Special Report

Every State's Best Public High School

Source: elisfkc from Orlando, FL, United States / Wikimedia Commons

Kansas: Blue Valley North High School
> Location: Overland Park
> Number of students: 1,469
> Student-teacher ratio: 16-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1380
> Avg. graduation rate: 97%

The top rated public high school in Kansas, Blue Valley North, has a 97% graduation rate — and based on college entrance exam results, many of those who graduate are going on to competitive colleges and universities. The average SAT score at the school is 1380, which is higher than the scores of about 90% of exam takers nationwide.

Children of well-educated parents are more likely to perform well academically. In the Blue Valley Unified School District, 70.2% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 32.9% of adults across the state.

Kentucky: duPont Manual High School
> Location: Louisville
> Number of students: 1,919
> Student-teacher ratio: 18-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1380
> Avg. graduation rate: 97%

DuPont Manual High School is a magnet school located in Louisville, Kentucky. The top-rated school in the state, duPont Manual has a nearly perfect graduation rate. Additionally, the average SAT score at the school of 1380 is higher than the scores of about 90% of exam takers nationwide.

As is common among the magnet schools on this list, the admissions process is competitive at duPont Manual. Applicants are evaluated by test scores, extra-curricular involvement, academic achievement, personal essays, attendance history, and teacher recommendations.

Source: Courtesy of Benjamin Franklin High School

Louisiana: Benjamin Franklin High School
> Location: New Orleans
> Number of students: 995
> Student-teacher ratio: 20-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1340
> Avg. graduation rate: 95%

Louisiana’s Benjamin Franklin High School, located near the University of New Orleans, ranks as the best public high school in the state. The school receives an A+ rating from Niche in measures of academics, with 99% of students scoring at or above proficiency levels on both math and reading state exams. The school also has a graduation rate of 95%.

Maine: Maine School of Science & Mathematics
> Location: Limestone
> Number of students: 127
> Student-teacher ratio: 7-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1410
> Avg. graduation rate: 90%

The Maine School of Science & Mathematics, located in the small community of Limestone near the state’s northeastern border with Canada, ranks as the best public school in the state. A relatively small magnet school with fewer than 150 enrolled students, the school has a student-teacher ratio of 7-to-1, one of the lowest ratios even on this list of the best high schools in the country. The average student SAT score of 1410 is better than 93% of SAT scores taken nationwide.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Maryland: Poolesville High School
> Location: Poolesville
> Number of students: 1,185
> Student-teacher ratio: 19-to-1
> Avg. SAT score: 1400
> Avg. graduation rate: 98%

Poolesville High School, the best public high school in Maryland, is a relatively large public magnet high school, with nearly 1,200 enrolled students. The school has an average graduation rate of 98%, and Niche awarded the school an A+ rating in academics. The average student SAT score at the school is 1400, and the average ACT score of 33, each better than over 90% of test takers nationwide.