U.S. News & World Report, a national news magazine that conducts annual rankings of high schools, has ranked Oak Park and River Forest High School as the 34th best public high school in the state of Illinois.

OPRF jumped five spots this year in the U.S. News rankings. It was ranked 39th last year. U.S. News ranked OPRF as the 907th best public high school in the nation.

This year the first five spots in the state rankings were, as usual, taken by selective-enrollment Chicago Public High Schools. Payton College Prep was ranked as the top public high school in the state. Eleven of the schools ranked higher than OPRF are selective enrollment, otherwise known as magnet, high schools.

Stevenson High School, which was ranked sixth, was the highest ranked nonselective-enrollment high school. OPRF ranked behind schools such as Hinsdale Central (10th), New Trier (14th), Glenbrook South (16th), Glenbrook North (20th), Westmont (24th), and Glenbard West (29th).

OPRF was ranked ahead of conference rivals York (36th) and Lyons Township High School (41st). OPRF also was ranked slightly ahead of Evanston Township High School, a school to which they are often compared, which was ranked 38th in the state by U.S. News.

“While it’s gratifying to see OPRF in the top 5% of Illinois high schools, and the top 3% nationally, our goal is continuous improvement, regardless of how we’re ranked,” said Superintendent Greg Johnson.

“We’re focused on always getting better at providing an equitably excellent educational experience for every student, every day,”

U.S. News uses six factors to rank high schools: college readiness (30%), state assessment proficiency (20%), state assessment performance (20%), college curriculum breadth (10%), underserved student performance (10%) and graduation rate (10%).

The state test data analyzed by U.S. News comes from the 2021-22 school year since the Illinois data won’t be publicly released until this fall.

OPRF did best in the state assessment proficiency category, measuring how students did in state-mandated tests, ranking 23rd in the state in that category. OPRF was ranked 32nd in state assessment performance, which measures performance on state-mandated tests while adjusting for the number of students who are Black, Hispanic or from low-income households.

OPRF ranked 50th in the state on U.S. News’ College Curriculum Breadth Index and 52nd in College Readiness, measures that are based on the number of students taking Advanced Placement classes and their performance on AP exams.

OPRF’s worst category was graduation rate. Its 95% graduation rate ranked tied for 145th in the state, according the U.S. News.

“We know that attendance is incredibly important for student success and over the past two years we have worked deliberately to help get our students in school as much as possible so that they can benefit from the excellent education that we’re able to offer here.” Johnson said.

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