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Lake Forest High School Ranked 15th in State

U.S. News & World Report releases 4th annual edition.

 

is ranked 15th in the state, and 439th nationally, according to the annual U.S. News & World Report article ranking the best high schools in the nation.

The data used was based on the 2009-10 school year. The rankings were drawn from a pool of 22,000 public high schools in 49 states as well as the District of Columbia, and methodology included test scores, state assessments and college-level coursework, such as AP or IB programs.

Lake Forest was listed as 82 percent proficient in reading and 84 percent proficient in math based on Advanced Placement and International Baccelaureate exams, according to the magazine.

The high school was awarded one of 20 gold medals in the state, and a high school must achieve a gold or silver status to be eligible for the state ranking, according to the magazine.

The No. 1 high school in Illinois was Northside College Prepatory in Chicago, followed by Walter Payton College Prepatory in Chicago, Jonas College Prep in Chicago. Whitney Young Magnet in Chicago, and Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire rounded out the top five. Deerfield High School was ranked 7th, Highland Park achieved 12th, New Trier 13th, Libertyville 16th, Vernon Hills 18th, and Glenbrook North was 19th in the top 20.

Nationally, the top high school was the School for Talented and Gifted in Dallas, followed by Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va., and the School of Science and Engineering Magnet in Dallas.

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Really? May 10, 2012 at 03:37 PM
How does LFHS end up 15th in IL with 0% disadvantaged and 8% minority students as compared to the other top schools from CPS with at least 30% disadvantaged and over 50% minority? Lane Tech is particularly impressive, with 4192 students, 70% minority, 65% disadvantaged, 18:1 teacher:student and yet accomplish 86 and 83 proficiency in Reading & Math, respectively. Hmmm....Should we not look closer at Lake Forest? We have a 13:1 teacher:student and achieved a lower "college readiness" score (47 vs 53). Or, are we going to brush this article off as meaningless?
Ryan T May 11, 2012 at 06:01 PM
As a student at the high school, I can tell you that these rankings are meaningless. They're based off of the scores from tests such as the PSAE, which no student at the high school actually takes seriously. Moreover, these rankings are usually weighed quite heavily on the number of students taking AP or IB course, the latter of which aren't even offered at LFHS. This system automatically puts LFHS at a disadvantage simply due to the size of our school, and also because we don't just throw kids who shouldn't be in AP courses into them, simply to help out with useless rankings like these. If you want a true sense of how great of a school Lake Forest is and how talented the students here are, I suggest you look at the ACT rankings, where we consistently rank in the top 3 or 5 in the state.
Ralph Keen May 11, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Thank you, Ryan. I'm a LFHS parent and was shocked by what appeared to be a drastic drop in the rankings. You've clarified that this is based on different metrics (some details of which may be, as you say, meaningless). The other thing I'd point out is that magnet schools are included in this ranking, which will inevitably distort the standing of schools like ours.
Really? May 11, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Why do you say Magnet schools distort? Are you familiar with their entrance procedures? I am. I don't suggest that LFHS is not a fine school. I only suggest that for what we invest per student, the fact that our student population does not deal with outside factors that come along with being from a disadvantaged background and that our teachers are dealing with pretty much a homogeneous population, I would expect the findings to be reflective of such.
Really? May 11, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Additionally, my example, Lane Tech, is not a Magnet school.
Ralph Keen May 11, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Schools with selective admissions will usually have better numbers than those that don't, which is why including magnet schools in these rankings results in a lower rating for LFHS than it occupies in most lists in which magnet schools are taken out of the equation. You do, however, have a good point, Shirley, about the different demographics. Given the resources we have, what's needed is for parents and school personnel to raise the question of what can be done to make it a better school. That is, unless everyone's perfectly content with how it is.
Really? May 11, 2012 at 07:21 PM
It depends on the Magnet school & its mission. Further, when analyzing the data, you will also notice said schools also fall within the >30% disadvantaged and >50% minority. All I am trying to say, knowing full well this is not the full picture, but it is a significant part, will we look at this? A great deal of our tax dollars goes into our schools. I had 2 of my 3 children go through LFHS (another went to a private Arts school in Chicago). I do not like to see our ranking drop from when my children attended.

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