D207 Makes US News List of Best High Schools

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D207 schools make US News List
Posted on 05/15/2018
Maine Township High School District 207 congratulates Maine West and Maine East high schools for their inclusion in the 2018 U.S. News and World Report Best High School rankings, with Maine West ranked 27th and Maine East 46th among the state’s 670 public high schools. 

In ranking schools, U.S. News and World Report utilizes a four-step process consisting of:
  • Students exceeding expectations on the state test, controlling for the school’s percentage of low-income students.
  • Underserved students performing better than the state average.
  • Student graduation rates meeting a threshold
  • Students prepared for college-level coursework.

  • Because of US News’ emphasis on achievement among low-income students and racial minorities, District 207 is pleased by the inclusion of Maine East and Maine West, both of which have made a concerted effort to better serve these students, who constitute a large percentage of enrollment at both schools. This marks the fourth consecutive year that US News has included Maine East and the second time in four years that it has included Maine West.

    While US News does not include Maine South on its 2018 list, District 207 believes this is an anomaly that has also resulted in exclusion from the list such schools as New Trier, Prospect, Fremd, Barrington, Deerfield, Highland Park, Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South high schools.

    While Maine South’s graduation rates and percentage of students prepared for college-level coursework are among the state’s highest, US News eliminated Maine South from consideration because the school did not meet its first criterion: Exceeding expectations on the state test in comparison to schools with similar low-income populations.  While Maine South students did exceed expected performance, they did not do so by a sufficiently large margin to meet the news magazine’s established standard. Maine East and Maine West, on the other hand, far outperformed schools with similar low-income populations.

    Further, the 2018 US News Best High School rankings were again primarily based on state testing in the 2015-2016 school year, which was the second and final year that the PARCC (Common Core) assessments were administered in Illinois high schools.  Meaningful evaluation of PARCC results has been difficult because unlike previous testing, which used the junior level ACT test that every junior in Illinois took annually, districts were permitted to administer different assessments to different groups of students at different grade levels.  We expect - now that the SAT has become the standardized test administered to all juniors at all Illinois high schools, meaning that all students are evaluated on the same exam - that all three District 207 schools will earn spots on the US News list in future years.
  • Maine North High School
  • Frost Academy