Special Report

The Best Schools in America's 50 Largest Cities

Source: Courtesy of BASIS Mesa

36. Mesa, AZ
> Best school: BASIS Mesa
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 28:1
> Enrollment: 823

BASIS Mesa ranks as the top school in Mesa, Arizona, earning an A+ overall grade. The school also earned top marks for its academics, health and safety, and college prep. The public charter school educates children from kindergarten through 12th grade.

BASIS Mesa has a 90% graduation rate, and its students report average SAT scores of 1400 and average ACT scores of 32 — both well above the nationwide average.

Source: Courtesy of The Westminster Schools

37. Atlanta area
> Best school: The Westminster Schools
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 6:1
> Enrollment: 1,870

Across the Atlanta metro area, The Westminster Schools ranks as the top school. The private, Christian, coed K-12 school earned not just an A+ overall grade, but A+ grades for its academics, teachers, clubs and activities, and college prep.

The school boasts a graduation rate of 100%, and students report average SAT scores of 1420 and average ACT scores of 33 — both well above average. The Westminster Schools also ranks as the top STEM school in Georgia.

Source: Courtesy of The Pembroke Hill School

38. Kansas City area
> Best school: The Pembroke Hill School
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 8:1
> Enrollment: 1,177

The Pembroke Hill School ranks as the top school in the Kansas City area. Located just on the Missouri side of the border, the school accepts students from pre-K through 12th grade. The school has an 8:1 student-to-teacher ratio, well below the nationwide ratio of 17:1. This helps students to stay engaged and receive more individualized attention.

The Pembroke Hill School earned an A+ overall grade from school data platform Niche as well as top marks for its academics, teachers, and college prep.

39. Omaha area
> Best school: Brownell Talbot School
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 9:1
> Enrollment: 441

Of the more than 300 schools in the Omaha area in Nebraska, the Brownell Talbot School ranks as the best. The private school enrolls some 440 students in grades K-12 as well as pre-K. The school gets top marks for academics, teachers, and college prep, and every student who graduates from Brownell Talbot goes on to attend a four-year college. Students also benefit from small class sizes, with an average of one teacher for every nine students.

Prospective students must apply to attend Brownell Talbot, and tuition for 12 graders is just under $20,000.

Source: Marcmann15, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

40. Long Beach, CA
> Best school: California Academy of Mathematics & Science
> Student-to-teacher ratio: 28:1
> Enrollment: 659

The top school in the Long Beach, California, area is the California Academy of Mathematics & Science — a public magnet school located in Carson, California enrolling students grades 9-12. The school is one of the few top institutions on this list that is not a private school.

California Academy of Mathematics & Science earned an A+ overall grade from Niche as well as top marks for its academics, teachers, health and safety, college prep, and diversity. It also has a graduation rate of 95%, and its students are 92% proficient in reading and 95% in math.

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