FIRTH — U.S. News & World Report reviewed 21,035 U.S. public high schools; 46 Idaho schools made the rankings.
In Idaho, Firth High School was ranked 4th in the U.S. News Best High Schools 2013.
When Firth School District Superintendent Sid Tubbs learned about the ranking, he was surprised.
"They used our numbers," he said. "We checked.
"We know we have people who work hard and kids who do well," said Tubbs. "We know we have a good school."
Nationally, Firth was ranked 937. Firth ranks in the top 4.45 percent of high schools in the nation.
In the overview of Firth High School, U.S. News wrote, "Firth High School is ranked 4th within Idaho. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement course work and exams. The AP participation rate at Firth High School is 44 percent. The student body makeup is 50 percent male and 50 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 14 percent. Firth High School is the only high school in the Firth District."
In the U.S. News Best High Schools 2013 rankings, eight Idaho schools were awarded silver medals and 37 received bronze medals.
Idaho's one gold medal school is Boise High School,within the Independent school District of Boise City.
Ranked by U.S. News, the top nine schools in Idaho were:
#1 Boise High School in Boise
#2 Timberline High School in Boise
#3 McCall-Donnelly High School in McCall
#4 Firth High School in Firth
#5 Sandpoint High School in Sandpoint
#6 Thomas Jefferson Charter in Caldwell
#7 Garden Valley School in Garden Valley
#8 Fruitland High School in Fruitland
#9 Sugar-Salem High School in Sugar City
Aberdeen High School received a national bronze medal.
There are 125 school districts in Idaho and 213 high schools. Full-time teachers number 5,877 and 99,621 students are enrolled in the state.
To produce the 2013 U.S. News & World Report, reporters examined 21,035 public high school in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
"This is the total number of public high schools that had 12th-grade enrollment and sufficient data from the 2010-2011 school year to analyze," the report said. Nebraska was the only state that did not report enough data and, therefore, was not evaluated for any part of the rankings.
The 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 made it past the first two steps, a third step assessed the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work.
Step 1 looked at reading and math results for all students on each state's high school proficiency tests. The percentage of economically disadvantaged students was than factored in.
Step 2 determined whether the school's least-advantaged students were performing better than average for similar students in the state.
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.
The release date of the U.S. News & World Report for the school rankings was April 22, 2013.