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30 Of The Smartest Public High Schools In The US

SimiOctober 4, 2018
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16. Canyon Crest Academy

Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego, California, has an average SAT score of 1360 and an average ACT score of 31. It has a student enrollment of 2,255 in grades 9-12. The student-teacher ratio is 26:1. Proficiency in mathematics is 80%, and proficiency in reading is 92%. The average graduation rate is 99%. Founded in 2004, the academy is situated in Carmel Valley in San Diego. Students attend CCA to pursue a specialized education in sciences, technology and the arts. The curriculum includes specialized and in-depth studies. An open-access policy allows students to choose from 25 AP courses and 6 honors courses.

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Students are supported in taking creative and intellectual risks, and develop into confident, lifelong learners. Their exposure to rigorous academics prepares them for success beyond the academy. They participate in the real-world application of their skills through established partnerships with universities and local businesses. The parents and community members strongly support student achievement and partner with staff to enrich the academic experience.

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15. Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School

Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School in Richmond, Virginia, has an average SAT score of 1400 and an average ACT score of 33. It has a student enrollment of 746 in grades 9-12. The student-teacher ratio is 15:1. Proficiency in mathematics and reading is 100%. The average graduation rate is 99%. This school was established in 1991 to support the needs of the region’s gifted high school students. It is the product of a public/private partnership and offers a comprehensive college preparatory program. It emphasizes science, math, languages, international studies, government, and fine art. Students are selected on the basis of aptitude and interest.

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The students balance academics with involvement in many courses, clubs and participation on athletic teams. The school hopes to develop lifelong learners who also embrace the responsibility of citizenship. The school boasts a tight-knit community of dedicated teachers, involved parents, passionate students and supportive alumni. Students have described it as “inclusive,” “surprisingly non-competitive” and “fostering independence.”

 

Chicago Sun-Times

14. Whitney M. Young Magnet High School

This school in Chicago, Illinois, has an average SAT score of 1330 and an average ACT score of 30. It has a student enrollment of 2,153 in grades 7-12. The student-teacher ratio is 19:1. Proficiency in mathematics is 92%, and proficiency in reading is 91%. The average graduation rate is 96%. When the school opened in 1975, it was the first public magnet high school in Chicago. It has a tradition of academic excellence and ethnic and cultural diversity. It offers a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. The Academic Center for grades 7 and 8 and the Magnet High School program for grades 9-12 both require a special application and entrance testing. The school draws students from throughout Chicago.

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The curriculum emphasizes preparation in all core subjects and offers a total of 266 courses, including 29 AP classes and 88 Honors classes. The school offers students the opportunity to take college courses while still in high school through partnerships with University of Illinois, Chicago, and Loyola University.

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13. Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology (GSMST)

This school in Lawrenceville, Georgia, has an average SAT score of 1350 and an average ACT score of 31. It has a student enrollment of 966 in grades 9-12. The student-teacher ratio is 17:1. Proficiency in mathematics is 96%, and proficiency in reading is 97%. The average graduation rate is 95%. This school began in 2007 as a STEM charter school. The current school building can accommodate 1,200 students. It has large lecture halls such as those usually found on university campuses.

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Science laboratories and large project spaces for engineering, robotics, art and design are incorporated in the building as are digital media production facilities for audio and video. Technology plays an integral part of instruction at GSMST. The Georgia Department of Education awarded STEM certification to the school in 2012, and it is recognized as a leader in STEM education. Its consistently high level of performance and challenging curriculum make it the top-ranked school in Georgia year after year.

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12. Bergen County Academies

Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, New Jersey, has an average SAT score of 1450 and an average ACT score of 33. It has a student enrollment of 1059 in grades 9-12. The student-teacher ratio is 11:1. Proficiency in mathematics is 96%, and proficiency in reading is 88%. The average graduation rate is 99%. The Hackensack Campus of this top-rated magnet school offers seven specialized programs: math and science, medical science, business and finance, telecommunications, visual and performing arts, engineering and design, and culinary arts and hotel administration.

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Students are prepared for the academic rigors of college and the corporate world beyond through a blend of technical, professional, and academic courses. For instance, each senior is required to complete a career-focused internship one day a week. The multi-million-dollar facility contains computer suites, cutting-edge hardware, and software so all students can work simultaneously. It has a distinguished, international faculty and an outstanding record of student accomplishments.

