Oct 18, 2021 - News
Best schools in Illinois
A chart that ranks the best schools in Illinois.
Data: U.S. News; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Chicago scored big with both high schools and grade schools in this year's rankings of the top 10 schools in the state, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Why it matters: The Chicago Public School system is often maligned for its failures but also runs the best schools in the state.

Context: Schools are ranked through a combination of state-required test results, graduation rates and how students are prepared for college.

Key takeaways: Chicago schools represented are all either selective-enrollment or magnet schools. No neighborhood schools were in the top 10.

  • Walter Payton High School takes the top spot. The CPS selective-enrollment school was also 4th overall in the national rankings.
  • Hancock Prep cracked the top 10. The selective enrollment school has the highest percentage of minority students of the top schools and is the only school from Chicago's South Side to make the list.
  • The suburbs are well represented with Lake Forest High School and Stevenson. But traditional powerhouse New Trier didn't make the top 10, coming in at #13.

Go deeper: Is your school not in the top 10? Find the more comprehensive rankings here.

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