Can't get enough of rankings? The latest high school ones are out from U.S. News and World Report. You might remember the Newsweek rankings that came out some months back that identified many schools throughout the region. Well, U.S. News has found another way to analyze numbers coming from high schools that appears to give greater weight to whether the school's disadvantaged population has done better on state tests than average.

Only three Baltimore County schools and two Howard County schools made the list while four city high schools were honored. For instance, Dulaney High School in Baltimore County was left off, but the Baltimore Freedom Academy was a bronze winner.

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Here's how

U.S. News

describes the process that was used to pick schools:

"We analyzed 21,069 public high schools in 48 states using data from the 2006-2007 school year. This is the total number of public high schools in each state that had grade-12 enrollment and sufficient data to analyze primarily for the 2006-2007 school year. A three-step process determined the best high schools. The first two steps ensured that the schools serve all their students well, using state proficiency standards as the measuring benchmarks. For those schools that made it past the first two steps, a third step assessed the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work."

For many more details, the U.S. News Web site can fill you in, but it is clear that some schools that don't offer Advanced Placement classes were on the list, which seemed hard to understand because one of the criteria used to rank the schools was the number of A.P. classes students took.

Here's the list of 24 Maryland high schools that were mentioned in the rankings in either the gold, silver or bronze category.

Gold (all from Montgomery County)
Walt Whitman, Thomas S. Wootton, Winston Churchill

Silver
Baltimore City College, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Centennial, Eastern Technical in Baltimore County, North Hagerstown, River Hill, Smithsburg Senior, Snow Hill

Bronze
Baltimore Freedom Academy, Cambridge South Dorchester, Crisfield, Hancock Middle Senior High, North Dorchester, Northern Garrett, Southern Garrett, Paul Laurence Dunbar in Baltimore City, South Hagerstown, Washington High, Western High in Baltimore City, Western School of Technology and Environmental Science in Baltimore County

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