Top 20 Best Public High Schools In the US 2024/2025

Top 20 Best Public High Schools In the US 2024/2025

Free public education is available to students at public, charter, and magnet schools, where they can take advantage of challenging academic curricula as well as blended, digital, and online learning options.

Community Colleges

The mission of the Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education is to ensure that all children have access to a high-quality, publicly funded education. Some public institutions now provide computer science and other STEM courses online, as well as blended and digital learning options for students in rural and remote areas.

Some offer advanced academic degrees, while others focus on post-secondary education or the performing arts. To far, the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and English language arts have been accepted by 41 states, the District of Columbia, 4 territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity.

Private High Schools

In order to meet the diverse requirements of their pupils, charter schools design curriculum specifically for each grade. Charter schools are publicly funded and run, but they work under the auspices of an authorizer. The academic criteria set forth by their charters and local governments are strictly followed.

Students of any race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background are welcome to enroll in a charter school. These public, fee-free institutions provide a climate where educators feel encouraged to try new, effective methods of teaching.

Concentration Magnet High Schools

There is a wide range of socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, and academic achievement levels represented in the student body at magnet schools. Most of these schools that charge no tuition use a lottery mechanism to choose students, as the demand for specialized programs is high.

Magnet schools offer a curriculum that focuses on areas such as science, technology, engineering, art, and music as well as foreign languages, international studies, and career and technical education. These institutions follow the rules set down by the state and frequently achieve better results than expected.

READ MORE: Top 10 The Best Business Schools in The USA

The top-ranked schools have a high percentage of students who scored above expectations on state assessments in math, science, and reading, passed a variety of college-level exams, and graduated in four years.

The state, metro area, and district rankings show how schools compare to others in a given geographic area. To ensure a fair comparison, magnet schools, charter schools, and STEM schools are ranked separately.

The data for nearly 24,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia is included in the U.S. News Best High Schools rankings. Nearly 18,000 schools were ranked on six criteria based on state assessment performance and how well they prepare students for college.

The best school is Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.

Niche ranked 24,249 public schools in the US. The best school is North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, followed by Payton College Preparatory High School.

(By KnowInsiders.com)

Address: 1219 BROAD STREET, DURHAM, NC 27705

Phone: (919) 416-2600

Website: ncssm.edu

Enrolment: 680

Overview:

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics is a highly regarded public school in DURHAM, North Carolina. It has a student-teacher ratio of 7 to 1 and 680 students in grades 11-12.

Ranking:

Best Public High Schools in North Carolina

1 of 597

Best High Schools for STEM in North Carolina

1 of 283

Feedbacks from students and parents:

90% of students and parents agree that the teachers give engaging lessons.

76% of students and parents agree that the teachers genuinely care about the students.

90% of students and parents agree that the teachers adequately lead and control the classroom.

100% of students and parents agree that there are plenty of clubs and organizations for students to get involved in

62% of students and parents agree that clubs and organizations get the funding they need.

95% of students and parents agree that lots of students participate in clubs and organizations.

Address: 1034 N WELLS ST

CHICAGO, IL 60610

Phone: (773) 534-0034

Website: wpcp.org

Enrolment: 1,191

Graduation rate: 99%

Overview: Walter Payton College Preparatory High School is a selective-enrollment magnet school with a curriculum that emphasizes honors and AP courses in science, math, humanities, language, and other subjects.

The high school also features foreign language courses in French, Japanese, Chinese, Latin, and Spanish. Students can participate in global exchange and study programs in China, France, Brazil, and South Africa. Each student takes four years of world language courses.

Payton College Preparatory High School is a top rated, public, magnet school located in CHICAGO, IL. It has 1,191 students in grades 9-12. According to state test scores, 93% of students are at least proficient in math and 97% in reading.

Ranking: Best Public High Schools in Illinois

1 of 698

Best High Schools for STEM in Illinois

1 of 295

Best Magnet High Schools in Illinois

1 of 27

Feedback from parents and students:

96% of students and parents agree that students at this school are competitive

20.

82% of students and parents agree that students at this school are creative and artsy.

