America's Best Award

picture Congratulations!   U.S. News & World Reports have released their annual high school rankings.  University School received the ‘Silver’ medal award, was ranked 5th in Tennessee and was the highest ranking school in Northeast Tennessee!  University School also received a National ranking of #695 out of 19,411 public high schools eligible for the rankings! 



icon The following article was printed in East Tennessee State University Accent, volume 11, April 29th, 2014 :

picture University School ranked fifth in state by U.S.News

JOHNSON CITY – The “Best High School” rankings recently published by U.S.News & World Report lists University School as fifth in the state.

University School is located on the East Tennessee State University campus and is governed under the auspices of the Claudius G. Clemmer College of Education.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from U.S.News & World Report,” said Dr. Doyle Brinson, director of University School. “Our faculty, staff, students and parents work very hard to make these types of awards happen and the full credit goes to them.”

The fifth-place ranking puts University School at the top of the listing of high schools from the Northeast Tennessee region.   According to U.S.News, the rankings were determined based on a variety of factors, including math and reading proficiency exam scores, performance of disadvantaged students, and advanced placement data. U.S.News reviewed 31,242 U.S. public schools for this year’s rankings, and 88 schools in Tennessee are included.

University School enrolls 506 students in grades K-12 and employs 32 full-time teachers.

“As evidenced by its continued high ranking by U.S. News, University School continues its long tradition of providing exceptional educational opportunities to its students, and the school is also a primary teaching lab for our students in the Clemmer College of Education,” said Dr. Angela Lewis, ETSU interim dean of Education. “I have been particularly pleased with the school’s expansion of its AP courses offerings and dual enrollment, which provide high quality academic challenges for its students.” 



Methodology used for  How U.S. News Calculated the 2014 Best High Schools Rankings :

To produce the 2014 U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools rankings, U.S. News teamed up with the Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research, one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world.

AIR implemented the U.S. News comprehensive rankings methodology, which is based on the key principles that a great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show the school is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators.

The methodology used in the 2014 Best High Schools rankings was unchanged from the 2013 edition.

We started out by analyzing 31,242 public high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. That number was reduced to 19,411 schools, which is the total number of public high schools across the country that had high enough 12th-grade enrollment and sufficient data from the 2011-2012 school year to be eligible for the rankings. 

National Rankings

A three-step process determined the Best High Schools. The first two steps ensured that the schools serve all of their students well, using performance on state proficiency tests as the 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.

 Step 1: The first step determined whether each school's students were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in the state. We started by looking at reading and math results for all students on each state's high school proficiency tests.

We then factored in the percentage of economically disadvantaged students – who tend to score lower – enrolled at the school to identify the schools that were performing better than statistical expectations.

• Step 2: For those schools that made it past this first step, the second step determined whether the school's least-advantaged students – black, Hispanic and low-income – were performing better than average for similar students in the state.

We compared each school's math and reading proficiency rates for disadvantaged students with the statewide results for these student groups and then selected schools that were performing better than this state average.

• Step 3: Schools that made it through the first two steps became eligible to be judged nationally on the final step – college-readiness performance – using Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate test data as the benchmarks for success, depending on which program was largest at the school.

AP is a College Board program that offers college-level courses at high schools across the country. The International Baccalaureate program also offers a college-level curriculum.

This third step measured which schools produced the best college-level achievement for the highest percentages of their students. This was done by computing a College Readiness Index based on the school's AP or IB participation rate – the number of 12th-grade students in the 2011-2012 academic year who took at least one AP or IB test before or during their senior year, divided by the number of 12th-graders – and how well the students did on those tests.

The latter part, called the quality-adjusted AP or IB participation rate, is the number of 12th-grade students in the 2011-2012 academic year who took and passed – received an AP score of 3 or higher or an IB score of 4 or higher – at least one of the tests before or during their senior year, divided by the number of 12th-graders at that school. Any individual AP or IB subject test was considered when determining if a student took or passed at least one test.

For the College Readiness Index, the quality-adjusted participation rate was weighted 75 percent in the calculation, and the simple AP or IB participation rate was weighted 25 percent. The test that was taken by the most students at a particular school – either AP or IB – was used to calculate that school's College Readiness Index. 

Only schools that had values at or above 18.17 in their CRI scored high enough to meet the criteria for gold and silver medal selection. The minimum of 18.17 was used because it's the median – the statistical midpoint – of all the College Readiness Index values among all high schools with AP or IB test-takers.

The maximum College Readiness Index value is 100.0, which means that every 12th-grade student during the 2011-2012 academic year in a particular school took and passed at least one AP or IB test before or during their senior year.

To summarize, in order to win a gold or silver medal and be numerically ranked, a high school had to pass Steps 1 and 2 and have a CRI at or above the median benchmark.

In total, U.S. News nationally ranked the 4,707 highest-scoring schools as gold, silver or bronze. A high school's position in the numerical rankings, whether it was awarded a medal or whether it was ranked at all was dependent on how high it scored in all three steps of the rankings methodology.

• Gold medals: Schools with highest unrounded College Readiness Index values were numerically ranked from No. 1 to No. 500 and were the gold medal winners.

There were 15 gold medal high schools that achieved the maximum 100.0 College Readiness Index. In addition, there were instances in which gold or silver medal schools were tied based on their unrounded CRI values. These values, when published online as part of the Best High Schools rankings, are rounded to one decimal place.

To avoid having ties in the numerical rankings, the primary tiebreaker, which measures the absolute level of success in passing AP or IB tests, was the unrounded quality-adjusted exams per test-taker – the number of AP or IB exams that received passing scores divided by the number of students who took and passed at least one exam.

If necessary, a second tiebreaker used was exams per test-taker, which was the average number of AP and/or IB exams taken per test-taker – the total exams taken divided by the number of test-takers.

• Silver medals: The next group of high schools with the highest unrounded College Readiness Indexes was numerically ranked No. 501 through No. 2,019 and were the 1,519 silver medal winners.  Click to continue reading methodology.........


University School’s profile consisted of Academic Indicators, Test Scores, Rankings/Awards, Teacher-Student ratio, as well as additional School data.



University School also received a Silver Medal in the 2013 ,   2012 and  2009 rankings.

Congratulations University School Students, Faculty, Staff, and Administration, on being the "BEST"!