US News gives silver ranking to Mercer Island HS
By REPORTER STAFF
Mercer Island Reporter Staff
October 25, 2011 · 9:01 AM
The U.S. News ranking looked at more than 21,000 public high schools in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Sixteen schools in King County made the list with four listed in the top 100 (a gold ranking), including Bellevue High School and Newport High School. Nine King County schools, including Mercer Island High School, were ranked in the next set and given a ‘silver ranking.’
A three-step process determined the best high schools. The first two steps ensured that the schools serve all their students well, using state proficiency standards as the benchmarks. For those schools that made it past the first two steps, a third step assessed the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work.
The first step determined whether each school’s students were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in the state. Next, for those schools that made it past this first step, the second step determined whether the school’s least-advantaged students (black, Hispanic and low income) were performing better than average for similar students in the state. Schools that made it through the first two steps became eligible to be judged nationally on the final step, college-readiness performance, using Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate test data as the benchmarks for success, depending on which program was largest at the school.
Mercer Island, however, does not require its students to take AP or IB classes or take the exams that are given at the end of the class. Individual scores can be used to waive academic requirements at some colleges.
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