As filmmaker and writer Nora Ephron said during a '96 commencement address at Wellesley College, “Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.” If that’s the case, high school may be one of the greatest dress rehearsals of all.
It’s a place where students explore their interests, dive into extracurricular activities, finally get the freedom to choose their own classes, and prepare for college or the workplace. For many of these students and their families, public education is key: 56.4 million students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools in 2020; and there are almost 24,000 public high schools in the U.S., according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
For many anxious parents, getting their kid into the best of these public high schools is of the utmost importance. Some families even move homes to get into better school districts. However, among all of these thousands of schools, a few stand out for their academic excellence, incredible track records, and the future success of their young students.
Find out how the 100 best public high schools in the country stack up against each other. This Stacker ranking is derived from Niche’s list of the best public high schools, updated in January 2021, which they base on statistics, reviews, and other data from the U.S. Department of Education. Here’s how it breaks down: Niche uses eight factors for their rankings, with each factor given a different weight. A whopping 60% of the score is based on academics and grades, which is calculated using state assessment proficiency tests, SAT/ACT scores, and survey responses. From there, culture and diversity, parent and student surveys on their overall experiences, and teachers each contribute to 10% of the score. Finally, scores for each school’s clubs and activities, health and safety, resources and facilities, and sports constitute 2.5% each.
Keep reading to find out which public high schools are determined to be the best in the nation.
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