Big M trophy and tassel

Martinsville High School is one of the top schools in the area for college and career readiness, according to data recently released by the VDOE.

The Virginia Department of Education recently released its updated School Quality Profiles, which provide information about school accreditation, student achievement, school safety, teacher quality, and other topics of interest to the public.

Cary Wright, MCPS Coordinator of Humanities and Advanced Programs, shared some of the available data with the Martinsville City School Board during its September meeting. The board requested the presentation after the release of rankings by U.S. News and World Report of U.S. high schools that utilized data which placed MHS at the bottom among area high schools. A subsequent story in local media further highlighted the local rankings based on data that does not accurately reflect the success of Martinsville High School.

College Readiness

Martinsville High School leads local schools in numbers of students taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses, with 28.54% of students enrolled in at least one AP course. This is compared to 9.85% at Bassett High School, 14.76% at Magna Vista, and .58% at Patrick County High School.

% of students taking AP courses28.54%9.85%14.76%.58%

Thanks to a partnership with Patrick & Henry Community College, MHS AP students are concurrently enrolled at P&HCC, while students in the Accelerated College Education (ACE) and Governor’s School programs are dual enrolled at the college. Because of that partnership, students who pass their courses earn college credit without the need to take an AP exam.

The U.S. News and World Report ranking system heavily relied on students who took and performed well on AP tests, which MCPS students do not take as they are costly and, because of our partnership with P&HCC, unnecessary for our students to earn college credit for their AP courses. This meant that 40% of the data used by US News and World Report to build its rankings was not applicable to Martinsville students.

College preparedness at the high school level pays off for our students—VDOE data reveals that 64% of MHS students go on to enroll in an institution of higher education within sixteen months of graduating from high school, on par with other local high schools.

Postsecondary EducationMHSBHSMVHSPCHS
% of students who enroll in an institution of higher education within 16-month of graduating high school (2019-2020)64%65%67%57%

Career Readiness

Last year, Martinsville High School led all other area schools in the number of industry credentials earned with 277, topping Magna Vista’s 178, Bassett’s 174, and Patrick County’s 257. Martinsville also led in the number of students earning one or more industry credentials, with 214, as compared to Magna Vista’s 178, Bassett’s 174, and Patrick County’s 213.

Further, MHS was one of the leading schools in our area career readiness with 147 MHS students (or 26% of students) earning industry certifications. Only Patrick County High School had a higher percentage, with 29%, while Basset and Magna Vista both trailed with 8% and 14% respectively.

% of students earning industry certifications26%8%14%29%
Total credentials earned277174178257
Students earning one or more credentials214158172213
Total high school enrollment5641,1071,104851

The US News and World Report scoring formula does not take career readiness into account at all when determining its high school rankings.

Data Sources

The public may access the data mentioned above via the Virginia Department of Education’s School Quality Profiles.

You can watch Cary Wright’s presentation to the Martinsville City School Board on our MCPS Facebook page and view his PowerPoint here