19. Lane Technical High School (Chicago)
Situated in the North Center neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, Lane Technical High School grabbed the fourteenth spot on the list of Illinois’ top fifteen high schools. Known as Lane Tech, the school is a selective enrollment magnet high school that requires testing and the passing of benchmarks before a student is granted admission.
As only one of nine magnet schools in the Chicago Public School system, Lane Tech draws deeply across ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds. As such, the student population, according to the school website, of more than 4,000 is a diverse one, which the school credits with enriching the student experience. To further that familiarity, the school offers a vibrant extra-curricular program the hosts of dozen clubs and events designed to highlight and celebrate the diversity of the campus.
The school offers up a four-year course of study, ninth through twelfth grade, and has accelerated program available for 7th and 8th graders in their Academic Center. In addition to a stellar academic program, the school also boasts an award winning athletics program, which has earned sixteen state championships to its credit since its 1908 founding.
Wikipedia notes that prior to 1958, Lane Technical High School was an open enrollment school however, in the year that the Soviet Union launched Sputnik; the school administration eliminated all remedial education, and began accepting only top-tiered students into its ranks. Fear that the United States was losing the Space Race to the Soviets prompted the move.
In addition to improving the caliber of the student body, the school completely revamped its core curriculum to help ensure that the United States did not fall behind in the study of science and technology. Offering honor level classes and an Advanced Placement program for those who qualify, the school features advanced placement coursework in United States history, math, sciences, English, and the arts.