Is your high school tops, a basement dweller or somewhere in the mushy middle?

Illinois’ best high school is Northside College Preparatory High School for the second year in a row, according to U.S. News & World Report.

All of the top 10 Illinois high schools received gold medals, the magazine’s highest level in the rankings. Chicago Public Schools get a bad rap regularly, but five of the top Illinois 10 are Chicago schools and five are suburban. Four of the top five are city schools, that outranked their suburban counterparts.

The publication releases a list of the nation’s best high schools every year. For the 2014 list, they partnered with American Institutes for Research to rank more than 19,400 public high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia:

AIR implemented the U.S. News 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.

Northside College Preparatory High School, number one in Illinois, was ranked at number 36 nationwide, with a 93.3-point college readiness index,  3.6-point math and reading proficiency scores, and has a 17 to 1 student to teacher ratio.

According to the rankers, the School for the Talented and Gifted, in Dallas, Tex., is the number one public high school in the country. It was given a 100-point college readiness index, a 3.8 geometry proficiency, a 3.6 reading proficiency and has a 17 to 1 student to teacher ratio.

U.S. News and World Report used the same methodology as they did for their 2013 list, analyzing all 19,411 public high schools that had sufficient enrollment and data in 2011-2012 school year. They first looked at whether or not the students at a given school were performing better in reading and math than other students in their state, factoring in low-income students, who U.S. News says tend to score lower. AIR and U.S. News then checked to see whether students who were statistically expected to score lower–which they defined as ” black, Hispanic and low-income” students–were performing better than average compared to other similar students in their state. Finally, they looked at college readiness performance in each of the high schools, based on Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate.

Schools were then given gold, silver or bronze medals:

As a result of the three-step rankings process, 24.2 percent of the 19,411 eligible public high schools were awarded a gold, silver or bronze medal: 2,688 high schools – 13.8 percent of the eligible schools – were awarded bronze medals; 1,519 high schools – 7.8 percent – were awarded silver medals; and 500 high schools – 2.6 percent – were awarded gold medals.

Which schools made the list? Scroll down to see a slideshow of the top 10 Illinois high schools. 

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