U.S. News & World Report released the fourth edition of the Best High School rankings on May 8. The list indicated that five Aldine ISD campuses made the 2012 rankings: Aldine Senior High School, Carver High School, Eisenhower Senior High School, MacArthur Senior High School, and Nimitz Senior High School.
While previous high school rankings (2007, 2008, 2009) such as the last one published in December 2009 included information on 1,800 schools, the 2012 rankings include data on 21,776 public high schools from 49 states and the District of Columbia. This is the total number of public high schools that had 12th-grade enrollment and sufficient data, primarily from the 2009-2010 school year, to analyze. (Nebraska did not report enough data to be included.)
U.S. News & World Report partnered with the Washington, DC-based American Institutes for Research (AIR), one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world. AIR implemented U.S. News’ rankings methodology. To determine the Best High Schools national rankings, schools were first analyzed at the state level in terms of how well students in each school performed on state assessments, taking into account the test scores of disadvantaged students (low-income, Hispanic, and black), who tend to score lower on tests. The methodology used is based on key principles that great schools must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college-bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show the school is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators.
High schools that made it through this analysis were then eligible to be ranked nationally, in terms of college readiness. U.S. News determined the degree to which schools prepared students for college-level work by analyzing student success in Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, both of which included college-level courses. U.S. News awarded more than 4,850 medals to the top-performing schools. Of the schools analyzed, only 2% earned gold, 7% ranked silver and 13% received bronze awards.
Three Aldine ISD campuses earned Silver Awards in the 2012 Rankings: Aldine Senior High School, Carver High School, and MacArthur Senior High School. This is the first year Aldine Senior made the list. Carver High earned a Bronze in 2007. Both Carver High and MacArthur Senior earned Bronze Medals in 2008. In the 2009 rankings, Carver High and MacArthur Senior earned a Silver Medal and a Bronze Medal respectively.
Nimitz Senior High School and Eisenhower Senior High School received Bronze Medals in the 2012 Rankings. This is the first year both campuses made the list.
Gold Medals went to schools with the highest unrounded college readiness index values, which were numerically ranked No. 1 to 500. Only 26 high schools achieved the maximum 100.0 college readiness index. Silver Medals went to the next group of high schools with the highest unrounded college readiness indexes and were numerically ranked No. 500 to 2,008. An additional 2,869 high schools that passed the first two steps in the methodology were awarded Bronze Medals and are listed alphabetically. A Bronze Medal school either does not offer any AP or IB courses, or its college readiness index fell short of the median (16.3) to be ranked silver. There were three key changes — a larger proportion of medal-winning schools, more numerically ranked schools, and a lower college readiness threshold to decide medal status — in the 2012 Best High Schools rankings methodology compared to the last edition published in December 2009. The result of these changes is that nearly three times more high schools were ranked as gold, silver or bronze in the 2012 rankings compared to 2009. However, a high school still needed to be among the top performers in the state and on the national level to be a ranked school.
To read more about the methodology used to select schools and to view the rankings, visit U.S. News website.
(Copyright 2012 U.S. News & World Report, L.P. All rights reserved. Story information from “America’s best high school, 2012” by Laura McMullen and “Best High Schools Methodology” by Robert Morse for U.S. News & World Report.)