75% of students and parents agree that students at this school are athletic.

93% of students and parents agree that the teachers give engaging lessons.

93% of students and parents agree that the teachers genuinely care about the students.

93% of students and parents agree that the teachers adequately lead and control the classroom.

Address: 5109-a West Enterprise Street, North Charleston, South Carolina

Phone: (843) 746-1300

Website: ccsdschools.com

Enrolment: 698

Student-Teacher Ratio: 17:1

Graduation rate: 100%

Overview: Academic Magnet High School’s mission statement states that it “challenges each student, teacher, and parent with high academic expectations.” Almost all courses at Academic Magnet High School are honors or AP, and every student completes an independent research project during their junior and senior years. Students’ work has appeared in numerous academic and professional journals. Wi-Fi is available in the cafeteria and three computer labs, allowing students to stay connected.

Ranking:

#2

in National Rankings

#1

in South Carolina High Schools

#1

in Charleston, SC Metro Area High Schools

#1

in Charleston County School District High Schools

#2

in Magnet High Schools

#53

in STEM High Schools

Address: 610 Main St Evansville, Indiana

Phone: +1 812-421-1820

Website: signature.edu

Overview: Signature School offers AP and IB courses, and its students consistently outperform the state and national averages on college entrance exams. Students can take electives such as piano lab in addition to AP and IB courses.

Ranking:

#3

in National Rankings

#1

in Indiana High Schools

#1

in Evansville, IN Metro Area High Schools

#1

in Charter High Schools

#159

in STEM High Schools

Graduation Rate: 100%

College Readiness: 100

Enrollment 9-12: 389

Address: JOT TRAVIS BULDING #048 1164 N

RENO, NV 89503

Phone: (775) 682-5800

Website: davidsonacademy.unr.edu

Tuition: $14,995 for the highest grade offered

Overview: The Davidson Academy is the only free public school of its kind for profoundly gifted students. The Academy’s classes group students by ability rather than age, offering a middle and high school level curriculum that is matched to their abilities, strengths and interests. Our unique approach to learning has attracted families from across the country and globe.

Located in Reno, Nev., the Davidson Academy is centered on a dynamic academic environment where students who score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ and achievement tests thrive among their intellectual peers.

Ranking:

Best Public Middle Schools in Nevada

1 of 163

Best Public Middle School Teachers in Nevada

1 of 158

Best Public High Schools in Nevada

1 of 133

Student-Teacher Ratio: 5:1

Enrolment: 165

Feedbacks from parents and students:

93% of students and parents agree that the teachers give engaging lessons.

93% of students and parents agree that the teachers genuinely care about the students.

80% of students and parents agree that students at this school are competitive.

80% of students and parents agree that students at this school are creative and artsy.

10% of students and parents agree that students at this school are athletic.

Address: 85 PRESCOTT STREET WORCESTER, MA 01605

Phone: (508) 831-5859

Website: massacademy.org

Enrolment: 100

Overview: The Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science is a tuition-free, co-educational public high school that enrolls approximately 100 academically accelerated 11th and 12th grade students from Massachusetts. A comprehensive, interactive academic program emphasizes math and science. At Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), rigorous junior and senior year classes prepare students for college academics before they graduate from high school.

Ranking:

Best Public High Schools in Massachusetts

1 of 363

Best Public High School Teachers in Massachusetts

1 of 362

Best College Prep Public High Schools in Massachusetts

1 of 341

Feedbacks:

100% of students agree that they feel safe at their school.

100% of students agree that they like their school and feel happy there.

60% of students and parents agree that students at this school are competitive.

50% of students and parents agree that students at this school are creative and artsy.

10% of students and parents agree that students at this school are athletic.

Address: 11011 Sw 104th St # T-301 Miami, Florida

Phone: (305) 237-0510

Website: sas.utmn.ru

Overview: The School for Advanced Studies (SAS) is ranked first in the state of Florida. Advanced Placement® coursework and exams are available to students. The School for Advanced Studies (SAS) has a 100% AP® participation rate. 90% of students are members of a minority group, and 47% are economically disadvantaged. School for Advanced Studies (SAS) is one of 128 public high schools in Miami-Dade County.

