The magazine U.S. News & World Report, which has achieved a strong reputation for ranking organizations like colleges and various businesses, has declared Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland, and Northside College Preparatory High School in Chicago, Illinois, to be the top high schools in their respective states.
Northside came in 40th in the national rankings, while Winston Churchill came in 75th.
The magazine says it bases its ranking on test scores, graduation rates, availability of Advanced Placement classes, and something called “college readiness.”
In addition, the magazine compares each school’s math and reading proficiency rates for disadvantaged students—black, Hispanic and low-income—with the statewide results for these student groups and then selects schools that are performing better than their state averages.
For the record, the rankings are not based in any way on student or staff happiness. The Maryland State Department of Education issued a short press release about the magazine’s rankings, but no one was quoted in the release as making any comments about the rankings.