Niles North, West Unranked by U.S. News
U.S. News and World Report's annual high school rankings are out and School District 219 is unranked.
District 219's Niles North and Niles West high school were unranked in U.S. News and World Report's annual high school rankings. The magazine released their data on Monday.
The number one high school in Illinois is Northside College Preparatory High School in Chicago, according to U.S. News and World Report's annual rankings. The best suburban school: Adlai E. Stevenson in Lincolnshire, coming in at number five.
Despite having the second highest cost per pupil in the state, Niles North and Niles West remained unranked by the magazine for the second straight year.
According to the data, Niles North has a "college readiness" rating of 29.6 out of a possible 100. Its neighbor, Niles West, has a 28.1. In contrast, the number one ranked school has a 92.1 college readiness rating, the magazine said.
In regards to arithmetic and reading, both schools shared the same score with 2.7 for math and 2.6 for reading, according to ranking data. The information suggests that about 60 percent of D219 students are proficient in both subjects while 40 percent are not.
Meanwhile, numerous media outlets have pointed out flaws in the magazine's rankings. The New Republic reports that the rankings are "corrupting" the school system. In 2007, Niles North was awarded with having the best fine arts program in the country. In 2011, the school's science team won ISTA's Excellence in Science award.
Skokie youth not ready for high school -
District 219's class of 2016 will start high school behind, at least according to data from the Explore test. The test was given to all eighth graders in November. Those students are expected to start high school at Niles West or Niles North next year.
The data is in line with the number of students who have been entering the district without meeting benchmarks for high-school readiness in recent years, said Anne Roloff, assistant superintendent if curriculum and instruction.
Roloff reported on the test results at a recent school board meeting.
The benchmarks are set by ACT, which produces a series of tests given by District 219. The series starts with the Explore test, given to incoming eighth-graders, and culminates with the ACT college entrance exam, which is given to all juniors as part of the Prairie State Achievement Exam.
Among next year’s freshman, 79 percent met the benchmark for English and 60 percent met the benchmark for reading.
Only 29 percent of incoming freshmen met the high-school readiness benchmark for science, but Roloff said she and other curriculum directors think ACT’s process for creating the science benchmark is flawed because it only looks at college freshmen who take biology – a group that includes mostly science majors.
Roloff said she was more concerned about students’ math scores, where 44 percent did not meet the benchmark for high school readiness.
District 219 Superintendent Nanciann Gatta said helping those students achieve college readiness – defined as a 22 or higher on the ACT college entrance exam – was the main reason the district eliminated basic-level math classes for freshmen this year.
Michele Martin contributed to this article ~