top High Schools 2014” survey, released on Sept. 8, Model ranks 238th among the nation’s approximately 25,000 public high schools. It is one of only two Kentucky schools to make the list of 500 exemplary schools; Fort Thomas Highlands came in at No. 196.

“Model nurtures a unique atmosphere that blends the benefits of small school culture with shared high expectations while facilitating multiple opportunities defined by student interests, aspirations and potential,” said Model Laboratory School Director Dr. James Dantic. “What the Newsweek article points out is that Model is very successful in preparing students for post-secondary engagement.”

Newsweek worked with research partner Westat to develop a three-step methodology that determined the rankings.

First, it created a high school achievement index based on performance indicators, such as proficiency rates on state standardized assessments. The index was used to identify high schools that perform at or above the 80th percentile within each state as well as high schools whose performance exceeds their state’s average by 0.5 standard deviations or more when accounting for students’ socioeconomic rate.

Secondly, it created a college readiness score based on college enrollment and graduation rates, weighted Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate (AP/IB) composite, weighted SAT/ACT composite, holding power (change in enrollment between 9th and 12th grades), and counselor-to-student ratio.

Lastly, it identified schools in which economically disadvantaged students performed better than the state average for all students in reading and mathematics.

Model scored particularly high in the College Bound category, ranking 90th in the Newsweek rankings with a score of 93.2. All the data used in the analysis was from the 2011-12 school year, the most recent year for which publicly-available, government-vetted data is available.

Model Lab has 225 students in grades 9-12. Its 2014 graduating class of 60 students amassed $2.1 million in scholarships, boasted three National Merit students, and ranked fifth in Kentucky on ACT performance with a final class composite score of 23.9, well above the state average of 19.9 and national average of 21.

Established more than a century ago on the Eastern campus, Model Laboratory School educates students from Pre-K through 12th grade while providing field experiences for EKU students and demonstrating evidence-based strategies. It is the Commonwealth’s only remaining laboratory school.

For a complete list of the nation’s top 500 public high schools, according to Newsweek, visit

Published on September 09, 2014

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