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11. Liberal Arts & Science Academy (LASA)

This school in Austin, Texas, has an average SAT score of 1440 and an average ACT score of 32. It has a student enrollment of 1,016 in grades 9-12. The student-teacher ratio is 16:1. Proficiency in mathematics and reading is 99%. The average graduation rate is 90%. The Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA) is a four-year urban, advanced academic magnet high school that recruits academically advanced students from middle schools in Austin. Admission is competitive and is based on factors such as test scores and teacher recommendations.

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At LASA, the curriculum goes above and beyond district and state standards. Courses move more quickly, cover more material and are project-based. Course information is delivered seminar style with a discussion. LASA has signature courses that are collaborative in nature. Groups research, design, implement and present projects. LASA freshmen take Electronic Magazine and Science and Technology. The sophomores take Planet Earth and Great Ideas.

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10. Massachusetts Academy of Math & Science

This school in Worcester, Massachusetts, has an average SAT score of 1470 and an average ACT score of 34. It has a student enrollment of 98 in grades 11 and 12, and the student-teacher ratio is 14:1. The average graduation rate is 90%. Established in 1992, this is a free, co-ed public school where math and science are emphasized within an interactive, comprehensive academic program. Students actively participate in learning through problem-solving, hands-on experiments, group projects, and discussions. Depth over breadth is emphasized in rigorous classes.

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In their senior year, students enroll full-time at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), a nationally ranked engineering school. This is the only school in Massachusetts where they can do this. They complete 12 college courses in math, science and humanities. Seniors also have to do an independent study project. In addition to collaborative projects and advanced classes, students can also enjoy a wide variety of extracurricular activities, such as computer-aided design, photography and music programs.

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9. Adlai E. Stevenson High School

This school in Lincolnshire, Illinois, has an average SAT score of 1380 and an average ACT score of 30. It has a student enrollment of 4,190 and a student-teacher ratio of 14:1. Proficiency in mathematics is 50%, and proficiency in reading is 73%. Opened in 1965, this school was built upon a foundation of lifelong learning and the search for continuous improvement. From humble beginnings, it has grown into one of the best open enrollment high schools in the U.S. The school’s vision statement rests on five pillars: culture for learning, curriculum, professional learning community, access, equity and inclusivity, and community engagement.

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The culture of continuous improvement is driven by innovative instructional practices, collaboration, collective inquiry, and learning-centered assessment and grading practices. Problem-solving and reflective skills are fostered, as is a growth mindset when facing challenges. The educational program is designed to enable each student to reach his or her maximum potential. The faculty is very knowledgeable and passionate.

Chicago Sun-Times

8. Northside College Preparatory High School

This school in Chicago, Illinois, has an average SAT score of 1370 and an average ACT score of 31. It has a student enrollment of 1,056 and a student-teacher ratio of 17:1. Proficiency in mathematics is 98%, and proficiency in reading is 90%. Northside was established in 1999 and has become a top-rated school on a local, state, and national level. It has a progressive and innovative educational program that focuses on an in-depth study of topics such as constitutional law, physics, integrated math, and cutting-edge technological applications. Many of the classes are at honors or Advanced Placement level.

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Students can also take part in several language programs, study abroad programs, and a range of clubs and extracurricular activities which make them into capable, ethical, creative, and well-rounded individuals. Gifted, dedicated students, expert faculty members, supportive parents, helpful benefactors, and partners in the community work together to create an institution that shows what is possible in public education.

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7. BASIS Scottsdale

BASIS in Scottsdale, Arizona, has an average SAT score of 1470 and an average ACT score of 34. It has an enrollment of 739 students, and the student-teacher ratio is 11:1. Proficiency in mathematics is 86%, and proficiency in reading is 92%. BASIS Scottsdale opened in 2003 and has continued to build scholarship and leadership over the years, receiving many accolades. This tuition-free charter school has a top-ranked liberal arts curriculum with a STEM focus and inspires students to love learning, think critically, formulate their own goals, be independent and graduate prepared to enter a top-tier college.

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BASIS students can take courses that most high schools do not offer, such as economics, engineering, and classics. As they progress, the connections they make across subjects boosts their deeper understanding and critical thinking skills. All courses are taught by teachers who are masters in their content area, and they have autonomy to present their subject matter in innovative, engaging ways.

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6. Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

This school in Columbus, Mississippi, has an average SAT score of 1360 and an average ACT score of 30. It has a student enrollment of 245 and a student-teacher ratio of 11:1. Proficiency in mathematics and reading is 100%. MSMS was established in 1987 and is the only public residential high school for academically gifted students in Mississippi. Students come from all over Mississippi to live on campus, choosing to spend their last two years living away from home. MSMS is located on the campus of the Mississippi University for Women, but students are kept separate from the university students, with the exception of a few shared facilities.

