Five Fannin County high schools earned high marks in the U.S. News and World Report’s annual listing of the state’s and nation’s best campuses.


Savoy High School, Dodd City School, Honey Grove High School, Leonard High School and Sam Rayburn High School were all designated as “bronze medal” high schools at the state and national level.


“It is always nice to earn recognition for high academic achievement and we are proud of our students and staff,” Leonard Independent School District Assistant Superintendent Brad Maxwell said in an emailed statement.


The 2017 medal designations — gold, silver and bronze — are based upon four categories, which reflect data sourced from the 2015-2016 school year. The first assesses student performance on standardized math and reading exams in relation to the number of economically-disadvantaged students, who tend to score lower on such exams. The second category compares the reading and math proficiency rates of each school’s disadvantaged student population with statewide results for similarly designated student groups. The third category identifies schools which met or exceeded that national average student graduation rate and the final category calculates a “college readiness index” based upon a school’s Advance Placement course participation rate and how well students scored on AP tests.


Honey Grove Independent School District Superintendent Todd Morrison credited his district high school’s designation to high graduation rates and students’ strong performance on standardized tests, but he said those tests are a double-edged sword of sorts when it comes to the calculation of rankings and assessments.


“There will always be some areas that you disagree with, especially when the bulk of the data is driven solely on test scores,” Morrison said.


Emails seeking comment from the superintendents of Savoy ISD, Dodd City ISD and Sam Rayburn ISD were not returned.