Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy, 8601 W. Roosevelt Rd. in Forest Park, continues its steady climb up the U.S. News & World Report rankings.

This year, the school was ranked seventh in the state — up from 8th in 2018 and 32nd in 2017. PMSA is ranked 175th in the nation.

“PMSA continues to move in a positive trajectory,” said PMSA Principal Bessie Karvelas in a statement. “Our school has earned national recognition and we are proud, but are not done. We are going for the number one ranking!”

D209 Supt. Jesse Rodriguez said that PMSA’s recognition “exemplified the focused work from the Board of Education, school administration, faculty and staff. The results once again demonstrate the extraordinary potential of Proviso Township students, families and communities.”

This year’s rankings featured a revamped methodology and many more schools.

“Now more than 17,000 schools nationwide are numerically ranked – up from last year’s 2,700 schools,” U.S. News officials explained in a press release issued April 30.

“By evaluating more schools than ever before, the new edition expands that focus so all communities can see which schools in their area are successfully serving their students – including historically underserved populations,” said Anita Narayan, the managing editor of education at U.S. News.

In the April 30 release, U.S. News officials said that “2019 Best High Schools rankings take a holistic approach to evaluating schools, looking at six factors: college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rates.” 

College readiness, in particular, is based on participation and performance on AP and IB exams, they explained.

“The new methodology assigns weights to the six factors and then produces an overall score on which the ranking is based – as compared to the previous methodology, which involved a four-step process in which the final step used college readiness as the sole basis to determine a school’s numerical rank,” officials said.

In a statement, Robert Morse, the chief data strategist at U.S. News, said that the company “enhanced the methodology to provide an even more comprehensive ranking that is easier to understand and, therefore, more useful to parents and educators.”

Both Proviso East, 807 S. 1st Ave. in Maywood, and Proviso West, 4701 Harrison St. in Hillside, ranked 12,935 out of 17,245 high schools nationally, and 430th out of 637th in Illinois.