Two states with the most schools earning a bronze medal topped the list for the second year in a row, a state-by-state analysis of the bronze medal 2014 Best High Schools shows.
In a state with mainly bronze medal schools, the 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.]
U.S. News nationally ranked the 4,707 highest-scoring schools as gold, silver or bronze. The 500 gold and 1,519 silver medal winners are the total number of 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 18.17 scored high enough to meet the level of achievement needed for gold and silver medal selection. An additional 2,688 high schools that only passed the first two steps in the methodology were awarded bronze medals and are listed alphabetically.
While bronze medal high schools have demonstrated commendable performance on their state tests, they did not meet all the requirements of Step 3 in the methodology. These bronze medal schools had a College Readiness Index of less than the median; that is, they did not perform well enough on the index to merit inclusion as a top-performing gold or silver medal high school.
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, 1,398, or 52 percent of the bronze medal schools, did not offer any AP or IB courses.
This year's rankings covered all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The state-by-state bronze medal rankings are based on the unrounded percent of schools with bronze medals carried to many decimal places, so there were no ties.
The table below shows the state-by-state breakdown of bronze medals in the 2014 Best High Schools rankings.
|State-by-state rank||State||Number of eligible high schools*||Total number of schools awarded 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|
*Number of schools that had a valid state performance index (used in Step 1 of the methodology), regardless of whether they had a valid College Readiness Index.
Corrected on May 2, 2014: A previous version of this post misstated three state abbreviations.