The 2014 U.S. News Best High Schools rankings, released today, feature information on more than 19,000 eligible schools. High school performance has been under the spotlight recently, as the Obama administration announced awards earlier this month totaling more than $100 million to help schools prepare students for in-demand careers in fields including health care, technology and engineering.
The data show that receiving a gold medal is truly a rarity among the public high schools that U.S. News evaluated for this ranking. Only 2.8 percent of eligible schools received a gold medal. That number represents the top 500 schools and is calculated using a combination of state assessments and college readiness scores. Silver medals were awarded to just 8.6 percent of eligible schools.
In general, states along the East Coast outperformed the rest of the country in winning gold medals. Connecticut had the highest percentage of gold medal schools of any state in the country, with 9 percent of eligible schools earning the top award.
Enrollment at gold medal schools ranged from fewer than 100 students to more than 5,000. Five gold medal schools tied for a student-teacher ratio of 10-to-1 – the lowest among gold medal winners.
The graphic below illustrates these figures and more data from the 2014 Best High Schools rankings. Check out the full rankings for more information on individual states, districts and schools. You can also follow the High School Notes blog for the latest news and information for parents about American high school education.