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Metros with the most highly ranked public high schools

  • Metros with the most highly ranked public high schools

    George Eastman, the founder of Kodak film who changed the face of photography, said, “The progress of the world depends almost entirely upon education.” Countless studies show that after primary school, receiving a solid secondary education is critical to later life success. “The fewer years of education you’ve completed, the fewer doors are open to you. It’s that simple,” according to Andrea Clement Santiago of Verywell Health. That said, there are certain high schools that offer more to teenage learners than others.

    Stacker compiled a list of the metros with the most highly ranked public schools using Niche’s list of best public high schools. These metros are ranked by which areas have the most public schools in the top 200, with ties broken by which metro has the higher-ranked school. All metros with two or more top 200 schools were included.

    A number of factors were considered, including state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, and high school ratings. Niche’s methodology in ranking also includes grades for culture and diversity, parent/student surveys on overall experience, club and activities, health and safety, resources, and facilities.

    Finances had a tremendous effect on which schools were able to top the list, with a number receiving higher funding than previous years. For schools in some metro areas, reaching academic excellence has come at the price of large deficits. Stacker also found that nearly all the most highly ranked public schools implement Advanced Placement (AP) curriculum.

    Five states placed multiple metro areas on the list, led by California’s four, followed by Texas (three), with New York, Ohio, and Arizona each placing twice. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology gives the nation’s capital the distinction of having the top-rated high school in the country. And New York City boasts the most schools in Niche’s Top 200 with 40.

    Read on to discover Stacker’s list of metro areas with the most highly ranked public high schools.

    You may also like: Best public high schools in America

  • #27. Nashville

    - Top 200 public schools: 2
    - Highest ranked public schools: Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School (#161 nationally), Central Magnet School (#200)

    Increased funding for priority schools is one reason why Nashville ranks on the list, according to Jason Gonzales the Tennessean. This year the Tennessee Department of Education requested up to $12.8 million to ensure sustained success within the high school system—particularly with the American College Testing (ACT) program. Because of the program, the 2017 graduating class broke a state record, scoring 20.1 on the ACT for the first time.

  • #26. Rochester

    - Top 200 public schools: 2
    - Highest ranked public schools: Brighton High School (#116 nationally), Pittsford-Mendon High School (#153)

    The Rochester Education Foundation (REF) is highly focused on feeding students enhanced literacy and music opportunities along with greater college access support; the Monroe County School District has two top high schools in the ranking. In 2013, REF created the Rochester College Access Network (RCAN), which assists teenagers in filling out federal financial documents and brings college students into high schools to discuss higher education. With Gov. Andrew Cuomo admitting himself that Rochester has some of the most unequal school funding, REF’s commitment to the school district is critical in keeping the two schools highly ranked.

  • #25. Kansas City

    - Top 200 public schools: 2
    - Highest ranked public schools: Blue Valley North High School (#72 nationally), Blue Valley High School (#125)

    Blue Valley North High School has an award-winning STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program. The 2018-19 Blue Ribbon school students won the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge, proving learners here are thriving in the current curriculum, set under the Kansas College & Career Readiness Standards (KCCRS). Blue Valley School District accolades include the 2018 graduating class completing an ACT composite score of 25.5, nearly four points above the state average of 21.6.

  • #24. Trenton-Ewing

    - Top 200 public schools: 2
    - Highest ranked public schools: Princeton High School (#47 nationally), West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South (#80)

    Since 2009, Princeton High School (PHS) has been acclaimed for its high academic standards, with the New York Times praising Princeton's Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores a decade ago. One advantage PHS and Ewing High School have above other New Jersey schools is the Princeton University Preparatory Program, which recruits high school freshmen within the Mercer County School District and mentors them through their secondary schooling and collegiate career. In 2018, the Mercer County School District received one of the largest aid increases, enabling the highly ranked public schools to remain fully funded and successful.

  • #23. Durham

    - Top 200 public schools: 2
    - Highest ranked public schools: North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (#35 nationally), East Chapel Hill High School (#196)

    Funding for Durham is fluent, with the Durham County Commissioners allotting $160 million to the local school district in June 2019. Along with state budget resources, the Durham Public Schools Foundation (DPSF) corporate partnership funding and personal Public School Champion donations help fund these two top schools. Innovative programs like the DPSF Youth Advisory Council and Youth Racial Equity Training also set these schools apart from other North Carolina four-years.

  • #22. Raleigh

    - Top 200 public schools: 2
    - Highest ranked public schools: Raleigh Charter High School (#23 nationally), Green Hope High School (#198)

    Like Niche, which grades Raleigh Charter High School with at least an A in all categories including academics, diversity, college prep, health and safety, teachers, and club activities, U.S. News & World Report also ranked the school as the second best in the North Carolina metro area. The state has proposed placing another charter school in the region by 2021.

  • #21. Baltimore

    - Top 200 public schools: 3
    - Highest ranked public schools: Marriotts Ridge High School (#130 nationally), River Hill High School (#155), Centennial High School (#188)

    The Marriotts Ridge High School motto is “Exemplifying honor and excellence in all that we do.” A reason for its success, along with the other two top schools, is that they are part of the Howard County Public Schools System, which recently received “historically high funding,” according to Jess Nocera of the Howard County Times. Centennial High School Biology teacher and varsity cross-country and track coach Kevin McCoy, who is one of three brothers who both teach and coach in Howard County, made news when The Washington Post reported on the family’s dedication to education.

  • #20. Miami

    - Top 200 public schools: 3
    - Highest ranked public schools: A.D. Henderson University School & FAU High School (#90 nationally), School for Advanced Studies - South (#109), Suncoast Community High School (#122)

    2018 Blue Ribbon Award winner A.D. Henderson University School & Florida Atlantic University (FAU) High School are both located on the college campus of the same name. Admission is based on a lottery process and provides innovative faculty-developed research and syllabi for individual students. The unique program has been praised as “college for free,” with high school students having the opportunity to work toward their secondary and undergraduate degree at the same time.

  • #19. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos

    - Top 200 public schools: 3
    - Highest ranked public schools: Canyon Crest Academy (#31 nationally), Torrey Pines High School (#110), Westview High School (#187)

    Secondary schools Canyon Crest Academy—consistently ranked by Newsweek as one of the top 100 four-years—and Torrey Pines, are in the San Dieguito Union High School District, which reached a $3.7 million deficit in the 2018–19 year budget. The schools maintain excellence in academics and sports, with Niche rating Torrey Pines #9 out of 2,057 for best high schools for athletes in California.

  • #18. Tucson

    - Top 200 public schools: 3
    - Highest ranked public schools: BASIS Tucson North (#26 nationally), Basis Oro Valley (#41), University High School (#99)

    These educationally competitive high schools follow the BASIS Curriculum, which entails students taking a minimum of eight Advanced Placement (AP) classes and passing at least six AP exams in four years. As of late, BASIS Tucson North made news for its lack of funding rather than abundant resources, as the “renowned” institution went $44 million in debt. Meanwhile, John Rosinbum, who was just named “Charter Teacher of the Year,” shines a brighter light on the district, which has proposed building a BASIS Tucson South for primary learners in a less financially viable region.

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