The 10 Best Public High Schools In America

Gatton Academy

Newsweek and The Daily Beast recently released their list of the best high schools in America.

Though there are many ways to rank high schools, they focused on finding schools that best prepare their students for college.

They looked at over 2,500 public high schools around the country, and factored in graduation rates, participation in college-level classes via Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, and acceptance into a two- or four-year college program for the 2011-2012 school year.

We pulled out the top 10 schools from their list. Nearly all of these schools see 100% of their students graduate and then go on to college.

#10 Stanton College Preparatory School

Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Average SAT score: 1824

Average AP score: 2.7

Stanton College Prep dates back to the 1860s, when it was an elementary school for African-American students under the then-segregated education system. Today it's one of the best public high schools in the country, with a focus on teaching students 'cultural understanding and responsible citizenship.'

For reference, the highest possible SAT score is 2400 and the highest possible AP (Advanced Placement) score is 5.

#9 Suncoast Community High School

Location: Riviera Beach, Florida

Average SAT score: 1744

Average AP score: 2.9

Suncoast Community High School opened in 1989 as a magnet school. Students study in at least one of the school's four programs: maths, Science, and Engineering (MSE), Computer Science (CS), International Baccalaureate (IB), or the Innovative Interactive Technology Program (IIT).

For reference, the highest possible SAT score is 2400 and the highest possible AP (Advanced Placement) score is 5.

#8 Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Average SAT score: 2153

Average AP score: 4.5

This publicly-funded charter school is incredibly selective, with a difficult admissions process. The curriculum focuses primarily on maths, science, and technology, but it also teaches literature, music, the arts, and humanities.

For reference, the highest possible SAT score is 2400 and the highest possible AP (Advanced Placement) score is 5.

#7 BASIS Tucson North

Location: Tucson, Arizona

Average SAT score: 1995

Average AP score: 3.9

Basis Tucson North is a charter school in Tucson with state-of-the-art facilities and a diverse range of students. It's the newest Basis school in Tucson, which operates several other schools there.

For reference, the highest possible SAT score is 2400 and the highest possible AP (Advanced Placement) score is 5.

#6 School for Advanced Studies

Location: Miami, Florida

Average SAT score: 1812

Average AP score: 2.8

The School for Advanced Studies (SAS) is a dual-enrollment high school where students can take classes at both the high school and at Miami-Dade College (MDC). Juniors and seniors at SAS take classes while attending MDC, enabling them to transition seamlessly between high school and college.

For reference, the highest possible SAT score is 2400 and the highest possible AP (Advanced Placement) score is 5.

#5 The School for the Talented and Gifted Magnet High School

Location: Dallas, Texas

Average SAT score: 1914

Average AP score: 3.4

The School for the Talented and Gifted (TAG) is a public magnet high school that is known for its liberal arts program. The school focuses on small class sizes and personal attention to students.

For reference, the highest possible SAT score is 2400 and the highest possible AP (Advanced Placement) score is 5.

#4 School of Science/Engineering Magnet

Location: Dallas, Texas

Average SAT score: 1786

Average AP score: 2.6

The mission of the Science and Engineering Magnet High School--or SEM--is to 'provide students with a rigorous college preparatory, academic and technical program relating to the sciences, mathematics and engineering fields.'

For reference, the highest possible SAT score is 2400 and the highest possible AP (Advanced Placement) score is 5.

#3 BASIS Scottsdale

Location: Scottsdale, Arizona

Average SAT score: 2152

Average AP score: 4.1

BASIS Scottsdale is a charter school that first opened in 2003. Since then it has risen to become one of the top high schools in the country. The school teaches challenging humanities, maths, and science programs to 5th through 12th graders. High school students can take honours, AP and Post AP level classes.

For reference, the highest possible SAT score is 2400 and the highest possible AP (Advanced Placement) score is 5.

#2 International Baccalaureate School at Bartow High

Location: Bartow, Florida

Average SAT score: not available

Average AP score: 3.5

The International Baccalaureate (IB) School is a school-with-in-a school, located on the campus of Bartow High School. There are about 70 students in each class who take an international core curriculum and challenging academic courses.

For reference, the highest possible SAT score is 2400 and the highest possible AP (Advanced Placement) score is 5.

#1 Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky

Location: Bowling Green, Kentucky

Average SAT score: 2070

Average AP score: 4.5

The Gatton Academy is a public high school that's funded by the state of Kentucky that's geared towards students interested in careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and maths).

What makes this school different from other high schools is its relationship with Western Kentucky University: juniors and seniors take maths and science classes there instead of in their own high school.

For reference, the highest possible SAT score is 2400 and the highest possible AP (Advanced Placement) score is 5.

Now check out the top colleges.

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