Oak Park and River Forest High School was just ranked the 34th best public high school in Illinois. That is up 5 spots from last year in the U.S. News rankings.

Let’s start with our doubts about the efficacy of these rankings. Fully data driven, the rankings use just 6 factors to create the rankings. They are what they are.

When we publish this information each year, it leads to some chatter along the lines of, “Why isn’t OPRF higher?” “Look at the taxes we pay!” “How come New Trier is always ahead of us?”

A few notes: Eleven of the schools ahead of OPRF on the list are selective enrollment, meaning they pick their students; their students don’t pick them. And public high schools, including New Trier, Hinsdale Central, Glenbrook and Glenbard place higher than OPRF.

They are substantially less diverse, notably more affluent than OPRF. That’s the explanation. Our high school is richly diverse, more complex and that’s the joy of living in Oak Park and River Forest.

Celebrate it.

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