DeKALB – DeKalb High School ranks in the top 10 percent of high schools nationwide according to a list released recently by a national newsmagazine.
U.S. News and World Report’s list 2013 Best High School rankings, released Tuesday, ranks DeKalb High as No. 64 in Illinois and No. 2,047 nationwide. The school at 501 W. Dresser Road earned a silver medal among more than 21,000 public high schools nationwide.
DeKalb Superintendent Jim Briscoe was thrilled when he heard the news.
“I think it speaks leaps and bounds about what our teachers and principals have done over the years,” he said.
The rankings largely were based on student performance on state proficiency tests.
The three-step process involved analyzing reading and math scores while factoring in the percentage of economically disadvantaged students who performed well in these categories.
DeKalb was among the schools where the least-advantaged students – defined in the report as black, Hispanic and low-income – scored above the state average on these tests.
The final step judged the schools nationally on test scores for college-level courses in the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs.
All data for the 2013 report was collected during the 2010-11 school year.
“I think it’s impressive the way the U.S. News analyzed the data,” Briscoe said. “It’s a real good indicator to show how good these schools are that deal with large populations of disadvantaged students.”
DeKalb High School principal Tamra Ropeter said she was excited to know the school was being recognized, but that doesn’t mean school leaders won’t continue working to improve.
“We’re going to shoot for gold,” she said.
Although he was glad the district’s high school was recognized among the other 667 Illinois high schools, Briscoe said all of District 428 should be proud of the award.
“It really isn’t just a reflection of the high school,” he said. “It’s a reflection of the system we have in place, [kindergarten] through [12th grade].”
Ropeter said she hopes this accomplishment shows that DeKalb High School students are adequately prepared when they graduate.
“They will be right up there and be able to compete with the best,” she said. “That’s the goal.”