West recognized nationally as best, local papers unimpressed


Hannah Hoffmann

Junior Sarah Hima stands in front of West’s welcome sign. “I’m not sure why we weren’t on the Post-Dispatch list initially,” Hima said. “We’re a hardworking school, and I feel like we should have earned a place.”

For its second year, West High has been recognized by national publication Newsweek as one of America’s top high schools. West is one of only nine listed Missouri schools, earning spot number 363 on the list of 500.

“The Newsweek High School Rankings assess schools based on a broad range of data,” the article described, “to determine which institutions do the best job of preparing students for college.”

With an average ACT score of 23.9—the highest in the district for four years in a row—and a graduation rate of 97.5%, the school’s name is marked on the list with a star to feature West’s willingness to help out low-income students succeed in class.

But while West has succeeded in its National strive for educational fame, it seems local news does not agree.

A recent print of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch included a list of the top local high, middle and elementary schools, with seven to eight included in each category. Parkway West Middle was included as one of the top middle schools, but West High was not included anywhere on the Top 7 High Schools list.

“The latest results from the spring 2015 Missouri Assessment Program tests are in, and we crunched the numbers to see which public schools in the St. Louis region scored in the top 20 subjects tested—english, math and science,” the Sunday, August 23rd edition read.

However, after being contacted by West High principal Dr. Jeremy Mitchell, the Post-Dispatch added a mention of the high school in all later printings.

“Long Elementary in the Lindbergh district and Parkway West High ranked among the region’s top 20 on all subjects of Missouri’s 2015 standardized exams,” the updated article read. “Both schools were excluded from lists of top schools published in Sunday’s STL Sunday section.”

Now listed nationally as well as mentioned locally, West’s claims of being the best have some stats to back them up.

“I am very proud of the entire longhorn universe, teachers and students working together to accomplish great academic marks. I am just glad that eventually the Post-Dispatch was able to review the data to properly include us in their list of the top high schools in the area,” Mitchell said. “Way to go, longhorns!”