By Nathan Duke
The list, which categorized the top schools as gold, silver and bronze, included schools from three Queens neighborhoods. In addition to Flushing, Long Island City's Academy of American Studies High School was given a silver ranking, while bronze medals were awarded to Aviation Career and Technical High School in Long Island City and Gateway to Health Science High School, Queens High School Science at York College and Thomas A. Edison Vocational High School, all in Jamaica.Townsend Harris, located at 149-11 Melbourne Ave. in Flushing, was the only borough school to crack the top 100, placing 45th on the list. It is one of the most sought-after public schools in the city.The schools that ranked in the top 100 based on college readiness scores were placed in the gold category, while the next 405 ranked schools earned silver medals, according to U.S. News. The remaining 1,086 schools that passed U.S. News' first two criteria were placed in the bronze categoryFor the report, U.S. News analyzed 18,790 public high schools in 40 states using data from the 2005-2006 school year. Schools had to produced measurable academic outcomes for the report which showed that they were educating their student bodies across a range of factors as well as showing that they served all students well, not just ones who are preparing to attend college, according to U.S. News.The three-step process for analyzing the schools included determining whether students were performing better than state averages, whether less-advantaged black, Hispanic and impoverished students were performing better than state averages for students of similar backgrounds and whether students were receiving above-average college preparation, which was measured by their performances in advanced placement classes and on tests, U.S. News reported.Townsend Harris has long been one of the city's elite schools, boasting a 99 percent four-year graduation rate. The Academy of American Studies, located at 28-01 41st Ave. in Long Island City, is a college preparatory high school which emphasizes American History during students' four years at the institution. The school, which opened in 1992, employs collaborative activities, technology, internships and trips into its curriculum.Aviation Tech, located at 45-30 36th St. in Long Island City, was ranked by the city in November as one of the borough's top five schools. The school has been certified by the Federal Aviation Administration for the training of aircraft maintenance technicians. But the school provides a full curriculum to its 1,900 students.Gateway to Health, located at 150-91 87th Rd. in Jamaica, features a science and pre-medical-based curriculum. The school, which has 571 students, has a 95 percent attendance rate, according to the DOE.Queens High School Science at York College, located at 94-50 159th St. in Jamaica, is one of nine specialized city schools that admits students based on their Specialized High Schools Admissions Test scores. The school emphasizes mathematics and science in its curriculum and offers internships to its students.Thomas A. Edison, located at 165-65 84th Ave. in Jamaica, is one of the few public high schools in the city to offer vocational training programs and traditional college preparation. Students at the school typically take required courses in health, music theory and art appreciation during their freshman year and then choose a field in which they specialize during grades 10-12. The report's first-ranked school was Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Va., which is located near Washington, D.C.Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.