How States Compare Among Bronze Medal High Schools

Mississippi has the strongest bronze medal showing in the 2013 Best High Schools rankings.

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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
Mississippi 245 77 31.4% 73 29.8%
North Dakota 102 30 29.4% 29 28.4%
Wyoming 63 19 30.2% 17 27.0%
Missouri 486 152 31.3% 126 25.9%
Louisiana 302 80 26.5% 72 23.8%
Oklahoma 403 111 27.5% 94 23.3%
Idaho 159 46 28.9% 37 23.3%
South Dakota 134 38 28.4% 30 22.4%
Alaska 95 31 32.6% 21 22.1%
Hawaii 50 11 22.0% 11 22.0%
New Mexico 160 46 28.8% 33 20.6%
Iowa 347 92 26.5% 71 20.5%
Tennessee 324 89 27.5% 66 20.4%
Alabama 362 90 24.9% 72 19.9%
Oregon 282 88 31.2% 55 19.5%
Utah 143 38 26.6% 26 18.2%
Arizona 413 123 29.8% 72 17.4%
West Virginia 116 27 23.3% 20 17.2%
Michigan 769 206 26.8% 131 17.0%
District of Columbia 30 9 30.0% 5 16.7%
Arkansas 270 79 29.3% 45 16.7%
Kentucky 230 58 25.2% 38 16.5%
Minnesota 566 136 24.0% 90 15.9%
Indiana 368 105 28.5% 58 15.8%
Wisconsin 446 113 25.3% 66 14.8%
Washington 455 122 26.8% 67 14.7%
Pennsylvania 673 168 25.0% 99 14.7%
Texas 1,469 410 27.9% 211 14.4%
South Carolina 204 48 23.5% 29 14.2%
Virginia 319 96 30.1% 45 14.1%
Ohio 813 234 28.8% 109 13.4%
Colorado 350 83 23.7% 44 12.6%
North Carolina 498 104 20.9% 55 11.0%
Delaware 37 7 18.9% 4 10.8%
Illinois 640 138 21.6% 69 10.8%
Georgia 411 88 21.4% 41 10.0%
Rhode Island 51 10 19.6% 5 9.8%
New York 1,109 283 25.5% 107 9.6%
Vermont 58 14 24.1% 5 8.6%
New Hampshire 82 19 23.2% 7 8.5%
California 1,799 630 35.0% 129 7.2%
Maine 114 23 20.2% 8 7.0%
New Jersey 388 81 20.9% 27 7.0%
Nevada 115 11 9.6% 8 7.0%
Kansas 307 31 10.1% 21 6.8%
Massachusetts 345 76 22.0% 22 6.4%
Florida 573 119 20.8% 30 5.2%
Montana 110 13 11.8% 5 4.5%
Maryland 226 64 28.3% 6 2.7%
Connecticut 185 39 21.1% 4 2.2%

* 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.