Ranking:

#4

in National Rankings

#1

in Florida High Schools

#1

in Miami, FL Metro Area High Schools

#1

in Miami-Dade County Public Schools High Schools

Graduation Rate: 100%

College Readiness: 99.4

Enrollment 9-12: 251

Address: 5501 N KEDZIE AVE CHICAGO, IL 60625

Phone: (773) 534-3954

Website: northsideprep.org

Overview: Northside College Preparatory High School is a top rated, public, magnet school located in CHICAGO, IL. It has 1,041 students in grades 9-12. According to state test scores, 94% of students are at least proficient in math and 97% in reading.

Ranking:

Best Public High Schools in Illinois

2 of 698

Best Magnet High Schools in Illinois

2 of 27

Best College Prep Public High Schools in Illinois

3 of 667

Feedbacks on Niche:

88% of students and parents agree that the teachers give engaging lessons.

93% of students and parents agree that the teachers genuinely care about the students.

92% of students and parents agree that the teachers adequately lead and control the classroom.

Rating 5 out of 5 Excellent: 202 reviews (33%)

Rating 4 out of 5 Very Good: 257 reviews (43%)

Rating 3 out of 5 Average: 120 reviews (20%)

Rating 2 out of 5 Poor: 14 reviews (2%)

Address: 1500 SULLIVAN RD AURORA, IL 60506

Phone: (630) 907-5053

Website: imsa.edu

Overview: The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA), founded as a public STEM academy for Illinois students, is internationally recognized for inspiring, challenging, and nurturing students who use their exceptional abilities to improve people’s lives. The academically advanced residential program at IMSA enables exceptional students in grades 10-12 to achieve extraordinary levels of success.

Ranking:

Best Public High School Teachers in Illinois

1 of 696

Best College Prep Public High Schools in Illinois

1 of 667

Best High Schools for STEM in Illinois

2 of 295

Feedbacks:

89% of students and parents agree that students at this school are competitive.

71% of students and parents agree that students at this school are creative and artsy.

98% of students and parents agree that there are plenty of clubs and organizations for students to get involved in.

Address: 6560 Braddock Rd Alexandria, Virginia

Phone: +1 703-750-8300

Website: tjhsst.fcps.edu

College Readiness: 100

Enrollment 9-12: 1,809

Overview: The STEM-focused curriculum at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology culminates in a technical lab project for seniors. DNA science, advanced marine biology, automation and robotics, architectural drawing and design, research statistics, and AP calculus are among the courses available at the school. TJHSST has 15 specialized research labs that cover everything from astronomy and astrophysics to oceanography and geophysical systems. Clubs like orchestra and swing dance are among the extracurricular activities at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, as are publications like Teknos, the school’s own science, technology, and math journal, and a plethora of athletic teams.

Graduation rate: 100%

Ranking:

#1

in National Rankings

#1

in Virginia High Schools

#1

in Washington, DC Metro Area High Schools

#1

in Fairfax County Public Schools High Schools

#1

in Magnet High Schools

#6

in STEM High Schools

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Address: 1000 N LOMBARDY ST RICHMOND, VA 23220

Phone: (804) 354-6800

Website: mlwgs.com

Enrolment: 746

Overview: Maggie Walker Governor’s School is a top rated, public, magnet school located in RICHMOND, VA. It has 746 students in grades 9-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 15 to 1. According to state test scores, 100% of students are at least proficient in math and 100% in reading.

Ranking:

Best Public High School Teachers in Virginia

1 of 326

Best Public High Schools in Virginia

2 of 328

Best College Prep Public High Schools in Virginia

2 of 322

Feedbacks:

100% of students agree that they feel safe at their school.

92% of students and parents agree that the teachers adequately lead and control the classroom

90% of students agree that they like their school and feel happy there.

Address: 765 NEWMAN SPRINGS ROAD LINCROFT, NJ 07738

Phone: (732) 842-8444

Website: hths.mcvsd.org

Enrolment: 287

Overview: High Technology High School is a highly rated public high school in LINCROFT, NJ. It has 295 students in grades 9 through 12 and a student-teacher ratio of 12 to 1. According to state test results, 95% of students are proficient in math and 95% are proficient in reading.

