The Best High Schools In The U.S. List Shows The East Coast May Want To Step Up Its Game

Did you go to one of the best high schools in the U.S.? If you live in Texas, you had better chances of doing so than the rest of us. In fact, if you live in the South at all, you may have attended one. The top 10 best high schools feature no fewer than seven schools in the South, four of which are located in Texas, the Huffington Post reports. The state may have some questionable teaching methods when it comes to evolution and climate change, but clearly they're doing something right. The list is compiled each year by U.S. News & World Report, which looks at more than 29,000 public high schools across the nation. Working with research firm RTI International, the rankings are based on three areas. First is, of course, student performances on state-mandated standardized tests. Next, the school's efforts to educate disadvantaged students were factored in. Lastly, to measure how well the schools prepare their students for higher education, the report analyzes how well they perform on Accelerated Placement and International Baccalaureate exams.This year, the best high school in the U.S. is the School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas, TX, which has defended its title for four years now. According to principal Ben Mackey, the school's success comes down to small class sizes, high expectations, and, supportive staff. "We are a small school and we believe very passionately that that is one of our major things that sets us apart," he said, adding that this allows him to "know every single student by more than just their name."Nobody else seems to be saying this, so I will: it basically sounds like Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, only without the mutants.

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Second place was also awarded to the same school as last year: BASIS Scottsdale, located in Arizona, ranked just below the School for the Talented and Gifted (TAG) for the second year in a row. Third, fourth, and fifth place went to STEM schools; Virginia's Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology got third, while the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science in Technology, in Georgia, came in fourth. Rounding out the top five was another Texas institution, the School of Science and Engineering Magnet. In fact, it even shares a facility with TAG, which must cause some pretty epic rivalries.

Overall, Maryland had the most well-ranked schools, with almost 30 percent receiving either gold or silver medals in the report. California came in a close second, and Connecticut was ranked third. In terms of just gold-medal schools, however, California took first place, with 95 schools receiving the honor. Alabama and South Dakota, in contrast, did not receive any medals at all.To read about the rankings for charter, magnet and STEM schools, or to see how your state's education stacks up against the competition, head over to the U.S. News website.

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