EPHS Ranks Among Top High Schools in Illinois and Nation

EPHS Ranks Among Top High Schools in Illinois and Nation

PHOTO: EPHS students excelled in this year's U.S. News rankings. Scroll down to see the top 10 public high schools in Illinois, according to U.S. News.

Elmwood Park High School is ranked No. 64 in Illinois in the latest edition of U.S. News & World Report's annual assessment of public high schools.

U.S. News considered 658 Illinois schools, placing EPHS among the top 10 percent in the state.

Seven of the Illinois schools that finished above EPHS are selective-enrollment schools. Among fellow open-enrollment high schools, EPHS ranked 57th.

Nationally, EPHS ranked No. 2,090 — nearly finishing among the top 10 percent in the entire country.

In all, the magazine considered 20,487 schools, which is the total number of public high schools with a large enough 12th-grade enrollment or sufficient enrollment in other grades to be eligible for the rankings.

U.S. News released its 2017 results this week. The rankings were based on data compiled from the 2014-15 school year.

National Recognition for EPHS College Readiness

EPHS also received a silver medal in recognition of its performance on U.S. News' College Readiness Index (CRI), which is based on each school's Advanced Placement participation rate and how well its students performed on those tests.

The 500 schools with the highest CRI values earned gold medals. 

Silver medals went to the 2,109 remaining schools that had a CRI of at least 20.91, which was the median of all CRI values among high schools with AP test-takers. 

As measured by U.S. News, EPHS had a CRI of 27.1. Thirty-six percent of EPHS students took AP exams during 2014-15, and 67 percent of those passed.

Only 67 Illinois schools earned silver medals. Fourteen Illinois schools earned gold medals, and 114 received bronze, which went to otherwise high-achieving schools that did not have AP test-takers or had a CRI below the national median.

What the Rankings Mean

To assemble its rankings, the magazine worked with North Carolina-based RTI International, a global nonprofit social science research firm. Together they used a four-step process to analyze each school:

Step 1  Did the school's students perform better than expected on the math and reading portions of their state proficiency test? (In Illinois, this test is the PARCC assessment.) 

Step 2  Did the school's disadvantaged students perform better than the state average on the math and reading portions of their state proficiency test?

Step 3  Did student graduation rates meet or exceed the national standard (75 percent)? (EPHS's rate was 86 percent.)

Step 4  Are students prepared for college-level coursework as measured by AP test data?

To be ranked nationally, a school had to pass the first three steps and satisfy the fourth step by having a CRI of 20.91 or above.

"It is very good to see that our AP scores continue to impress," said Dr. Nicolas Wade, District 401 Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction, "but it is clear that the amount and quality of work our teachers have put into adjusting their curriculum has positively impacted a majority of our students.

"The PARCC, regardless of what we may think about its roll out and political meaning, is a rigorous assessment, and our students and staff have met those expectations. I look forward to continuing such work and adjustments with the staff and administration to move up in our ranking."

The Illinois Top 10 at a Glance

For comparison's sake, here are the top 10 Illinois public high schools for 2017 as ranked by U.S. News. Click the name of each school to see the school's performance data:

  1. Northside College Preparatory High School, Chicago Public Schools
  2. Payton College Preparatory High School, Chicago Public Schools
  3. Jones College Prep High School, Chicago Public Schools
  4. Young Magnet High School, Chicago Public Schools
  5. Lane Technical High School, Chicago Public Schools
  6. Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Stevenson High School District 125
  7. Hinsdale Central High School, Hinsdale Township High School District 86
  8. Lincoln Park High School, Chicago Public Schools
  9. Prospect High School, Township High School District 214 
  10. Brooks College Prep Academy High School, Chicago Public Schools

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