By the Numbers
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The charts track statistics for 233 public high schools in Chicago's six-county metro area. They include data from most of the high schools in the city, as well as the rest of Cook County and all of DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties. In most instances the chart does not include alternative, evening, occupational, or other specialty high schools, nor schools composed primarily of underclassmen.
Chicago collected the statistics for this chart from the vast array of information reported by administrators at each school to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for the 2005-2006 school year, the latest data available. School districts are required to report this information to the state every year, some of it broken down by individual schools and in other instances using a district-wide figure. On the chart, district-wide figures are noted with an asterisk (*) at the top of the column; in the section of the chart devoted to the city of Chicago, the figures in asterisked columns may vary for charter schools.
Chicago has not ranked or scored the high schools, instead letting the numbers reported to the ISBE speak for themselves. In the final column, headed "Spending vs. ACT Score"—a new category for our school rankings—we have evaluated schools' test scores as they relate to money spent per student. For more information about this new category, see the explanation below.
Symbols on the chart indicate the highest (↑) and lowest (↓) figures in selected categories.
Highest and lowest figures are indicated only in selected categories; the chart does not note the highest and lowest numbers in columns relating to race or ethnicity, nor in the columns describing limited English, low-income students, and minority teachers. There are some ties; for instance, 11 schools had a 100 percent graduation rate.
Also, where relevant, we have listed in these notes the median for each category. The median is the midpoint for each category; half of all the schools report a higher figure than the median, while half report a lower figure. Use the median to determine how far above or below the midpoint a school falls. (Chicago calculated the median using only those schools that submitted data; any data unreported, denoted by "N/A," did not affect the given median.) While most Chicago-area high schools serve grades 9 to 12, we have indicated with the symbol (†) those schools that serve a different set of grade levels.
Annotations and analyses on enrollment, class size, attendance rates, spending, and more can be found on the following pages.