Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Riverside High, Wade Hampton High, Greenville High Academy, and Berea High are among the top-ranked high schools in South Carolina and the nation, according to the US News Best High Schools rankings. Riverside, Wade Hampton, and Greenville earned Silver Medals for their accomplishments.
- Riverside High ranks #6 in SC and #1,081 in the nation.
- Wade Hampton High ranks #7 in SC and #1,159 in the nation.
- Greenville High Academy ranks #9 in SC and #1,253 in the nation.
- Berea High earned a Bronze Medal for accomplishing the first two steps of the three-step methodology used to rank high schools.
The U.S. News rankings include data on more than 19,400 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Schools were awarded gold, silver or bronze medals based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college.
A three-step process determined the Best High Schools. The first two steps ensured that the schools serve all of their students well, using performance on state proficiency tests 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.
Step 1: The first step determined whether each school's students were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in the state. They started by looking at reading and math results for all students on each state's high school proficiency tests. They then factored in the percentage of economically disadvantaged students enrolled at the school to identify the schools that were performing better than statistical expectations.
Step 2: 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. They compared each school's math and reading proficiency rates for disadvantaged students with the statewide results for these student groups and then selected schools that were performing better than this state average.
Step 3: 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 or International Baccalaureate test data as the benchmarks for success. This third step measured which schools produced the best college-level achievement for the highest percentages of their students.