Special Report

Every State's Best Public High School

Source: Courtesy of Cherry Creek High School

Colorado: Cherry Creek High School
> Location: Greenwood Village
> Number of students: 3,720
> Student-teacher ratio: 21-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1340
> Avg. graduation rate: 94%

Unlike many schools on this list, Cherry Creek High School is not a charter or magnet school. About four in every five students in the school are proficient in reading and math, and an average of 94% of all seniors graduate every year.

As is often the case in the schools on this list that are not charter or magnet institutions, the best high school in Colorado is in an affluent and well-educated area. Over half of all adults in the Cherry Creek School District have a bachelor’s degree, and most area households earn over $85,000 a year.

Source: WestportWiki / Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut: Staples High School
> Location: Westport
> Number of students: 1,858
> Student-teacher ratio: 12-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1290
> Avg. graduation rate: 99%

Staples High School, located in Westport, Connecticut, has a near perfect graduation rate. Additionally, according to standardized test results, about eight in every 10 students are proficient in math, and nine in 10 are proficient in reading.

Students in wealthy households typically have greater resources to improve their chances of academic success and fewer disadvantages that students in lower-income families commonly face. In the Westport School District, the typical household has an annual income of $187,988, more than three times the income of the typical U.S. household.

Source: Ruokai Chen and Arjun Gopalratnam / Wikimedia Commons

Delaware: Charter School of Wilmington
> Location: Wilmington
> Number of students: 972
> Student-teacher ratio: 19-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1350
> Avg. graduation rate: 99%

The Charter School of Wilmington is one of the first independent charter schools in the United States. For admission, students must reside in Delaware, take a math and reading aptitude test, and be selected from a lottery of eligible applicants. The best school funded by taxpayers in Delaware, the Charter School of Wilmington boasts a near perfect 99% graduation rate. Additionally, 98% of students are proficient in reading and 93% in math.

Source: Justin Lebar / Wikimedia Commons

Florida: Pine View School
> Location: Osprey
> Number of students: 1,925
> Student-teacher ratio: 17-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1380
> Avg. graduation rate: 95%

Pine View School in the Sarasota County School District ranks as the best public high school in Florida. The school’s 99% proficiency rates in both reading and math are the highest of any of Florida’s top public high schools. Additionally, the average SAT score at Pine View is 1380 — the highest of any public high school in the state and better than 90% of test-takers nationwide.

Source: Thomson200 / Wikimedia Commons

Georgia: Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science & Technology
> Location: Lawrenceville
> Number of students: 1,098
> Student-teacher ratio: 17-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1370
> Avg. graduation rate: 95%

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science & Technology, the best public high school in Georgia, offers students — who are admitted through a lottery system — a curriculum focused on math and science designed to be challenging. The school boasts a 99% math proficiency rate and a 95% reading proficiency rate, each the highest of any top high school in Georgia. The average SAT score at the school of 1370 is also the highest among public schools in the state.