Whitney Young H.S. Ranked Fourth in U.S. News & World Report Illinois High School Ranking
Lee Edwards | 5/21/2015, 3:48 p.m.
Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, 211 S. Laflin St. in Chicago, is the fourth best high school in the state according to the 2015 U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of Illinois best high schools. Ten other Chicago Public Schools (CPS) appeared on the list where six of them were ranked in the top 10.
U.S. News and World Report assessed schools based on overall student performance on state-required tests; how schools educated least-advantaged students; and how well they prepared students for college based on participation in and performance on Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate exams.
“We are proud to be recognized by U.S. News and World Report for our excellence in our academics,” said Whitney Young assistant principal Matthew Swanson. “We strive for high achievement in everything that we do. These students take the AP classes that count for this ranking and we encourage all of our students to take those AP rigorous courses because we feel like that is going to get them on track to be successful in college.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel offered his congratulations to CPS, the recognized institutions and the students.
“Chicago is the proud home to more of the top performing high schools than any city in the state,” said Emanuel. “I applaud the hard work of our students, and also the teachers, parents and school leaders who have supported them in attaining success in the classroom—without whom this would not be possible. [The] report is further evidence of the progress being made by Chicago Public Schools and the bright future ahead for our students in college, career and in life.”
CPS students’ participation in AP college-level coursework has increased by 40 percent, and Chicago ranks second in the nation of school districts with the most African-American students enrolled in AP courses, according to the College Board since 2011. AP courses in high school are distinguished by their higher difficulty and college credit upon completion.
Whitney Young offers 31 AP courses.
“As a school we host grade level course informational sessions for students and their parents, AP informational meetings, Course Fair, and individual counseling sessions that encourage and program students for AP courses,” said Whitney Young Dean of Students, Felicia Clotworty. “Whitney Young students are expected to take a minimum of at least one AP course before graduation, though we have many students who, on average, are enrolled in as many as 4-6 Advanced Placement courses.”
Whitney Young students are accepted into AP courses based on overall academic achievement, teacher recommendations and standardized test scores after meeting with school counselors. Approximately 1,500 Whitney Young students take at least one AP course.
Whitney Young was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon Schools (NBRS) Program as one of the finest high schools in the country in 2011.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
Notable Whitney Young alumni are First Lady Michelle Obama and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Basketball champion Jahlil Okafor.
The Chicago Public Schools system serves 396,000 students in 665 schools.