Curious about how your high school compares with others when it comes to preparing you for the next step? No matter your plans after high school — college degree or entering the workforce — an adequate foundation for life after high school is necessary. However, some public high schools are more effective than others at helping students prepare for successful transitions.
A great high school provides a highly developed curriculum, and a wide range of extracurricular activities that address the needs of all students. College preparatory and vocational courses are made available so that students can earn college credits or certifications during their high school experience, easing their entry into both college and career.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the United States has more than 24,000 public secondary schools; that number includes many noteworthy public high schools including the 100 Best Public High Schools on this list.
We have included at the end of this article two answers to frequently asked questions, the first detailing the various types of public high schools that exist in the United States, the second describing the different courses of study offered by America’s public high schools:
Ranking of the 100 Best Public High schools includes the following factors:
- Strength of high school curriculum
- School Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) participation rate
- When applicable, percent of students AP tested and passed and percent IB tested and passed
- Reading and math results on each state’s proficiency tests
- SAT/ACT scores
- Student graduation rate
- Performance of disadvantaged students
- Student-teacher ratio
- Student reviews (from notable sources)
- Percentage of college bound students
- Facilities,clubs and activities
Points for consideration:
- Geographical diversity was taken into consideration while creating the list, thus some deserving high schools from states with numerous notable high schools are not included.
- Where possible schools from each state were included.
- The list does not include public high schools with a very small student population; the optimum enrollment for learning was taken into account.
- The list focuses on schools that offer a traditional high school experience and atmosphere, and so the list does not include public high schools located on college campuses or schools with students in 7th grade or below.