Special Report

Every State's Best Public High School

Source: Courtesy of Mililani High School

Hawaii: Mililani High School
> Location: Mililani
> Number of students: 2,616
> Student-teacher ratio: 18-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1160
> Avg. graduation rate: 94%

Mililani High School ranks as the best public high school in Hawaii, due in part to its 94% graduation rate. While it stands out in its home state, Mililani High School does not compare favorably with many other schools on this list. For example, the school’s math proficiency rate of 47% means that it is one of only five schools on this list where less than half of students are considered proficient in math based on standardized test scores. Additionally, the average SAT score at Mililani of 1160 is lower than every other school on this list.

Source: Andy.priest / Wikimedia Commons

Idaho: Boise Senior High School
> Location: Boise
> Number of students: 1,496
> Student-teacher ratio: 18-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1260
> Avg. graduation rate: 91%

Based on a wide range of measures, Boise Senior High School ranks as the best public high school in Idaho. The school boasts a 91% graduation, and the majority of students and parents give teachers high marks for leading engaging classes. Additionally, most students are proficient in math and about thee in every four students are proficient in reading, based on state assessment exams.

Source: Jauerback / Wikimedia Commons

Illinois: Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
> Location: Aurora
> Number of students: 647
> Student-teacher ratio: 12-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1450
> Avg. graduation rate: 99%

Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy is a magnet school located in Aurora, Illinois. Publicly funded, it is a tuition free boarding school that accepts students from all over Illinois — though the admission process is highly competitive. The school boasts a 99% graduation rate and an average SAT score of 1450, one of the highest of any schools on this list.

Students enrolled at the school benefit from small class sizes. There is one teacher for every 12 students, a far better student-teacher ratio than the 17-to-1 national average.

Source: Courtesy of Signature School via Facebook

Indiana: Signature School
> Location: Evansville
> Number of students: 390
> Student-teacher ratio: 14-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1350
> Avg. graduation rate: 95%

At Signature School, a charter high school in Evansville, Indiana, 87% of students are proficient in math and 95% are proficient in reading, based on standardized state tests. An average of 95% of seniors graduate on time, and the school’s average SAT score of 1350 is well above the threshold of what is considered good.

Students enrolled at the school benefit from small class sizes. There is one teacher for every 14 students, a far better student-teacher ratio than the 17-to-1 national average.

Source: Courtesy of West High School

Iowa: West Senior High School
> Location: Iowa City
> Number of students: 1,515
> Student-teacher ratio: 19-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1390
> Avg. graduation rate: 96%

At West Senior High School, about eight in 10 students are proficient in reading, and nearly nine in 10 are considered proficient in math. Students at the school are also far more likely to graduate and score well on the SATs than those in most of the state and country. Though the school has a slightly higher than average student-teacher ratio, teachers are well compensated. The average teacher salary at the school is about $71,000, far more than what teachers are paid in much of the country.