All four of IUSD’s comprehensive high schools fare well in U.S. News’ latest ranking


U.S. News & World Report released its latest ranking of the country’s “Best High Schools” this week, and all four of IUSD’s comprehensive campuses appear pretty high on the magazine’s list.

School rankings always seem to generate a lot interest nationally, and U.S. News’ breakdown in particular draws a lot of eyes. But, as we’ve said before, it should be noted that different publications use different criteria for evaluating schools, and no one system is infallible. In fact, even the most well-known assessments are occasionally prone to errors.

With that in mind, U.S. News, which last published a ranking in 2009, took a look at nearly 22,000 public high schools for 2012, and Irvine’s campuses all placed within the top 800. Here’s how the publication described its methodology:

U.S. News partnered with the Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research (AIR), which implemented U.S. News’s rankings methodology. To determine the Best High Schools national rankings, schools were first analyzed at the state level in terms of how well students in each school performed on state assessments, taking into account the test scores of disadvantaged students (low-income, Hispanic, and black), who tend to score lower on tests.

High schools that made it through this analysis were then eligible to be ranked nationally, in terms of college readiness. U.S. News determines the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work by analyzing student success in Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, both of which include college-level courses. U.S. News awarded more than 4,850 gold, silver, and bronze medals to the top-performing schools.

In IUSD, Irvine High School ranked at No. 798 nationally and was No. 151 in California, according to the U.S. News report, which had Northwood High ranked 273th nationally and 54th in the state. Woodbridge High held the 677 spot nationally and was ranked 126th in California. University High came in at No. 159 nationally and No. 33 in California.

To check out the full rankings, click here.