Montana is known for its natural beauty, national parks, and plenty of wide, open spaces. By area, Montana is the fourth largest state in the country. However, Montana has a pretty low population compared to other states, and there are more people living in Dallas, Texas than there are in the entire state of Montana! As far as education, there are about 108,000 students in the state, but many of these students are falling behind at the worst schools in Montana.
While there are many factors that lead to school grades and ratings, these ratings are something parents should consider before enrolling their child in a school. This list of the worst schools in Montana is based on their test scores, college and career readiness scores, and graduation rates. These three factors can indicate whether students are excelling or falling behind.
Keep reading to find out more about some of the lowest-rated schools and how their scores compare to the state averages.
Rocky Boy School
81 Mission Taylor Road, Box Elder, MT, 59521
The Rocky Boy School is a public K-12 school in Box Elder, Montana. They have separate elementary, middle, and high schools for students and they are one of the largest employers in the area. Part of the mission of the Rocky Boy School is to educate students to become successful in life.
When it comes to test scores, students at the Rocky Boy School fall below the state average. Only 19% of students are proficient in English and only 24% are proficient in math. This includes test scores for low-income students who may be considered at-risk.
Arlee Elementary School
72220 Fyant Street, Arlee, MT, 59821
Arlee Elementary School is a PK-6th grade school in Arlee, Montana. They serve almost 250 students and are part of the Arlee Joint School District. The student:teacher ratio at Arlee Elementary School is 13:1.
According to state test scores, students at Arlee Elementary fall below the state average. 23% of students are proficient in English and 16% are proficient in math. There is also a high number of low-income students at Arlee Elementary School who also fall significantly below the state average.
305 8th Street North, Great Falls, MT, 59401
The Whittier School is a public PK-6th grade school in Great Falls, Montana. The motto of the Whittier School is “All students can learn and all students will learn.” They aim to be a home away from home for their students and provide a calm, caring, and engaging learning environment. 95% of the teachers at the Whittier School have 3 or more years of experience, which is higher than the state average of 88%.
The Whittier School has a low score for testing and equity. Compared to the state average, students are not as proficient in math and reading as they should be at this level. 26% of students have achieved proficiency in English and just 20% of students have achieved proficiency in math.
112 1st Avenue Southeast, Browning, MT, 59417
Napi Elementary School serves 440 students in grades 4-6. This school is part of the Browning Elementary School District, which has a total of 6 elementary schools. Out of all six schools, Napi Elementary has one of the lowest ratings for test scores.
At Napi Elementary, only 8% of students are proficient in English and 5% of students are proficient in math. They also have a higher student:teacher ratio than the state average with 20 students per teacher.
Arlee Junior High School
72220 Fyant Street, Arlee, MT, 59821
Arlee Junior High School is the middle school that’s part of the Arlee Joint School District. At this school, they have a high number of students participating in advanced courses like Algebra 1. Of the 82% of students who participated in Algebra 1, 78% passed.
However, when it comes to overall state test scores, the students at Arlee Junior High are below the state average. 18% of students are proficient in English and 25% of students are proficient in math. Although Arlee Junior High offers many extra-curricular activities for students, many students are falling behind academically.
Wolf Point High School
213 6th Avenue South, Wolf Point, MT, 59201
Wolf Point High School is a public high school with 231 students. This high school is part of the Wolf Point School District, which aims to create a positive teaching and learning environment for students. They also have a goal of helping students reach academic achievement based on local, state, tribal, and federal standards.
At Wolf Point High School, they do have more participation in AP courses than the state average. 9% of students participate in AP math courses, which is higher than the state average of 3%. However, they have a low college success score with only 13% of graduates pursuing a higher education. This school has ranked low for overall career and college readiness.
Poplar High School
400 4th Avenue West, Poplar, MT, 59255
Poplar High School is a public school in Poplar, Montana with 227 students. This small school is part of the Poplar School District. The mission of all schools in the Poplar School District is to educate students in the academic and social skills they need for success.
Poplar High School has a high graduation rate of 92%, but they score low on college and career readiness based on their average ACT scores and AP course participation score. Only 11% of students graduating from Poplar High School pursue college or a vocational program.
Lodge Grass High School
124 North George Street, Lodge Grass, MT, 59050
Lodge Grass High School is a public high school in the Lodge Grass School District. The mission of this district is to provide a safe, friendly learning environment for students. They also aim to prepare students for the future and empower them to be successful with their attitude, skills, and knowledge.
Lodge Grass High School has a graduation rate of 29%, which is low compared to the state average of 86%. Out of all the graduates, only 5% pursue a public college or vocational program. Based on the graduation rate, average ACT score, and AP course participation, Lodge Grass High School struggles to prepare students for a future career or college.
Montana State University-Billings
1500 University Dr, Billings, MT 59101
Montana State University-Billings is a public college in Billings, Montana. The average annual in-state tuition for this university is $20,258 and they serve over 2,500 students. Montana State University-Billings is located in the largest city in Montana and offers a wide range of academic programs for students to choose from.
This university makes the list due to its low graduation rate and high student loan debt. Montana State University-Billings has a 29% graduation rate and the average student loan debt for undergraduate students is $18,538. This number isn’t high compared to the state average, but it is high compared to the average salary of a Montana State University graduate, which is around $41,907 ten years after enrolling at this university.
Montana State University-Billings in the News!
If the graduation rate of MSU in billings is anything to go off of, this news list isn't going to be all that surprising. Well, perhaps a little bit. Thankfully, though it's exactly the star-spangled school of the east coast, MSU-Billings are making some very positive strides. Here are the headlines that MSU gave us at the time of writing.
Montana State University-Billings professor Paul Pope studies the motivations behind the Jan. 6th insurrectionists.
MSU partners with the Billings Medical Clinic to improve more accurate representation in clinical trials.
Examining Some of the Worst Schools in Montana
No matter what school they attend or where they come from, all students deserve an excellent education. Even though many teachers in schools across the nation do their best to help students succeed, there are often many obstacles that prevent students from succeeding.
At the worst schools in Montana, students are falling behind due to their state test scores, ACT scores, and overall career or college readiness. There are many factors to consider when you’re trying to determine what school is best for your child. If you’re currently looking for a new school, it can be helpful to learn more about each individual school before making a decision.
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