Payton College Prep tops 2018 list of Illinois' best high schools

Payton College Prep

Students outside Walter Payton College Prep High School. | Sun Times file

For a school to be eligible, students must also do well on statewide tests and graduate at high rates, according to U.S. News.

Davis High School ranked 754 and the Academy for Math, Engineering and Science - or AMES - ranked 985. The top states with more than 25 percent of their public high schools receiving gold or silver medals were MA and California.

The selective-enrollment Payton College Prep High School topped the state's list, followed by last year's leader Northside College Prep.

A total of 104 bronze medals were awarded in Iowa based on graduation rates and how the schools performed on state assessments. About 70 percent did not receive a medal.

The schools were first ranked based on whether students were performing "better than statistically expected" based on their state's high school proficiency tests.

Lenox placed in the top 2 percent of all schools in the nation.

Next, each school's reading and mathematics assessment scores are compared among their historically underserved students - black, Hispanic and low-income - with the average statewide results for those subgroups. "Congratulations and thank you for your hard work!" Overall, 10 percent of the schools awarded medals nationwide in this year's rankings are charter high schools, the magazine reported.

An analysis of how states compare in the national rankings shows that MA came out on top.

Only two percent of the nation's high schools earn gold medal status, with 11 percent - including Ocean Springs - gaining silver medal recognition.

The charter group operates 21 schools in the state, three of them in Scottsdale.

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