Special Report

Best Public High School in Every State

Source: TCN7JM / Wikimedia Commons

South Dakota: Brandon Valley High School
> Location: Brandon
> Number of students: 1,122
> Student-teacher ratio: 22-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1210
> Avg. graduation rate: 97%

Brandon Valley High School has a near-perfect 97% graduation rate. The high student achievement in the school is likely due in part to high quality teachers. Nearly nine in every 10 students and parents surveyed by Niche said that teachers genuinely care about their students.

Many students also benefit from conditions outside of the classroom. Children raised by parents with higher educational attainment are themselves more likely to achieve academically. In the Brandon Valley School District, 37.2% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 28.5% of adults across the state.

Source: EVula / Wikimedia Commons

Tennessee: Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School
> Location: Nashville
> Number of students: 903
> Student-teacher ratio: 21-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1330
> Avg. graduation rate: 99%

The Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School in downtown Nashville ranks as the best public high school in the state. More than 70% of students in the state enroll in at least one Advanced Placement course, and the school has a near-perfect 99% graduation rate among high school seniors.

All but 5% of students and teachers at the school surveyed by Niche describe the student body as competitive, and the vast majority of respondents made positive comments about the teaching staff, including that teachers genuinely cared about students and gave engaging lessons.

Source: Courtesy of School of Science and Engineering Magnet

Texas: School of Science & Engineering
> Location: Dallas
> Number of students: 497
> Student-teacher ratio: 19-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1360
> Avg. graduation rate: 95%

The School of Science & Engineering in Dallas ranks as the best school in the state, thanks to high ratings from Niche in areas such as teaching staff and academics. The school received an A+ rating from Niche for its academic achievement, with 95% of students scoring at or above proficiency levels on state reading exams, and 100% scoring at or above proficiency in math. Almost every student in the school takes at least one Advanced Placement class.

Source: Courtesy of Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy

Utah: Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy
> Location: Lindon
> Number of students: 636
> Student-teacher ratio: 17-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1400
> Avg. graduation rate: 95%

Utah’s best public school, The Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy, is in Lindon, just north of Provo and Orem, where the state’s burgeoning tech industry is based. The school has a highly favorable 95% graduation rate among seniors, as well as a strong average SAT score of 1400 and ACT score of 28, each better than 90% of test takers nationwide.

Source: Courtesy of Champlain Valley School District via Facebook

Vermont: Champlain Valley Union High School
> Location: Hinesburg
> Number of students: 1,291
> Student-teacher ratio: 14-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1240
> Avg. graduation rate: 93%

The Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg, south of Burlington, ranks as the best public high school in the state. The school’s college entrance exams scores are not as high as some of the other high schools on this list, with an average SAT score of 1240, but the school compares favorably in other measures. The school has a 14-to-1 student-teacher ratio, and more than two-thirds of students and teachers surveyed had positive things to say about the teaching staff at the school, with 76% agreeing that teachers genuinely care about students at the school.