Ranking:

Best Public High Schools in New Jersey

1 of 425

Best Public High School Teachers in New Jersey

2 of 421

Best College Prep Public High Schools in New Jersey

2 of 408

Feedbacks:

93% of students and parents agree that students at this school are competitive

94% of students and parents agree that the teachers adequately lead and control the classroom.

83% of students and parents agree that lots of students participate in clubs and organizations.

Address: Jot Travis Bulding #048 1164 N

Phone: +1 775-682-5800

Website: davidsonacademy.unr.edu

Overview: The Nevada Davidson Academy is ranked first in the state. Advanced Placement® coursework and exams are available to students. The Davidson Academy of Nevada has a 95% AP® participation rate. The overall minority enrollment rate is 53%. The Davidson Academy of Nevada is the Davidson Academy School District’s sole high school.

Ranking:

#6

in National Rankings

#1

in Nevada High Schools

#1

in Reno, NV Metro Area High Schools

#1

in STEM High Schools

Graduation Rate: > 95%

College Readiness: 95.2

Enrollment 9-12: 143

Address: 01 East Main St, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Phone: (615) 904-6789

Website: central.rcschools.net

Overview: Central Magnet School is ranked first within Tennessee. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® coursework and exams. The AP® participation rate at Central Magnet School is 100%. The total minority enrollment is 20%. Central Magnet School is 1 of 12 high schools in the Rutherford County Schools.

Student-Teacher Ratio: 17:1

College Readiness: 100

Enrollment 9-12: 815

Ranking:

#7

in National Rankings

#1

in Tennessee High Schools

#1

in Nashville, TN Metro Area High Schools

#1

in Rutherford County Schools High Schools

#3

in Magnet High Schools

#165

in STEM High Schools

Address: 1201 E Eighth St, Dallas, Texas

Phone: 1201 E Eighth St, Dallas, Texas

Overview: The School for the Talented and Gifted adheres to the state’s Distinguished Achievement Program and emphasizes Advanced Placement curriculum — TAG offers 30 AP courses, of which students must take 12 in order to graduate. During interim terms, TAG students can conduct field research through partnerships with local universities, take electives like fashion marketing, and enroll in mini-courses like ballroom dancing or glass blowing.

Graduation Rate: 99%

College Readiness: 100

Enrollment 9-12: 464

Ranking:

#8

in National Rankings

#1

in Texas High Schools

#1

in Dallas, TX Metro Area High Schools

#1

in Dallas Independent School District High Schools

#4

in Magnet High Schools

#8

in STEM High Schools

Address: 211 S LAFLIN ST CHICAGO, IL 60607

Phone: (773) 534-7500

Website: wyoung.org

Overview: Whitney M. Young Magnet High School is a top rated, public, magnet school located in CHICAGO, IL. It has 2,121 students in grades 7-12. According to state test scores, 93% of students are at least proficient in math and 91% in reading.

Ranking:

Most Diverse Public High Schools in Illinois

2 of 718

Best Public High Schools in Illinois

4 of 698

Best College Prep Public High Schools in Illinois

4 of 667

Feedbacks:

95% of students and parents agree that students at this school are competitive.

94% of students and parents agree that students at this school are creative and artsy.

88% of students and parents agree that students at this school are athletic.

Address: 970 Mcelvaney Ln, Lawrenceville, Georgia

Phone: (678) 518-6700

Overview: Georgia’s Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology is ranked first. Advanced Placement® coursework and exams are available to students. Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology has a 100% AP® participation rate. The total minority enrollment is 85%, with 28% being economically disadvantaged. Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology is one of Gwinnett County School District’s 27 high schools.

