Several high schools in the Southern Tier area are included on U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 list of the best high schools in the nation.
The list, released Wednesday by the digital news and information company, recognized 5,948 of the nation’s 20,500 public high schools. Schools with gold and silver medals were ranked. Those with bronze weren’t ranked but listed. About seven out of 10 schools weren’t recognized.
Topping the list in this region was Ithaca Senior High School, the only school in the region with a gold medal and ranked 492nd in the nation.
How to learn more: Go to U.S. News to review the rankings
Those getting silver recognition (see table below) were Lansing, Maine-Endwell, Windsor, Johnson City, Union-Endicott, Vestal, Homer and Deposit.
Like attempts at ranking anything, the U.S. News lists of best high schools, colleges and other institutions of learning frequently come under fire from critics. However, U.S. News fully discloses its methodology and news reports show it has adjusted those methods over the years after criticism.
“Top-ranked schools succeed in three main areas: exceeding expectations on state proficiency tests, offering challenging coursework and graduating their students,” Anita Narayan, managing editor of education at U.S. News said in a statement.
The gold and silver schools made it to the list largely based on college readiness of their graduates. The bronze group were high-performing based on state exam performance.
If a school had a graduation rate of lower than 80 percent it didn’t make the cut.
Schools in the list “best serve all of their students — including historically under-served populations — and assess the degree to which students are prepared for college-level coursework,” according to U.S. News.
Schools were evaluated on scores from state reading and mathematics tests, including the proportion of student body that’s economically disadvantaged. U.S. News then analyzed test scores among only historically under-served students, including those who are black, Hispanic and low-income. Schools with test scores outperforming the state averages were selected.
Finally, the schools making it by the first steps were assigned a College Readiness Index based on the percentage of each school’s students who took and passed AP and IB exams, according to U.S. News.
On the list of states ranked by the greatest percentages of schools with gold or silver medals, New York was 11th, tied with Wisconsin. The top 10 states in order were Massachusetts, California, Maryland, Florida, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut (tie), Kansas (tie), New Hampshire and Delaware.
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