Newsweek has named the top 500 public high schools in the country, just in time for Illinois students to head back to the classroom. Instead of only basing the rankings on the number of students who are taking Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests and graduation rates, Newsweek released two lists. One is the "absolute list" of the top 10 schools in the country and the other lists the top 10 schools for low-income students in an effort to identify schools that help students "overcome the obstacles posed by socio-economic inequality."
It will come as no surprise that this list is dominated by schools in areas with high average income and low racial diversity. So we produced a second list that takes into consideration how well schools serve students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds--measured by the percentage of students qualifying for free school lunches. There is almost no overlap in the top 10 schools on each list. Thomas Jefferson was in 14th place in the second list, while the top school serving low-income students, Emma Lazarus High School in New York, was 21st on the absolute list.
But there is at least one significant overlap: One Chicago school was listed in the top 10 for both the absolute list and the list of schools with a high percentage of poverty.
The school ranked as the number one public high school in the country is Thomas Jefferson High in Alexandra, Va., in the 99th percentile for college-readiness and the 78th percentile for graduation rates. The top school with a high percentage of low-income students is Emma Lazarus High School in New York City, in the 99th percentile for college-readiness and the 86th percentile for graduation rates, with more than 93 percent of its students in poverty.
Illinois had 16 high schools make it into the top 500 high schools list (all in northern Illinois). Northside College Preparatory High School was the only one in the top 10. There were four in the top 100.
Here are eight of the Illinois schools that made it in the top 500 public high schools in the country on Newsweek's absolute list.
473. Warren Township High
455. Lane Technical High School
376. Prospect High School
374. Dunlap High School
359. Maine South High School
349. Wheaton North High School
230. Proviso Math and Science Academy
214. Jones College Prep High School
Check out the eight other schools in Illinois that were listed among the top 200 schools in the country, including one that was ranked in the top 10 for both the absolute list and the low-income list.
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