The 2018 U.S. News Best High Schools
rankings, released today, can help to identify top-notch schools in our area and see how these schools stack up nationally. To be eligible for a state ranking, a school must be awarded a national gold, silver or bronze medal.
Schools are ranked based on their performance on state-required tests and how well they
prepare students for college.
The 2018 rankings methodology reincorporated IB data, which were not available last year. And for the second year, U.S. News used tiebreakers to determine numerical ranks for schools that performed equally in the final step.
Winston Churchill HS
is ranked #1 in the state, with a gold medal, and #113
in the National Rankings.
Thomas S Wootton HS
is ranked #3 in the state, with a gold medal, and #168 in the National Rankings
Quince Orchard HS
is ranked #5 in the state, with a gold medal, and #243 in the National Rankings
is ranked #20 in the state, with a silver medal, coming in #806 in the National Rankings
To create the rankings, U.S. News started with more than 28,800 public high schools across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Five hundred high schools earned gold medals, 2,211 received silver medals and 3,237 schools scored
bronze medals in the national rankings.
U.S. News used a four-step
methodology to evaluate high schools and create the rankings, with the help of North Carolina-based research firm RTI International.
The first step
focused on student performance on state-mandated math and reading tests during 2015-2016. Schools
had to perform better than statistically expected on these tests in their state, given their student poverty levels, to make it to the next step.
The second step
factored in the testing performance of a school's historically underserved students – those of black,
Hispanic and low-income backgrounds – compared with the state average.
The third step
took into account a high school's graduation rate. A school needed to boast a rounded graduation rate
of at least 80 percent, which is higher than the threshold used for last year's rankings – 75 percent.
The final step
determined if a school's national ranking was a gold, silver or bronze medal. In this fourth step, U.S.
News looked at how well the remaining schools prepared students for college based on student participation in and performance on AP and IB exams.
Without successfully meeting Steps 1-3 as described above, schools were not eligible for the national competition for a gold, silver or bronze medal and don't appear in the rankings.
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