A state-by-state breakdown of the bronze medal 2013 Best High Schools, displayed in the table below, shows that Mississippi is the top performer, with 29.8 percent of its eligible schools earning a bronze medal. North Dakota came in second with 28.4 percent, and Wyoming was third with 27 percent.
If a state has mainly bronze medal schools, it means that its top-performing schools don't offer much or any access to college-level Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate course work.
[See how states stacked up in gold and silver medals.]
In total, U.S. News nationally ranked the 4,805 highest-scoring schools as gold, silver or bronze. The gold and silver medal levels include the top-performing high schools, which met all the criteria in the three-step Best High Schools rankings methodology.
Only schools that had college readiness index values at or above 14.8 scored high enough to meet the level of achievement needed for gold and silver medal selection. An additional 2,515 high schools that only passed the first two steps in the methodology were awarded bronze medals and are listed alphabetically.
A bronze medal high school did not meet all the requirements of Step 3 in the methodology. These schools have demonstrated commendable performance on their state tests, but did not perform well enough on the college readiness index to merit inclusion as a top-performing gold or silver medal high school; that is, a bronze medal school had a CRI of less than the median.
Either these schools have not provided as much access or any access to college-level AP or IB course work as their top-performing peers, or they offer an alternative program to AP or IB, such as dual enrollment at a local community college. In total, 1,194, or 47 percent of the bronze medal schools, did not offer any AP or IB courses.
This year's rankings covered 49 states and the District of Columbia. Nebraska did not provide enough assessment data for its schools to be eligible for a medal. In addition, Hawaii only had bronze medal winners since it did not give U.S. News permission to use AP or IB scores from its state's high schools.
|State||Number of eligible high schools*||Total number of schools with a gold, silver or bronze medal||Percent of total schools with a gold, silver or bronze medal||Total number of schools with bronze medals||Percent of schools with bronze medals|
|District of Columbia||30||9||30.0%||5||16.7%|
* Number of schools that, at a minimum, served at least 15 students in 12th grade and could be expected to award high school diplomas, and therefore eligible to be part of the rankings analysis.