Olivia Harrison
August 20, 2015 12:44 pm

Just in time for back to school, Newsweek has published “America’s Top High Schools 2015,” so you can see if you’re heading to the right place. Newsweek’s ranking system assesses American public high schools based on a broad range of data in order to determine which institutions do the best job of preparing students for college.

These rankings have been published for more than a decade, but last year Newsweek began publishing two separate lists in order to “address the complexities of assessing the ‘best’ high schools when students’ socioeconomic backgrounds are taken into account.” Acknowledging these complexities is certainly important. Together with research partner Westat, Newsweek released the two lists yesterday.

America’s Top High Schools” is the ‘absolute’ list that ranks schools solely based on performance, while “Beating The Odds” is a ‘relative’ list that ranks schools based on performance and also accounts for student poverty rates.

Let’s see who made the list. Thomas Jefferson High in Alexandria, Virginia ranked number one with a 100 in “College Readiness,” a 100% graduation rate, and a 99.8% college bound rate. The list also shows that Thomas Jefferson High has a 2.2% poverty rate. Ranking the lowest, at 500, was Big Horn High School in Big Horn, Wyoming. This school only received a 76.2 in “College Readiness.” Big Horn still managed a 100% graduation rate and a 96.6% college bound rate, but it also has a 20% poverty rate.

Head on over to the rankings and see if your school made the list. You can click on each school name to get more information like student retention rate, average AP, SAT, ACT score, counselor-to-student ratio, and much more. Make sure you look to see if the schools include a star next its name. This indicates that it meets Newsweek’s equity measure by helping low-income students score at or above average on state assessments. While you’re waiting for classes to start, have fun exploring.

(Image via iStockPhoto and tumblr.)

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