Graduation Rate: 100%

College Readiness: 99.0

Enrollment 9-12: 1,197

Ranking:

#9

in National Rankings

#1

in Georgia High Schools

#1

in Atlanta, GA Metro Area High Schools

#1

in Gwinnett County School District High Schools

#11

in STEM High Schools

Address: 1699 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Phone: (215) 400-7580

Overview: Julia R. Masterman Secondary School is the top-ranked secondary school in Pennsylvania. Advanced Placement® coursework and exams are available to students. Julia R. Masterman Secondary School has a 97% AP® participation rate. The total minority enrollment is 57%, with all students being economically disadvantaged. Julia R. Masterman Secondary School is one of the Philadelphia City School District’s 56 high schools.

Graduation Rate: 98%

College Readiness: 95.5

Enrollment 9-12: 462

Overall Score by US News: 99.94/100

Address: 520 WEST MAIN STREET ROCKAWAY, NJ 07866

Phone: (973) 664-2301

Website: mhrd.org

Overview:

The Academy for Mathematics, Science & Engineering is a top rated, public, magnet school located in ROCKAWAY, NJ. It has 182 students in grades 9-12. According to state test scores, 90% of students are at least proficient in math and 95% in reading.

Ranking:

Best Public High School Teachers in New Jersey

1 of 421

Best High Schools for STEM in New Jersey

1 of 301

Best Magnet High Schools in New Jersey

1 of 37

Feedbacks:

91% of students and parents agree that there are plenty of clubs and organizations for students to get involved in.

82% of students and parents agree that the teachers adequately lead and control the classroom.

90% of students and parents agree that students at this school are competitive.

Address: 1212 W SPRINGFIELD AVE URBANA, IL 61801

Phone: (217) 333-2870

Website: uni.illinois.edu

Overview: University of Illinois High School is a top rated, public school located in URBANA, IL. It has 314 students in grades 7-12.

Ranking:

Best Public High School Teachers in Illinois

3 of 696

Best Public High Schools in Illinois

5 of 698

Best High Schools for STEM in Illinois

5 of 295

Feedbacks:

100% of students and parents agree that students at this school are competitive.

94% of students and parents agree that students at this school are creative and artsy.

90% of students and parents agree that the teachers genuinely care about the students.

National high school enrollment statistics were used to create a national ranking for public high schools by number of students enrolled. The list is based on the total number of students attending the school and shows the biggest/largest schools in the nation.