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All faculty members hold master’s degrees, and several have their Ph.D. All have extensive teaching experience. The main focus is on mathematics and science, but the humanities are also emphasized. The students also impact other students across Mississippi with outreach programs, and quality educational leadership is provided for other educators.

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5. Staten Island Technical High School

This school in Staten Island, New York, has an average SAT score of 1400 and an average ACT score of 32. It has a student enrollment of 1,278 and a student-teacher ratio of 22:1. Proficiency in mathematics and reading is 99%. This New York City public high school was established in 1988. In 2005, it was granted the status as New York City’s seventh specialized high school and combines academic rigor with the friendly atmosphere of a neighborhood school. Students begin to tackle college-level work in 9th grade. The school offers an extensive range of AP classes and has partnerships with universities.

Staten Island Advance

All students take introductory courses in electronics, robotics, research and technical writing, and TV/movie production. Computer-aided design (CAD) is another course, and students can earn industry certification in AutoCAD software. Yet another course is career and financial management. Students not only engage in academics but participate in athletics, cultural immersion, community service, and many student activities.

New York Post

4. Stuyvesant High School

Stuyvesant High School in New York, New York, has an average SAT score of 1470 and an average ACT score of 33. It has a student enrollment of 3,328 and a student-teacher ratio of 22:1. Proficiency in  mathematics and reading is 99%. Stuyvesant is a specialized high school founded in 1904 that has been a symbol of excellence in education. Many students vie for a place in the freshman class. It has a talented student body and an array of course offerings. The cornerstone of the educational program is a focus on science, mathematics, and technology. Other courses include Western political thought, micro-and macroeconomics, organic chemistry, multivariate and differential calculus, and vertebrate zoology.

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The special talents of the students are nurtured and enhanced. Students conduct research, take part in national math competitions and/or study music at a higher level. Moral, intellectual and humanistic values are also instilled, enabling them to achieve their maximum potential and become caring citizens of the world.

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3. Walter Payton College Prep

Walter Payton College Prep in Chicago, Illinois, has an average SAT score of 1390 and an average ACT score of 31. It has a student enrollment of 887 and a student-teacher ratio of 16:1. Proficiency in mathematics and reading is 99%. Located on Chicago’s north side, this high school is an internationally recognized science, math, and world language academy founded in 2000. It is a selective-enrollment public high school that fosters student discovery, intellectual curiosity and international exploration. The four Cs embraced at this school are character, courage, curiosity and compassion.

NPR

Students at Payton eagerly embrace the rigors of an all honors and advanced placement curriculum. They work with their teachers, peers, and national authorities to solve real-world problems. Students video conference with sister schools around the world. This school is an international model for global learning and teaching. In 2017, Walter Payton College Prep was ranked as the best public high school in the U.S. by Niche.

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2. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology

This school in Alexandria, Virginia, has an average SAT score of 1510 and an AP test pass rate of 34. It has an enrollment of 1,820 and a student-teacher ratio of 17:1. Proficiency in mathematics and reading is 100%. Established in 1985, this regional STEM magnet school has more than ten specialized research labs, ranging from oceanography to astrophysics. In a challenging environment, students can pursue their passions in a comprehensive program that goes beyond STEM courses. With a large enrollment, it’s impressive that the student-teacher ratio is 17:1, meaning students have the benefit of attending a large school without losing the advantage of individual attention.

Fort Hunt Herald

Problem-solving and critical thinking skills are regarded as crucial in order to address the complex ethical and societal issues of the times. Students are also believed to learn best when academic disciplines are integrated, allowing for an understanding of how they interact. These students also regularly give back to the community through humanitarian programs.

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1. Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA)

This school in Aurora, Illinois, has an average SAT score of 1450 and an average ACT score of 33. It has an enrollment of 649 students in grades 10-12. The student-teacher ratio is 12:1. The mission of the academy is to develop creative, ethical leaders in mathematics, science, technology, and engineering. It enrolls academically talented Illinois students in an advanced residential academic program. By design, the school is not part of the K-12 education system but acts as an independent state agency governed by a Board of Trustees.

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Students are challenged to explore, discover, and apply their knowledge to solve real-world problems. They learn to take risks and innovate to arrive at solutions. Ethical, creative, scientific minds are nurtured and ignited to advance the human condition through problem-solving. IMSA is also a laboratory for the advancement of STEM teaching statewide, with a responsibility to stimulate excellence for all Illinois schools. It advances education through strategic partnerships, groundbreaking ventures, and research.

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