2021 “Best High Schools” by U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report has released its 2021 “Best High Schools” list. The list, which uses information from the 2018-2019 school year, is based on the six factors explained below:
- College readiness (30% of the ranking): The percentage of 12th graders from the class of 2018-2019 who took at least one AP or IB exam by the end of their senior year and the percentage of 12th graders who earned a qualifying score on at least one AP or IB exam in high school. Earning a qualifying score is weighted three times more than taking.
- College curriculum breadth (10%): The percentage of 12th graders from the class of 2018-2019 who took a wide variety of AP and IB courses across the multiple disciplines and the percentage of 12th graders who earned a qualifying score on them. Earning a qualifying score is weighted three times more than taking.
- Reading and math proficiency (20%):Measures how well students scored on state assessments that measure proficiency in reading and mathematics. Passing these assessments can be required for graduation. Examples of assessments include Smarter Balanced in California and STAAR in Texas.
- Reading and math performance (20%): The difference between how students performed on state assessments and what U.S. News predicted based on a school’s student body. U.S. News’ modeling across all 50 states and the District of Columbia indicates that the percentage of students from historically underserved subgroups – defined as Black students, Hispanic students, and students who are eligible for free and reduced price lunch – are highly predictive of a school’s reading and math scores.
- Underserved student performance (10%): How well the student population receiving subsidized school lunch and Black and Hispanic populations perform on state assessments relative to statewide performance among students not in those subgroups.
- Graduation rate (10%): For the 2021 rankings, the graduation rate corresponds to the 2019 graduation cohort who would have entered ninth grade in the 2015-2016 school year. The high school graduation rates were collected directly from each state along with the math and reading assessment data.
The list contains 263 public high schools coming from 25 districts in the state of Maryland. 4 of the top 5 schools in the state are in Montgomery County– Whitman (ranked first this year), Poolesville (last year’s number 1), Wootton (ranked fourth) and Churchill (ranked fifth).
Montgomery County School Rankings can be seen below (Thomas Edison High School of Technology was not included in the rankings.):
State Ranking/School/National Ranking