Harrison High School Receives Bronze Medal in Ranking of Nation’s Best High Schools

Disregard your feeling towards Mile Miles, (past Superintendent), great news for District 2.

US News and World Report announced its ranking of the Nation’s Best High Schools this week. The 2012 edition includes data on 21,776 public schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The schools were first analyzed at the state level on how students in each school performed on state assessments. The schools that made it through this initial analysis were then eligible for national ranking, in terms of college readiness. Final data awarded 4,877 of the nation’s top-performing schools with a gold, silver, or bronze designation.

With a bronze medal rating, Harrison High School was in the top 22% of high schools that prepare students for college, outperforming 16,899 other schools across the nation.

When considering your child’s education, it may be hard not to focus on the potential loans needed to pay for college or the outlook of the post-graduation job market. Sending your child to a top high school can ease that transition into the adult world. Often, students who graduate from a great high school do so with college credits, scholarship money, and marketable skills.

To help guide you through the universe of public high schools, U.S. News today released the fourth edition of the Best High Schools rankings, available exclusively online. While the previous high school rankings published in December 2009 included information on 1,800 schools, the 2012 rankings include data on nearly 22,000 public high schools from 49 states and the District of Columbia. (Nebraska did not report enough data to be included in the rankings.)

U.S. News partnered with the Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research (AIR), which implemented U.S. News‘s 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.

High schools that made it through this analysis were then eligible to be ranked nationally, in terms of college readiness. U.S. News determines the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work by analyzing student success in Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, both of which include college-level courses. U.S. News awarded more than 4,850 gold, silver, and bronze medals to the top-performing schools.

[View a slide show of the top 10 Best High Schools.]

In the 2009 rankings of Best High Schools, U.S. News awarded 100 gold medals. This year, that number soared to 500, many of which went to California high schools. The Golden State is home to the largest number of gold medal high schools (97), as well as the largest total number of schools that were awarded gold, silver, or bronze medals (577).

There are 68 gold medal schools in New York and 46 in Texas, including the School for the Talented and Gifted (ranked No. 1 nationally) and the School of Science and Engineering Magnet (ranked No. 3 nationally), both located in the Dallas Independent School District.

Often referred to as “TAG,” the School for the Talented and Gifted claimed the top spot in the 2012 rankings. Ranked fifth in 2009, TAG topped Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ), in Alexandria, Va., which was ranked first in the previous three editions of the U.S. News rankings.

At the nation’s top high school, TAG students are pushed to be college-ready before they graduate. TAG students must take at least 11 AP courses in order to graduate and have opportunities to conduct field research through partnerships with local universities and take courses such as Web Mastery.

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