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Which Public High Schools Make The U.S. News & World Report's "Best" List and Why

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Which Public High Schools Make The U.S. News & World Reports "Best" List and Why

Today, U.S. News & World Report released their rankings of the nation's best high schools.

Best High Schools

The U.S. News rankings include data on more than 19,400 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Schools were awarded gold, silver, or bronze medals based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college.

With public education under constant scrutiny as to whether students are well prepped for college upon graduation, this annual list, at its most basic level, serves to help parents find standout schools in their state. This type of ranking is also particularly helpful if a family is planning to relocate.

Without delving into the lengthy methodology, schools were evaluated in three main areas: 1. Overall student performance (how much above average) on state-mandated assessments tests; 2. How well they educated their economically disadvantaged students, and 3. Performance on AP coursework—testing of college level coursework.

The School for The Gifted and Talented in Dallas, TX claimed the #1 ranking for the third consecutive year. Students at TAG are required to take at least 11 AP tests and can partner with local universities to conduct field research. Of the Top 500 schools awarded with a gold honor, 155 were charter or magnet schools, which often limit enrollment via application or lottery and attract high-achieving students. If you look at the Top 10 schools more closely, criteria like high academic standards, teacher/student ratio, STEM education and initiatives, and high school electives and club offerings for students add to their clear distinction.

Additionally, you can find the Best High Schools rankings listed by state, Best Charter Schools, Best Magnet Schools, and Best STEM Schools (paving the way in science, technology, engineering, and math).

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