Rank

Total Enrollment

School

City

1

14,153

Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow

Columbus, OH

2

13,916

Georgia Cyber Academy

Atlanta, GA

3

11,372

Noble Street Charter Schools

Chicago, IL

4

9,466

Ohio Virtual Academy

Maumee, OH

5

9,058

Pennsylvania Cyber Cs

Midland, PA

6

8,877

Commonwealth Connections Academy Cs

Harrisburg, PA

7

8,404

Chicago International Charter

Chicago, IL

8

8,153

Agora Cyber Cs

King of Prussia, PA

9

8,015

Uno Academy Charter Schools

Chicago, IL

10

5,833

River Springs Charter

Temecula, CA

11

5,778

Somerset Academy of Las Vegas

North Las Vegas, NV

12

5,534

Brooklyn Technical High School

Brooklyn, NY

13

5,338

Visions in Education

Carmichael, CA

14

5,109

Texas Connections Academy at Houston

Houston, TX

15

4,930

Carmel High School

Carmel, IN

16

4,794

Paramount High School

Paramount, CA

17

4,746

Allen High School

Allen, TX

18

4,729

Skyline High School

Dallas, TX

19

4,641

North Shore Senior High School

Houston, TX

20

4,601

Cypress Bay High School

Weston, FL

21

4,562

Waukegan High School

Waukegan, IL

22

4,558

Brentwood High School

Brentwood, NY

23

4,512

Bentonville High School

Bentonville, AR

24

4,480

Granada Hills Charter High School

Granada Hills, CA

25

4,398

Fort Hamilton High School

Brooklyn, NY

26

4,377

Lewisville High School

Lewisville, TX

27

4,370

Polytechnic High School

Long Beach, CA

28

4,290

Francis Lewis High School

Fresh Meadows, NY

29

4,274

Downey High School

Downey, CA

30

4,268

The Woodlands High School

The Woodlands, TX

31

4,250

Brockton High School

Brockton, MA

32

4,242

United High School

Laredo, TX

33

4,213

John A. Ferguson Senior High School

Miami, FL

34

4,197

Warren Township High School

Gurnee, IL

35

4,190

Lake Braddock Secondary

Burke, VA

36

4,184

Dobie High School

Houston, TX

37

4,152

Duncanville High School

Duncanville, TX

38

4,142

Elsik High School

Houston, TX

39

4,142

Central High East Campus

Fresno, CA

40

4,124

West Orange High School

Winter Garden, FL

41

4,094

Deer Park High School

Deer Park, TX

42

4,079

Eleanor Roosevelt High School

Eastvale, CA

43

4,070

Goal Academy

Pueblo, CO

44

4,068

Wando High School

Mount Pleasant, SC

45

4,049

Lane Technical High School

Chicago, IL

46

4,028

Klein Oak High School

Spring, TX

47

4,003

Midwood High School

Brooklyn, NY

48

3,998

Mill Creek High School

Hoschton, GA

49

3,997

Interior Distance Education of Alaska (idea)

Fairbanks, AK

50

3,989

North Star Academy Charter School

Newark, NJ

51

3,985

Lyons Twp High School

La Grange, IL

52

3,979

Odessa High School

Odessa, TX

53

3,956

Klein High School

Klein, TX

54

3,948

Hastings High School

Houston, TX

55

3,932

Adlai E Stevenson High School

Lincolnshire, IL

56

3,918

Robinson Secondary

Fairfax, VA

57

3,914

Tottenville High School

Staten Island, NY

58

3,892

Edward R Murrow High School

Brooklyn, NY

59

3,881

Georgia Connections Academy

Duluth, GA

60

3,870

Oak Ridge High School

Conroe, TX

61

3,861

Hoosier Academy Virtual Charter School

Indianapolis, IN

62

3,855

El Camino Real Charter High School

Woodland Hills, CA

63

3,841

Forest Hills High School

Forest Hills, NY

64

3,840

Hamilton High School

Chandler, AZ

65

3,793

James Logan High School

Union City, CA

66

3,792

Wilson High School

Long Beach, CA

67

3,778

Broken Arrow High School

Broken Arrow, OK

68

3,764

Neuqua Valley High School

Naperville, IL

69

3,763

Oregon Connections Academy

Mill City, OR

70

3,753

Norcross High School

Norcross, GA

71

3,729

Judson High School

Converse, TX

72

3,726

Cypress Falls High School

Houston, TX

73

3,724

West Aurora High School

Aurora, IL

74

3,711

East High School

Aurora, IL

75

3,710

Warren Central High School

Indianapolis, IN

76

3,705

Indiana Connections Academy

Indianapolis, IN

77

3,704

Cypress Lakes High School

Katy, TX

78

3,701

Warren High School

Downey, CA

79

3,691

Klein Forest High School

Houston, TX

80

3,677

Southwest High School

San Antonio, TX

81

3,666

Cypress Ranch High School

Cypress, TX

82

3,665

Cy-Fair High School

Cypress, TX

83

3,665

Benjamin N Cardozo High School

Bayside, NY

84

3,648

Sc Connections Academy

Columbia, SC

85

3,636

North Central High School

Indianapolis, IN

86

3,635

Arizona Virtual Academy

Phoenix, AZ

87

3,634

Conroe High School

Conroe, TX

88

3,631

Tc Williams High School

Alexandria, VA

89

3,630

Sam Houston High School

Arlington, TX

90

3,625

Upper Darby Shs

Drexel Hill, PA

91

3,621

Permian High School

Odessa, TX

92

3,616

Millikan High School

Long Beach, CA

93

3,615

Klein Collins High School

Spring, TX

94

3,602

Youth Connections Charter High School

Chicago, IL

95

3,592

Lockport Township High School East

Lockport, IL

96

3,584

Bellaire High School

Bellaire, TX

97

3,581

Dr. Phillips High School

Orlando, FL

98

3,581

Colonial High School

Orlando, FL

99

3,580

Santiago High School

Corona, CA

100

3,574

G. Holmes Braddock Senior High School

Miami, FL

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