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US News & World reports Metea Valley’s ranking compared to other high schools in Illinois

Ava Stone
Metea Valley has placed 25th for best high schools in Illinois according to US News & World.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Metea Valley High School number 25 for best high schools in Illinois and number 626 in the nation. Last year, Metea was ranked number 26 in Illinois. 

As the American media company looks at thousands of public schools to identify high performance, there are numerous factors that play a role in the published rankings for Illinois High Schools. To be ranked as a top school both in the particular state and nation, U.S. News & World Report analyzes results in reading, math and science state assessments, the quantity of proficiency scores in college-level exams, high school graduation numbers, and Black, Hispanic and low-income students’ performance on state assessments in comparison with the average for non-underserved students among schools in the same state.

Due to the efforts made by North Carolina-based RTI International, a global nonprofit social science research firm, U.S. News & World Report was able to rank about 17,680 public high schools out of approximately 25,000. These public high schools who were taken into consideration had to obtain 12th grade enrollment of 15 students or greater and or acceptable enrollment in other grades during the 2020-2021 school year to be eligible for a ranking.

According to Principal Daniel DeBruycker, graduation rates are an important indicator of how well a school is succeeding for all its students. However, inconsistency with attendance can play a role in the rankings.

“The higher the absences will negatively impact the dropout and graduation rates which are a part of many ratings. Our chronic absenteeism rate has dropped each of the last two years, but 19% is [still] not good enough” expresses DeBruycker.

As College Readiness is another major indicator in determining a schools ranking, the number of students who earned a proficient score on Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams is crucial.

Math Department Chair Collin Hayes provided English Department Chair Casey Solgos with information on testing abilities at Metea.

“I got some anecdotal evidence that we tend to score significantly higher than both the state and even the national average on many of our AP tests, especially in the junior and senior classes,” Solgos explained.

Payton College Preparatory High School was ranked number 1 in Illinois and number 10 in the nation. This was due to their high percentage of graduation rates, reading proficiency, mathematics proficiency, enrollment in AP Exams, and success rates on AP tests.

In comparison to the number 1 ranked school in Illinois, Metea has a 94% graduation rate, 57% reading proficiency, 55% mathematics proficiency, 50% science proficiency. 65% of enrolled students also took an AP exam. While Payton College Preparatory High School had 95% of students pass at least one AP test, Metea Valley only had 54% of students pass at least one AP test.

Despite these statistics which take a major role in the ranking process, aspects of a school community including culture, community, school spirit, and student teacher connections are characteristics not included with the ranking.

“I think that the intangible things, the things that are difficult to quantify are always more important. Because, you know, humans are way more complex than a data point can ever convey” Solgos says.

The culture of our school community is extremely important to DeBruycker. He believes it is a safe and great learning environment due to the highly educated and trained staff. 

“We take professional development and school improvement very seriously and work together to create a safe learning environment for our students.  Our staff is amazing and when you have a supportive community and very diverse student body that can learn from each other it creates Metea Valley.” 

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About the Contributors
Isabelle Leofanti is a junior and is in her second year on The Stampede as the headlines editor. She is on both the varsity soccer team and varsity swim team here at Metea Valley. In her limited free time, she enjoys hanging out with her friends and family, traveling, shopping, and reading. She is also actively involved in Captains Council, Filling Hearts With Hope, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Rho Kappa Social Studies Honors Society, and National English Honors Society.
Ava Stone is a senior on the graphics team, and this is her second year as a member of the Stampede and she hopes to expand her roles into photography and writing as well as graphics. Some of her hobbies include graphic design, photography, reading, writing, and hanging out with friends. She also enjoys making money at her two jobs: Jojo's Shake Bar and Naperville Yard. After she graduates she hopes to go to college to study psychology. 

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