Thu, Oct 7, 2021 1:31 PM
By Grant Suneson, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square, The Center Square
The quality of American public schools can vary widely between states, cities, and even districts. Not all schools are able to provide students with the same level of education, access to extracurriculars, counseling, or college preparation. While each public school faces its own unique challenges, each state has one public school that stands out as the very best.
The best public high schools tend to be in relatively affluent areas, where incomes are well above the U.S. median household income of $62,843. A wealthier tax base for a school district means that schools have more funding to hire teachers and other faculty and provide more extracurriculars.
In many of the best public high schools in a given state, the vast majority of students graduate and perform well in educational assessments. Nationwide, only 24% of students are proficient in math and 37% are proficient in reading, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Students at top high schools also tend to perform well in college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT, with reported scores well above the 1058 out of 1600 nationwide average for the SAT and the 20.6 out of 36 average for the ACT.
Pine View School in Sarasota County stands out as the best public high school in Florida, beating out nearly 700 other schools. The magnet school in Osprey educates students in grades two through 12 and also ranks as the best elementary and middle school in the state as well.
Pine View School students tend to perform very well on exams -- 99% of students tested as proficient in math and reading. Also, the average SAT and ACT scores are both well above the national average, at 1380 and 32, respectively.
To determine the best public high schools in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 2022 K-12 School & District Rankings from Niche, a platform for education data. The Niche ranking is based on academic and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education as well as student reviews submitted to Niche. Data on student count and student-teacher ratio came from Niche.
StateSchoolCity/districtStudentsStudent-teacher ratioAlabamaLoveless Academic Magnet Program High SchoolMontgomery County Schools49116:1AlaskaMat-Su Career & Tech Education High SchoolMatanuska-Susitna Borough School District73219:1ArizonaBASIS Oro ValleyOro Valley6266:1ArkansasHaas Hall AcademyHaas Hall Academy45114:1CaliforniaHenry M. Gunn High SchoolPalo Alto Unified School District1,99619:1ColoradoCherry Creek High SchoolCherry Creek School District3,80621:1ConnecticutStaples High SchoolWestport School District1,82812:1DelawareThe Charter School of WilmingtonWilmington97121:1FloridaPine View SchoolSarasota County Schools1,87717:1GeorgiaGwinnett School of Mathematics, Science & TechnologyGwinnett County Public Schools1,15417:1HawaiiMililani High SchoolHawaii Department of Education2,62018:1IdahoBoise Senior High SchoolBoise Independent School District1,57018:1IllinoisPayton College Preparatory High SchoolChicago Public Schools1,22016:1IndianaIndiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and HumanitiesMuncie2397:1IowaPleasant Valley High SchoolPleasant Valley Community School District1,46118:1KansasBlue Valley North High SchoolBlue Valley Unified School District (Overland Park)1,48315:1KentuckyDuPont Manual High SchoolJefferson County Public Schools1,88717:1LouisianaBenjamin Franklin High SchoolNew Orleans99720:1MaineMaine School of Science & MathematicsLimestone13310:1MarylandPoolesville High SchoolMontgomery County Public Schools1,20519:1MassachusettsMA Academy for Math & Science SchoolWorcester9916:1MichiganInternational AcademyOakland Schools1,520N/AMinnesotaMinnetonka Senior High SchoolMinnetonka Public School District3,38619:1MississippiThe Mississippi School for Mathematics and ScienceColumbus23811:1MissouriLadue Horton Watkins High SchoolLadue School District1,31515:1MontanaBozeman High SchoolBozeman2,24317:1NebraskaMillard North High SchoolMillard Public Schools2,61418:1NevadaThe Davidson AcademyReno1784:1New HampshireHanover High SchoolSau 7074212:1New JerseyHigh Technology High SchoolLincroft29313:1New MexicoArrowhead Park Early College High SchoolLas Cruces Public Schools34318:1New YorkStuyvesant High SchoolNew York City Geographic District No. 23,38421:1North CarolinaNorth Carolina School of Science and MathematicsDurham6807:1North DakotaFargo Davies High SchoolFargo1,29515:1OhioIndian Hill High SchoolIndian Hill Exempted Village School District62812:1OklahomaOklahoma School of Science and MathematicsOklahoma City1506:1OregonSchool of Science & TechnologyBeaverton School District17524:1PennsylvaniaJulia R. Masterman Secondary SchoolPhiladelphia City School District1,20724:1Rhode IslandBarrington High SchoolBarrington Public Schools1,12214:1South CarolinaSouth Carolina Governor's School for Science & MathematicsHartsville27013:1South DakotaWashington High SchoolSioux Falls School District1,95017:1TennesseeHume-Fogg Academic Magnet SchoolMetro Nashville Public Schools90720:1TexasSchool for the Talented & GiftedDallas Independent School District40917:1UtahKarl G. Maeser Preparatory AcademyLindon63417:1VermontSouth Burlington High SchoolSouth Burlington School District88013:1VirginiaMaggie Walker Governor's SchoolRichmond74615:1WashingtonTesla STEM High SchoolLake Washington School District60321:1West VirginiaBridgeport High SchoolHarrison County Schools83317:1WisconsinBrookfield East High SchoolElmbrook School District1,31017:1WyomingJackson Hole High SchoolTeton County School District No. 174013:1