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Lincoln Prep Earns Top High School Rank in KCMO

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Kansas City, April 21, 2020:  Kansas City’s “Castle On the Hill” continues to gain prominence as a beacon of public education, according to new national rankings.

Lincoln College Preparatory Academy is the best high school in the Kansas City, Mo., region and the fourth best out of 599 high schools in the state of Missouri, according to 2020 rankings by U.S. News & World Report. The school was ranked 294th in the nation, placing it in the top two percent, and is the 71st best magnet school.

Lincoln College Preparatory Academy Tigers Logo

These new regional, state and national rankings for Lincoln Prep are evidence of the long-term, strategic focus across Kansas City Public Schools on individualized and responsive instruction, rigorous curriculum and a high-quality team of educators, according to Superintendent Mark Bedell.

“We are extremely proud of Lincoln Prep’s students, families and staff for this achievement. They earned this through their incredible focus, resiliency and hard work,” Dr. Bedell said. “What’s exciting to me is that we see the same kind of effort and growth at all of our schools in KCPS. Our goal is always to be number one.”

Lincoln Prep is one of six high schools within KCPS. It is an International Baccalaureate (IB) school where students in grades 9-12 are immersed in rigorous, globally focused classes and have the opportunity to earn the IB diploma, widely considered to be the most prestigious type of high school diploma in the world.

Lincoln High School Band Members of 1917

Group photograph of unidentified African American boys dressed in band uniforms holding their musical instruments. Identified on the drum as the Lincoln High School Cadet Band and Orchestra. The director, Major N. Clark Smith, is standing in the center next to the doors. The photograph was taken from p. 45 of the 1917 Lincoln High School yearbook. (PHOTO CREDIT: Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri.)

Lincoln High School was founded in 1865 and, for many decades, was the only public secondary school in the region for African Americans. It earned a national reputation for its high-quality education and for producing generations of leaders who had a positive impact on the city and around the world, including the poet Melvin Tolson, suffragist Ida Bowman Becks and Civil Rights activist Florynce Kennedy.

Its nickname as the “Castle On the Hill” is due to Lincoln Prep’s high standards combined with its historic campus at the top of the ridge on Woodland Avenue, facing downtown Kansas City, Mo.

Lincoln Prep’s rankings were driven by outstanding achievements in a wide variety of academic measures, including a 99 percent graduation rate in a school where 85 percent of the students are minorities and 100 percent come from households that are considered “economically disadvantaged.” In addition, about 90 percent of the students completed IB exams, and their results were better than the world average. Lincoln Prep students also out-perform state averages in reading and math proficiency.

"Lincoln College Preparatory Academy is proud to be recognized as one of the top high schools in the city, state and nation," Principal Kristian Foster said. "Our students and staff work extremely hard to continue the tradition of Lincoln’s academic excellence and they truly deserve this distinction. Kansas City deserves a school like LCPA, and we love our community!"

This year marks a new baseline for Lincoln Prep in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings. The publication did not include any IB exam results in 2018 or 2019, which meant lower rankings for high schools like Lincoln Prep, where most students take IB rather than Advanced Placement tests. Those IB exam results were included this year.

Visit to learn more about Lincoln College Preparatory Academy.