2 LWSD High Schools Ranked Among Top 20 In Washington: U.S. News

The annual U.S. News & World Report high school rankings are out. See where Lake Washington School District schools ranked.

By Neal McNamara , Patch Staff | Apr 30, 2019 1:53 pm ET | Courtesy of Patch.com

LWSD had six schools on the 2019 best high schools list. (Shutterstock)

LWSD had six schools on the 2019 best high schools list. (Shutterstock)

KIRKLAND, WA — For the second year in a row, Kirkland's International Community School was ranked the No. 2 best high school in the state in U.S. News and World Report's annual high school rankings.

ICS was one of six Lake Washington School District high schools to make the list, which included 17,000 schools from across the U.S. Although Bellevue's International School beat ICS for the No. 1 spot, the high school was ranked the best in the state for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curriculum.

The five other LWSD schools that made the list include: Redmond High (No. 14 in Washington); Lake Washington High (No. 22); Juanita High (No. 29); Eastlake High School (No. 73); and Futures School (No. 125).

Redmond High School made a notable improvement over the 2018 rankings, when it was ranked No. 21 in the state overall.

U.S. News & World Report is the gold standard for education rankings and is widely considered the global authority. Anita Narayan, managing editor of education at U.S. News, said the aim of the rankings is to give families more information about the schools in their district.

"By evaluating more schools than ever before, the new edition expands that focus so all communities can see which schools in their area are successfully serving their students — including historically underserved populations," Narayan said in a news release.

Here are the top 10 high schools in Washington, according to U.S. News:

  1. International School, Bellevue

  2. International Community School (Lake Washington School District), Kirkland

  3. Aviation High School (Highline School District), Tukwila

  4. Newport Senior High School, Bellevue

  5. Bellevue High School

  6. Mercer Island High School

  7. Garfield High School (Seattle Public Schools), Seattle

  8. Bainbridge High School, Bainbridge Island

  9. Bridgeport High School, Bridgeport

  10. Interlake Senior High School, Bellevue

The factors considered in compiling the list include college readiness; reading and math proficiency; reading and math performance; underserved student performance; college curriculum breadth; and graduation rates. College readiness measures participation and performance on advanced placement and international baccalaureate exams.

The data also take into account school enrollment, student diversity, participation in free and reduced-price meal programs, graduation rates and the results of state assessment tests. U.S. News worked with the global research firm RTI International to rank the schools.

"We enhanced the methodology to provide an even more comprehensive ranking that is easier to understand and, therefore, more useful to parents and educators," Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News, said in a news release. "Now, each school's score correlates to its national percentile — a school with a score of 70 is in the 70th percentile and ranks higher than 70 percent of schools. Going forward, this methodology will allow for intuitive comparisons of a school's performance year after year."

The top 10 schools are in 10 different states, demonstrating that a high-quality education can be found across the country, the report said. Those schools are:

  1. Academic Magnet High School, South Carolina

  2. Maine School of Science and Mathematics

  3. BASIS Scottsdale, Arizona

  4. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Virginia

  5. Central Magnet School, Tennessee

  6. Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology, Georgia

  7. Haas Hall Academy, Arkansas

  8. International Academy of Macomb, Michigan

  9. Payton College Preparatory High School, Illinois

  10. Signature School, Indiana

Several of those schools also were included among rankings for specialized schools.

The top five schools nationally for an education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM schools, are:

  1. High Technology High School, New Jersey

  2. BASIS Scottsdale, Arizona

  3. BASIS Peoria, Arizona

  4. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Georgia

  5. The Early College at Guilford, North Carolina

Charter and magnet schools performed well in the rankings, U.S. News said. Within the top 5 percent of ranked schools, a third are either charter or magnet. In the national rankings, more than 18 percent are charter schools, and 15 percent are magnet schools.

Arizona had three of the top five charter high schools in the country. They are:

  1. BASIS Scottsdale, Arizona

  2. Haas Hall Academy, Arkansas

  3. Signature Academy, Indiana

  4. BASIS Chandler, Arizona

  5. BASIS Peoria, Arizona

The top five magnet high schools are:

  1. Academic Magnet High School, South Carolina

  2. Maine School of Science and Mathematics

  3. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Virginia

  4. Central Magnet School, Tennessee

  5. International Academy of Macomb, Michigan

In the state-by-state performance, based on the number of high schools in the top 25 percent of national rankings, Massachusetts was the leader. This year, nearly half — 48.8 percent — of the commonwealth's high schools were ranked in the top 25 percent of high schools. Maryland was second with 43.7 percent, followed by California, with 40 percent, and Connecticut, with 39.8 percent in the top 25 percent of schools ranked nationally.

Overall, only seven states had more than a third of their schools in the top 25 percent, and 20 states had 25 percent or more of their schools in the top 25 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, 22 states had fewer than 20 percent of their high schools in the top 25 percent, and seven had fewer than 10 percent of schools in the top tier. South Dakota's schools finished at the bottom of the list since it was the only state that didn't give U.S. News permission to use advanced placement data in the rankings. Even so, 1.9 percent of South Dakota's schools finished in the top 25 percent of rankings.

The full list is available exclusively on usnews.com.