THE BLOG
09/19/2014 11:10 am ET Updated Nov 19, 2014

Illinois Has 21 of the Best High-Poverty High Schools in the Country

Illinois had 16 schools in Newsweek's new rankings of the top 500 high schools in the country. But in a different list that focused on low-income students, Illinois placed: 21 high schools in the Top 500.

The magazine's "absolute" list of the 500 best public high schools in the country based on students' college readiness, graduation rates and how many students from those schools were college-bound. Illinois had 16 high schools on that list, and Northside College Preparatory High School was No. 3 among all high schools in the country.

The second list focuses on schools with high percentages of low-income students. Newsweek said the second list was part of an effort to "overcome the obstacles posed by socio-economic inequality."

From Newsweek:

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.

Northside College Preparatory High School was named the No. 7 best school in the country when its percentage of low-income students (35.9 percent) was taken into account. There were 20 other Illinois high schools on this list.

Here are seven schools that made it in the top 500 in Newsweek's list for schools with high poverty rates.

494. Dunlap High School

424. Prosser Career Academy High Shool

374. Devry Advantage Academy High School

339. Wheeling High School

330. Elverado High School

288. Lindblom Math and Science Academy

270. Wheaton North High School

See 14 more Illinois schools that made the list at Reboot Illinois to find out if your school was among the top 21 in the state.

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