Special Report

Best Public High School in Every State

Source: John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico: La Cueva High School
> Location: Albuquerque
> Number of students: 1,762
> Student-teacher ratio: 20-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1320
> Avg. graduation rate: 88%

La Cueva High School, part of the Albuquerque Public School District, ranks as the best public high school in New Mexico. Despite beating out other public high schools in the state, the school does not rank favorably compared to other schools on this list by several measures. For example, only 42% of students are proficient in math based on state administered tests. Class sizes are also relatively large, as there is only one teacher for every 20 students at the school, compared to the average student-teacher ratio nationwide of 17-to-1.

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New York: Stuyvesant High School
> Location: New York
> Number of students: 3,319
> Student-teacher ratio: 21-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1480
> Avg. graduation rate: 99%

Stuyvesant High School is a highly competitive public school that students in New York City must test into. The school has some of the best student outcomes of any public high school in the United States. The school’s graduation rate is 99%, and the average SAT score is 1480 — the top 97th percentile of all SAT scores. Stuyvesant High graduates often go on to top-tier colleges and universities, including Harvard, Yale, and nearby Columbia.

Source: Courtesy of Raleigh Charter High School via Facebook

North Carolina: Raleigh Charter High School
> Location: Raleigh
> Number of students: 563
> Student-teacher ratio: 14-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1370
> Avg. graduation rate: 95%

North Carolina’s Raleigh Charter High School ranks as the best public school in North Carolina, based on a number of outcomes. More than half of students enroll in at least one Advanced Placement course. The school of more than 500 students has an impressive student-teacher ratio of 14-to-1, as well as a 95% graduation rate. Niche rates the school’s teachers as the best of any public school in North Carolina with more than three quarters of students and teachers surveyed by Niche at the school saying teachers genuinely care about the students and give engaging lessons.

Source: LisaMarei / Wikimedia Commons

North Dakota: Fargo Davies High School
> Location: Fargo
> Number of students: 1,274
> Student-teacher ratio: 16-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1350
> Avg. graduation rate: 97%

Although it falls behind some other schools on this list by some measures of academic achievement, Fargo Davies High School ranks as the best public high school in North Dakota. The school received high Niche grades from student respondents in measures like the quality and availability of clubs and activities, and it has other positive attributes that help boost its ranking, including a 16-to-1 student-teacher ratio and a 97% graduation rate.

Source: Courtesy of Solon High School

Ohio: Solon High School
> Location: Solon
> Number of students: 1,600
> Student-teacher ratio: 19-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1330
> Avg. graduation rate: 98%

Solon High School ranks as the best public high school in Ohio, partially due to student outcomes. More than nine in every 10 students at the school are proficient in math, and a similar share are proficient in reading. Also, 98% of seniors graduate on time.

Non-charter and magnet schools on this list are often located in well-educated, affluent areas — and Solon High is no exception. The Solon city school district has a median household income of $102,181 a year, and 60.4% of adults in the area have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Meanwhile, across all of Ohio, most households earn less than $55,000 a year, and only 27.8% of adults have a four-year college degree.