Special Report

Best Public High School in Every State

Source: Tim Evanson / Wikimedia Commons

Montana: Bozeman High School
> Location: Bozeman
> Number of students: 2,204
> Student-teacher ratio: 16-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1300
> Avg. graduation rate: 88%

While by some metrics, such as math and reading proficiency and average SAT score, Bozeman High School might not rank quite as high as some of the other schools on this list, it ranks as the best public high school in Montana. The school received an A+ rating on Niche on the teachers metric. Over 70% of students polled by Niche said the school’s teachers gave engaging lessons and genuinely cared about the students. The school of 2,200 students has a 16-to-1 student-teacher ratio.

Source: brklynn / Flickr

Nebraska: Millard North High School
> Location: Omaha
> Number of students: 2,573
> Student-teacher ratio: 18-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1380
> Avg. graduation rate: 93%

The average SAT score at Millard North High School — the top ranked high school in Nebraska — of 1380 is higher than about 90% of exam scores nationwide. The school also boasts a 93% graduation rate. According to a Niche survey, nine out of 10 students and parents agree that teachers at Millard North genuinely care about their students.

Source: Courtesy of The Davidson Academy

Nevada: The Davidson Academy
> Location: Reno
> Number of students: 189
> Student-teacher ratio: 5-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1500
> Avg. graduation rate: N/A

The Davidson Academy is the only online magnet school to rank on this list. The school, which describes itself as being geared toward profoundly gifted students, has a campus in Reno, Nevada, and offers an online curriculum for students all over the U.S. and Canada. To attend, students must score in the 99.9th percentile on an IQ test. While attendance is free for Nevada residents, students from elsewhere must pay tuition.

Students benefit from small class sizes as there are only five students for every teacher at the school. The Davidson Academy also has an average SAT score of 1500 — considered to be exceptional.

Source: Ken_Gallager / Wikimedia Commons

New Hampshire: Hanover High School
> Location: Hanover
> Number of students: 749
> Student-teacher ratio: 12-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1340
> Avg. graduation rate: 95%

Hanover High School ranks as the best public high school in New Hampshire. Students at the school benefit from small class sizes as there is one teacher for every 12 students, a far lower student-teacher ratio than the 17-to-1 national average. Students at the school are generally high achievers, as the average SAT score of 1340 is better than more than 85% of all scores nationwide. Additionally, the school has a near perfect 95% graduation rate.

Hanover is not a charter or magnet school, and as is often the case among similar public high schools on this list, it is in an area with very well-educated residents. Students with college-educated parents are more likely to perform well academically, and across the Dresden School District, home to Hanover High School, 81.9% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Source: Andy M. Wang / Wikimedia Commons

New Jersey: Bergen County Academies
> Location: Hackensack
> Number of students: 1,098
> Student-teacher ratio: 11-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1460
> Avg. graduation rate: 99%

Bergen County Academies is a magnet school located in Hackensack, New Jersey. The school has an especially low student-teacher ratio of 11-to-1, and with proficiency rates of 99% in math and 98% in reading, and a near perfect 99% graduation rate, student outcomes are strong. The average SAT score of 1460 is better than more than 95% of all scores nationwide.