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US News High School rankings

WATERLOO — Four Northeast Iowa schools were in the top 10 percent for the state and the top quarter nationally in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 ranking of Best High Schools.

The rankings, released today, include 319 Iowa public high schools as the magazine revamped and expanded its evaluation. More than 17,000 schools nationwide are numerically ranked, up from 2,700 last year, according to U.S. News. As a result, nearly all high schools in Iowa and across the country have a ranking.

Based on the 2016-17 school year, rankings measure college readiness, college curriculum breadth, reading and math proficiency and performance, underserved student performance and graduation rate.

Decorah High School was the highest ranked among Northeast Iowa schools, third at the state level and 1,119 nationally. It was one of seven Iowa schools among the top 10 percent across the country. Ames was the highest ranked Iowa high school, coming in at 916th nationally.

Other top northeast Iowa high schools are in the Cedar Valley. Cedar Falls was 11th in the state and 2,054th nationally, Hudson was 23rd and 3,136th, and Denver was 30th and 3,636th. The 32 highest ranked schools in Iowa were in the top 25 percent nationally.

U.S. News’ college readiness and curriculum measures look at the percentage of 12th graders taking and passing Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses. The math and reading measures look at student performance on state assessments. The underserved student measure looks at how black, Hispanic and those receiving subsidized school lunch fare on state assessments.

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Other high schools in and around Black Hawk County were all over the rankings map. At the state level, Waverly-Shell Rock High School was next in line at 59th. On the state rankings, Waterloo’s high schools came in at 170th for West and 196th for East while Expo High School was unranked.

Expo is among nearly 6,000 high schools that are not included in the national ranking. Dike-New Hartford, Dunkerton and Union high schools are included in the ranking, but assigned to a range of numbers accounting for the bottom third of Iowa schools. Being part of the number range rather than assigned a specific numeral means the high schools were in the bottom quarter of the national ranking.

The U.S. News evaluation included separate rankings of charter and magnet high schools. Northeast Iowa Charter High School in Maynard was 603 out of 1,760 on the Best High School Charter rankings. The charter school, part of West Central Community Schools, came in at 67 on the state rankings and 7,191 on the national rankings.

Based on the percentage of a state’s high schools in the top 25 percent of the rankings, Iowa came in at 45th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Massachusetts is the top-ranked state, with 48.8 percent of its schools in the top 25 percent nationally.

For more information on the rankings, go online to https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools?src=usn_pr.

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Education Reporter

Education reporter for the Courier

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