Shawnee Mission East earns top 5 spot in new list of best Kansas high schools

Shawnee Mission East is ranked third best high school in the state on a 2022 U.S. News and World Report list. File photo.

Shawnee Mission East landed in the top five best Kansas high schools, according to a 2022 U.S. News and World Report list.

The bigger picture: At number three overall, SM East is the only Shawnee Mission high school to break into the publication’s top 10.

Other Johnson County schools in the top 10 include all five Blue Valley high schools, as well as as Olathe Northwest.

Sumner Academy in Kansas City, Kansas, earned the top overall spot in the annual rankings. S

SM East’s statistics show a 96% graduation rate with a score of 45.9 for college readiness. The Advanced Placement participation rate is 56%, according to the list.

Last year, according to U.S. News’ rankings, SM East was number six in the state.

Other rankings: Here is where the other four Shawnee Mission high schools landed on the 2022 list — and how that compares to their rankings in 2021.

  • Shawnee Mission North is #44 in 2022, compared to #57 in 2021
  • Shawnee Mission Northwest is #18 in 2022, compared to #23 in 2021
  • Shawnee Mission South is #15 in 2022, compared to #15 in 2021
  • Shawnee Mission West is #28 in 2022, compared to #31 in 2021

How it works: U.S. News and World Report evaluates nearly 24,000 public high schools, and ranks them against others in the district, state and nation.

High schools are evaluated based on the following methodology from the class of 2019-2020, as outlined by U.S. News and World Report online.

  • College readiness accounts for 30% of the ranking. This factor considers the percentage of seniors who took one or more AP or International Baccalaureate exams as well as the percentage of seniors who earned a qualifying score on these exams.
  • College curriculum breadth accounts for 10% of the ranking. This looks at the percentage of seniors who took a variety of AP or IB exams by the end of their senior year as well as the percentage of those who earned a qualifying score.
  • State assessment proficiency accounts for 20% of the ranking. This measures how students fare on state assessments measuring proficiency in reading, science and math.
  • State assessment performance accounts for 20% of the ranking. This is the difference between how students fared on state assessments and U.S. News’ projections.
  • Underserved student performance accounts for 10% of the ranking. This is how well Black, Hispanic and the student population receiving free or reduced lunch performs on state assessments compared to statewide student performance who are not in these groups.
  • Graduation rate accounts for 10% of the ranking. The 2022 list looks at the 202 graduating class.

Key quote: “We’re proud our high schools are ranked among the best in the country,” Chief Communications Officer David Smith told the Post via email. “Soon we will host graduations to honor the accomplishments of our high school seniors in each of these schools and celebrate the unlimited possibilities that await each graduate. We are grateful to our educators, families, and community members who work tirelessly to help our students achieve their personal best.”