Palatine's High Schools Ranked Among Best in State

Fremd and Palatine High School were two of 51 silver medal schools in Illinois, according to the U.S. News ranking.

Both of Palatine's high schools were ranked among the top schools in Illinois, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools Rankings.

was ranked 40 and was ranked 50 among 672 Illinois schools.

The 2012 rankings were released online May 8. Both schools were two of 51 silver medal schools in Illinois.

The top ranked school in the state is Northside College Preparatory High School in Chicago. Numerous Lake County high schools were ranked high on the list including Stevenson High School, #5; Deerfield High School, #7; and Highland Park High School, #12.

Barrington High School was ranked #26 and Lake Zurich High School was #39.

To produce the 2012 U.S.News & World Report Best High Schools rankings, U.S. News teamed up with the Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research (AIR), one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world. 

AIR implemented U.S. News's comprehensive rankings methodology, which is based on the key principles that a great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college-bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show the school is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators, according to an explanation of the methodology used in U.S. News to determine the best high school rankings.

LZHS was awarded a silver medal because it met criteria for top-level ranking. Gold and silver medals went to schools which have performance levels that exceed statistical expectations; proficiency rates on state tests for disadvantaged students; and prepare students for college. 

Kelly D May 10, 2012 at 06:27 PM
I do not agree that this is good news. D211 is the 13th highest paid district in the state. Apparently we are aiming for mediocrity. Unfortunately this shows that paying teachers more does not yield better performance.
Bucephalus May 10, 2012 at 07:58 PM
You are drawing huge assumptions from one, probably incorrect, study. Let's dive a little deeper onto the schools themselves. Has anyone ever seen a study, test results, personal stories, or ANYTHING, besides this one that puts Conant above Fremd? Anything that puts Elk Grove above Fremd? Maine South? The majority of the score differences come from their "College Readiness Index," which is used by no other organization in rating schools. Compare Fremd, #40, with Hersey, #10. Their test scores are just about equal in everything until you look at "College-Ready Student Performance." Fremd scores a 33.4 while Hersey a 52.9. Now, that's all based on AP data so look a little closer at that. Hersey has a higher percentage of students taking it, yes, but look at the exam pass rate. Hersey has an 82%, Fremd an 88%. Each Fremd AP taker takes an average of 4.7 tests to Hersey's 4.2. And when you do the math on that, the average Fremd AP taker has 4.5 quality (I believe that to be a "3" or higher) exams to Hersey's 3.8. Now there is a slightly larger achievement gap on minority students at Fremd, but nowhere near enough to justify a 30 place drop off. It seems that the single largest criteria is AP participation. I'll grant you that that's an important thing for a good school to have, but I don't think it's worthy of the massive disparity in rankings that this study shows. It should be taken with a huge grain of salt.


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