Recent U.S. News & World Report rankings place all Bellevue School District high schools as among the top 30 best high schools in Washington state. Rankings include data on nearly 25,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Schools ranked in the top 40% nationally (#7,072 or better) achieved status as U.S. News Best High Schools.
The Best High Schools rankings identify the country’s top-performing public high schools. U.S. News rankings have a goal to provide a picture of how well public schools serve all students in demonstrating proficiency in basic skills, as well as readiness for college-level work.
Congratulations to the students, staff and educators at all Bellevue schools, and especially Bellevue, Bellevue Big Picture, Interlake, International, Newport and Sammamish high schools for this outstanding achievement!
Sources Used for Ranking Calculation
No information was provided directly from high schools. According to U.S. News, the data used to produce the Best High Schools rankings came entirely from the following third-party sources:
- The Common Core of Data is a U.S. Department of Education website, updated annually, that contains basic data on enrollment, student ethnicity and other profile information on all public high schools in the U.S.
- Statewide math, reading and science assessment data used in the 2023-2024 rankings in almost all cases is from the 2018-2019 or 2020-2021 school years. In some cases, it’s an average of the two school years. High school graduation rates data used in the 2023-2024 rankings are from the 2020-2021 school year. The data for both state assessment tests and graduation rates are typically from each state’s education agency website or directly from state education agencies.
- The College Board was the source of the Advanced Placement examination data for each public high school, when applicable, that was used in rankings calculations. The AP exam data used in the analysis is for 12th grade students in the 2020-2021 school year.
- International Baccalaureate was the source of the IB examination data for each public high school, when applicable, that was used to create calculated values. The IB exam data used in the analysis is for 12th grade students in the 2020-2021 school year.
Methodology Used for Ranking Calculation
As stated by U.S. News, the methodology for identifying the top-ranked Best High Schools was developed with a core principle in mind: that the top schools must serve all students well, not just those who plan to attend college, and must produce measurable academic outcomes that support this mission.
To produce the 2023-2024 Best High Schools rankings by U.S. News and RTI International, a global nonprofit social science research firm, schools were rated on the following six measures, and the weights used for each indicator are in parentheses below.
- College readiness (30% of the ranking): This is the percentage of 12th graders from the class of 2020-2021 who took at least one AP or IB exam by the end of their senior year and the percentage of 12th graders who earned a qualifying score on at least one AP or IB exam in high school. Earning a qualifying score is weighted three times more than simply taking the exam.
- College curriculum breadth (10%): This is the percentage of 12th graders from the class of 2020-2021 who took a wide variety of AP and IB courses across the multiple disciplines and the percentage of 12th graders who earned a qualifying score on them. Earning a qualifying score is weighted three times more than taking.
- State assessment proficiency (20%): This measures how well students scored on state assessments that measure proficiency in reading, science and mathematics. This state assessment proficiency indicator is either based on 2020-2021 or 2018-2019 state assessment data or an average of those years.
- State assessment performance (20%): This is the difference between how students performed on state assessments and what U.S. News predicted based on a school’s student body. This state assessment performance indicator is either based on 2020-2021 or 2018-2019 state assessment data or an average of those years.
- Underserved student performance (10%): This is how well the student population receiving subsidized school lunch and Black and Hispanic populations perform on state assessments relative to statewide performance among students not in those subgroups. This state assessment underserved student performance indicator is based on 2018-2019 state assessment data.
- Graduation rate (10%): For the 2023-2024 rankings, the graduation rate corresponds to the 2021 high school class graduation cohort who would have entered ninth grade in the 2017-2018 school year. High school graduation rates were collected directly from each state along with the math, reading and science assessment data.