Mahomet-Seymour High School made the list of U.S. News and World Report annual report of The Best High Schools.
The highest ranked high school in downstate Illinois, Mahomet-Seymour came in at 32 in the state and at 1299 out of 20,548 high schools in the nation, earning a Silver Medal.
Both public and charter school are part of the rankings. Private schools are not included in the rankings because in almost all cases, students are not required to take the statewide accountability tests that are mandatory for U.S. public high schools.
U.S. News and World Report awards Gold, Silver and Bronze medals to those schools that demonstrate high levels of performance on standardized tests in conjunction with students’ demonstration of college mastery.
The 2018 rankings, which were based on 2015-2016 school year data looked at students who took Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams. There were 972 students in Mahomet-Seymour High School in 2015-2016 and 43 percent of the students took the exams.
While all high schools were eligible to be evaluated, U.S. News started out reviewing 28,813 public high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. That number was reduced to 20,548 schools that were eligible to be ranked.
According to usnews.com, schools go through a four-step process for eligibility to be ranked:
STEP 1 | Students exceeded expectations in their states.
US News looked at whether each school’s relative performance in its state reading and mathematics assessments exceeded expectations, factoring in the proportion of its student body that is economically disadvantaged and projected to score lower.
STEP 2 | Underserved students performed better than the state average.
Next, US News compared each school’s reading and mathematics assessment scores among only their historically underserved students – black, Hispanic and low-income – with the average statewide results for these subgroups. US News selected schools that outperformed their state averages.
STEP 3 | Student graduation rates met a threshold.
US News excluded schools from consideration if their graduation rates were lower than 80 percent.
STEP 4 | Students were prepared for college-level coursework.
For schools passing the first three steps, US News calculated a College Readiness Index based on the percentages of each school’s students who took and passed AP and IB exams. Tiebreakers determined the ranks of schools achieving the same CRI.
Mahomet-Seymour moved up on the list from number 60 in the state and 1940 nationally last year. Last year’s rankings were based on 2014-2015 school year information.
“This gain is testament to the hard work and dedication from our students, staff and community,” a press release from Superintendent Lindsey Hall said.
“The Board of Education and administration would like to recognize and thank the entire PreK-12 staff in Mahomet-Seymour CUSD #3 as this ranking reflects their hard work, dedication and commitment to the students in all grade levels. The students, staff and community take great pride in their school(s) and have worked together to create a culture of excellence and high expectations that is consistent with our motto, ‘Committed to Excellence’.”