CDN – The rankings for Alabama’s top high schools were released by U.S. News and World Report on Tuesday, featuring two area high schools.
Fairview, a school in the Cullman County system, was placed at the 48th best school in Alabama. The school bolstered a 93% graduation percentage and a 21.0 on the college readiness scale, and an AP participation of 46%.
Cullman High School made the rankings once again, falling five spots to number 19 from last year’s report. Cullman had a graduation percentage of 93%, while they received a 29.9 on the college readiness scale and an AP participation of 48%.
Another local school that just missed the top 100 was West Point High, which came in at 110.
There were 359 high schools in Alabama that were ranked in this years report.
The U.S. News Best High Schools rankings include data on more than 24,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly 18,000 schools were ranked on six factors based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college.
What were the sources of information that U.S. News used to calculate the 2020 Best High Schools rankings?
U.S. News does not collect nor accept information directly from high schools. The data used to produce the Best High Schools rankings came entirely from the following third-party sources:
• The Common Core of Data is the U.S. Department of Education’s website, updated annually, that contains basic data on enrollment, student ethnicity and other profile information on all public high schools in the U.S. The DOEd collects data directly from the schools themselves, school districts or state departments of education, which is reflected on usnews.com.
• Statewide math and reading level assessment tests and high school graduation rates data used in the 2020 rankings in all cases is from the 2017-2018 school year. The data is typically from each state’s education agency websites or directly from state education agencies.
• The College Board was the source of the Advanced Placement examination data for each public high school, when applicable, that was used in rankings calculations. The AP exam data used in the analysis is for 12th grade students in the 2017-2018 school year.
• International Baccalaureate was the source of the IB examination data for each public high school, when applicable, that was used to create calculated values. The IB exam data used in the analysis is for the 12th grade students in the 2017-2018 school year.
What methodology was used to calculate the 2020 Best High Schools rankings?
- College readiness (30% of the ranking): The percentage of 12th graders from the class of 2017-2018 who took at least one AP or IB exam during high school and the percentage of 12th graders who passed at least one AP or IB exam in high school. Passing is weighted three times more than taking.
- College curriculum breadth (10%): The percentage of 12th graders from the class of 2017-2018 who took a wide variety of AP and IB courses across the multiple disciplines and the percentage of 12th graders who passed them. Passing is weighted three times more than taking.
- Reading and math proficiency (20%): Measures how well students scored on state assessments that measure proficiency in reading and mathematics. Passing these assessments can be required for graduation. Examples of assessments include Smarter Balanced in California and STAAR in Texas.
- Reading and math performance (20%): The difference between how students performed on state assessments and what U.S. News predicted based on a school’s student body. U.S. News’ modeling across all 50 states and the District of Columbia indicates that the proportions of students who receive subsidized school lunch, are black and are Hispanic, are highly predictive of a school’s reading and math scores.
- Underserved student performance (10%): How well the student population receiving subsidized school lunch, and black and Hispanic populations perform on state assessments relative to statewide performance among students not in those subgroups.
- Graduation rate (10%): For the 2020 rankings, the graduation rate corresponds to the 2018 graduation cohort who would have entered ninth grade in the 2014-15 school year. The high school graduation rates were collected directly from each state along with the math and reading assessment data.