U.S. News Again Ranks EPHS Among Top Public High Schools

U.S. News Again Ranks EPHS Among Top Public High Schools

Students work together in an EPHS science class. U.S. News has awarded the school a silver medal for its showing on the magazine's College Readiness Index. (District 401 photo by Dave Porreca)

Elmwood Park High School has climbed to No. 53 in Illinois in the latest edition of U.S. News & World Report's annual assessment of public high schools.

That's 11 places higher than last year's ranking, when the magazine listed EPHS as the state's 64th-best public high school.

For this year's list, the publication evaluated 670 Illinois public high schools, with EPHS placing in the top 8 percent within the state.

Nationally, EPHS placed solidly in the top 10 percent at No. 2,005. That's up 85 spots from last year's ranking of 2,090th.

In all, the magazine considered 20,548 schools, which is the total number of public high schools in the country with a large enough 12th-grade enrollment or sufficient enrollment in other grades to be eligible for the rankings.

"It is good to see Elmwood Park High School continue to be recognized, but even better to know our ranking has improved in accordance with their metrics," said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicolas Wade. "I do feel all the good work that has been done, is being done and will be done will continue to make the high school, and the District and community as a whole, a place for families to continue to come to."

U.S. News released its 2018 results today. The rankings were based on data compiled from the 2015-16 school year.

National Recognition for EPHS College Readiness

EPHS also received a silver medal for its performance on U.S. News' College Readiness Index (CRI), which is based on each school's Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate 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 2,211 remaining schools that had a CRI of at least 21.51, which was the median of all CRI values among high schools with AP or IB test-takers. 

As measured by U.S. News, EPHS had a CRI of 29.8, up from last year's index of 27.1. Forty-two percent of EPHS students took AP exams during 2015-16, and 62 percent of those passed.

Only 54 Illinois schools earned silver medals. Thirteen Illinois schools earned gold medals, and 115 received bronze, which went to otherwise high-achieving schools that did not have AP/IB 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? 

Step 2  Did the school's "historically underserved" 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 80 percent? (EPHS's rate was 85 percent.)

Step 4  How well are students prepared for college-level coursework as measured by participation in and performance on AP or IB exams?

To be ranked nationally, a school had to pass the first three steps and satisfy the fourth step by having a CRI of 21.51 or above.

The Illinois Top 10 at a Glance

For comparison's sake, here are the top 10 Illinois public high schools for 2018 as ranked by U.S. News. The magazine evaluated a total of 670 Illinois public high schools. 

  1. Payton College Preparatory High School, Chicago Public Schools
  2. Northside College Preparatory High School, Chicago Public Schools
  3. Lane Technical High School, Chicago Public Schools
  4. Phoenix Military Academy, Chicago Public Schools
  5. Jones College Prep High School, Chicago Public Schools
  6. Young Magnet High School, Chicago Public Schools
  7. Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Stevenson High School District 125
  8. Proviso Math and Science Academy, Proviso Township High Schools District 209
  9. Lincoln Park High School, Chicago Public Schools
  10. Brooks College Prep Academy High School, Chicago Public Schools

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