U.S. News & World Report‘s just released their list for America’s Best High Schools. After examining more than 21,000 public high schools around the country, U.S. News and its partner in the project, School Evaluation Services, uses a three-step process that analyzes first how schools are educating all of their students, then their minority and disadvantaged students, and finally their college-bound students based on student scores on statewide tests, Advanced Placement tests, and International Baccalaureate tests.
Without further adieu, here are the top ten high schools that made the Gold Medal List:
1. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Location: Alexandria, VA
2. International Academy
Location: Bloomfield Hills, MI
3. Whitney High School
Location: Cerritos, CA
4. Oxford Academy
Location: Cypress, CA
5. School for the Talented and Gifted at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center
Location: Dallas, TX
6. Newcomers High School
Location: Long Island City, NY
7. Pacific Collegiate School
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
8. School of Science and Engineering Magnet
Location: Dallas, TX
9. BASIS Tucson
Location: Tucson, AZ
10. International School
Location: Bellevue, WA
The report noted that one of the greatest challenges to this year’s evaluation were the economic pressures, which have forced many schools to lay off teachers, cut back on school programs and not maintain building grounds.
Gold Medal school number 30, Martin Luther King Academic Magnet High School in Nashville, has students eating in hallways under a leaky roof because the cafeteria is too small. Students’ nickels and quarters often lose out to the rats who raid the school vending machine and munch on potato chips and pretzels that are meant for hungry high schoolers.
Yet despite the economy or a falling-apart school building, motivated teachers, students and school officials remain steadfast and focused in their belief that developing a strong high school education program, one that is diverse, socially-responsible and progressive, is the only surefire way to overcome the ups and downs in the global economy and the occasional Minnie Mouse who nibbles a hole through your bag of Fritos.
You can read the full report on the U.S. News and World Report’s website.