RTI International collaborated with U.S. News to research and produce the rankings for the sixth year in a row
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — U.S. News & World Report released on Tuesday its 2020 Best High Schools rankings, highlighting top-performing public schools on a state and national level. For the sixth year in a row, U.S. News collaborated with RTI International, a leading nonprofit research institute, to research and produce the rankings.
In this year’s rankings, the three top high schools were all magnet schools, with Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia earning the No. 1 spot nationally, followed by Academic Magnet in Charleston, South Carolina and Merrol Hyde Magnet School in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
Researchers at RTI helped collect and analyze the data behind the rankings using a methodology that used six factors: (1) college readiness, (2) reading and math proficiency, (3) reading and math performance, (4) underserved student performance, (5) college curriculum breadth and (6) graduation rates. Specifically, college readiness measures participation and performance on Advanced Placement® (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) tests.
“The Best High Schools rankings provide the most comprehensive, data-based information on nearly every public high school in the country,” said Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News. “Families can use this information to see how their local schools compare on graduation rates and state assessments, as well as academic performance by students who are traditionally underserved – those who are black, Hispanic or from low-income households.”
With 12.5% of its high schools ranking among the top 5% of all schools nationally, Delaware had the largest percentage of top ranked schools. Other states with close to 10% of their schools appearing in the top 5% of schools nationwide include Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia. A state-by-state breakdown is available here along with the national rankings. U.S. News released Best STEM Schools, Best Charter Schools, Best Magnet Schools and individual statewide rankings.
The U.S. News Best High Schools website includes data assembled by RTI for thousands of schools. For more information about Best High Schools and to view the full list of rankings, visit www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools.
Elisabeth Hensley, senior researcher, led the data collection and analysis for RTI.
As the world and its education systems grapple with the consequences of the COVID-19 global pandemic, RTI remains committed to providing measures to help students and families understand their schooling options. While the 2020 Best High Schools rankings rely on data gathered before the COVID-19 pandemic, future data will allow RTI researchers to contribute to understanding the impact that COVID-19 has had on school systems.
Media Contact for U.S. News & World Report: Madeline Smanik, education-PR@usnews.com