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Northside Prep No. 3 in New U.S. Rankings by Newsweek; Lane Tech Closes Gap

By Patty Wetli | September 8, 2014 6:13pm
 Northside College Prep is ranked the No. 3 high school in the nation according to Newsweek magazine. Adjusting for poverty levels, more than a half-dozen other CPS high schools cracked the top 500.
Northside College Prep is ranked the No. 3 high school in the nation according to Newsweek magazine. Adjusting for poverty levels, more than a half-dozen other CPS high schools cracked the top 500.
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NORTH PARK — In Newsweek magazine's latest ranking of the country's top 500 high schools, Northside College Prep vaulted to the No. 3 spot, up from No. 25 in 2013.

No surprise there, as Northside consistently comes out on top in surveys of the best Illinois and Midwest high schools.

But in a new twist on its annual ratings, Newsweek created a second list that shows a number of Chicago high schools are performing extremely well when it comes to helping students overcome socioeconomic obstacles in order to achieve academic success.

Patty Wetli discusses why other Chicago schools made, or were omitted, from the rankings:

While the rankings were released online Monday, the printed version of the magazine comes out Friday.

Based solely on performance, Northside posted impressive numbers across Newsweek's measurement standards, which included college readiness, percentage of students college bound and college graduation rates.

New in 2014, Newsweek created a second "Beating the Odds" list that takes into account a fourth measure — poverty level — and ranks schools on how well they're preparing lower income students for college and closing the achievement gap.

Factoring in socioeconomics, Northside (35.9 percent poverty rate) dropped slightly to No. 7, while Lane Tech (60.9 percent poverty rate) jumped from No. 455 on the first list to No. 67 on the second list.

In addition to Northside College Prep and Lane Tech, Whitney Young and Jones College Prep also made the strictly performance-based list, ranking No. 155 and No. 214, respectively. Jones (51 percent poverty rate) climbed to No. 44 on the adjusted list and Whitney Young (38 percent poverty rate) ranked No. 69.

Several other Chicago Public Schools high schools cracked the top 500 of the second list: Brooks College Prep, No. 235; Lindblom Math and Science Academy, No. 288; DeVry University Advantage Academy, No. 374; and Prosser Career Academy, No. 424.

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