By Keith Meisel, firstname.lastname@example.org
5:24 PM EDT, May 16, 2012
Catonsville High School and Western School of Technology and Environmental Science were among the nine Baltimore County public high schools to receive gold, silver or bronze medals based on rankings by US News & World Report.
Catonsville ranked sixth in the county and 25 in the state.
Western was seventh in the county and 39 in the state.
Eastern Tech, the county's top high school, was among four county schools in the state's top 15.
Carver Center for Arts and Technology, a magnet high school in Towson, was second in the county and 11 in Maryland.
Dulaney was third in the county and 13 in the state, followed by its rivals, Towson (fourth in the county, 14 in the state) and Hereford (fifth in the county, 22 in the state).
The survey, published May 8 on the US News website, considered a number of factors, including Advanced Placement performance, overall student performance and "proficiency on state exams among typically underperforming subgroups."
The report also included a "college readiness" ranking that included students' scores on "exams to earn college credit and (who) demonstrate success at college-level course work."
For Catonsville, US News said 91 percent of its students are proficient in English studies and 93 percent in algebra.
Its score for college readiness was 40, as 48 percent of its students took AP tests and 37 percent passed.
For Western, a magnet public high school, the report said 99 percent of its students are proficient in English studies and 98 percent in algebra.
Its score for college readiness was 27.1, as 38 percent of its students took AP tests and 23 percent passed.
For Lansdowne High, US News said 80 percent of its students are proficient in English studies and 82 percent in algebra.
Its score for college readiness was 15.2, as 27 percent of its students took AP tests and 11 percent passed.
US News noted that for the entire school district, the average was 85 percent for English; 86 percent for algebra and a 25.2 rating for college readiness.
According to the US News website, 21,776 schools in 49 states (Nebraska did not report enough data to be included) and the District of Columbia were studied.
The rankings were based on three categories.
• The school's students were compared with the average student in the state. This was based on reading and math results for all students on each state's high school proficiency tests. The percentage of economically disadvantaged students, "who tend to score lower," according to the report, was then factored in.
• In the next step, the math and reading proficiency rates for the school's least-advantaged students (black, Hispanic, and low-income) were compared with statewide results to see if they were performing better than average for similar students in the state.
• The schools' college-level achievement for the highest percentages of their students was done by dividing the number of seniors in 2009-2010 who took at least one AP test before or during their senior year by the school's total number of seniors. The number of students who passed an AP test (score of 3 or better) was then factored in.
The report named 500 gold, 1,508 silver and 2,869 bronze medal winners.
The top seven schools in Maryland were all from Montgomery County.
Staff writer Jon Meoli contributed to this article.