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Photo courtesy of Mario Matos
Photo courtesy of Mario Matos
Nicholas Scales, MHS history teacher, meets with the AP U.S. History class.

This Queens school is quickly moving up the ranks of the city’s best public high schools.

After opening in 2011, Maspeth High School (MHS) is certainly making an impression, so much so that the New York Post has listed it in their top 40 public high schools in NYC.

The article by Mary Kay Linge ranks MHS as the 27th best public high school in the entire city, lauding the school’s attention to language classes and its focus on the arts.

“A new school — established in 2011 — that’s old-school, built on the classical concepts of grammar, dialectics and rhetoric,” the article stated. “All students take four years of Latin, with Greek and Mandarin also offered, plus four years of theater, music, dance or visual arts. Boasts nearly 50 clubs, including a top debate team, and 17 PSAL sports.”

The Post’s high-school ranking system is based on the latest available state and city data, using these factors:

  • Four-year-graduation rate (weight: 10 percent)
  • Percent of students scoring over 85 on Regents Integrated Algebra and Regents English Language Arts exams, including Common Core (20 percent)
  • Number of students taking Advanced Placement exams (7.5 percent)
  • Percent scoring a passing 3, 4 or 5 on AP exams (22.5 percent)
  • Number taking SAT exams (10 percent)
  • Average total SAT scores (30 percent)*

It should also be noted that adjustments were made for schools that offer International Baccalaureate diplomas or college-level courses instead of AP and those which assess students by portfolios instead of state Regents exams.

“It feels like we’ve established a starting point on the road map of where we ultimately have to go,” said Khurshid Abdul Mutakabbir, founding principal of MHS. “Now it’s been made public that we do exist, our graduation data for the first class is out there and all of our other data, so we know what we have to improve upon and we know what we have to do to ultimately move up the rankings and become what we ultimately desire, which is the number one open enrollment high school in the city.”

According to the stated factors, MHS has:

  • Graduation rate: 97 percent
  • College ready: 50 percent
  • College enrollment: N/A
  • Percent taking SAT: 90
  • Average total SAT score: 1427
  • Number taking AP tests: 101
  • AP pass rate: 55.4 percent

“[We are working] to improve our college readiness percentage,” Mutakabbirs said. “I think that’s the one piece that would require the most work, and also to provide students with more support around their SATs, SAT scores, to bump up SAT scores as well.”

The school’s principal is also looking to increase collaboration between the administration, teachers, parents and students in order to improve communication and rank even higher next year.

* SAT scores from 2014-15 were based on math, critical reading and writing sections with a maximum 2400 score. The SAT has since made the essay optional and returned to a 1600-point scale.

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