Public education endures a lot of criticism over standardized tests, dropout rates and ill-prepared graduates. While the negative headlines could be discouraging for parents choosing a high school for their teen, great things are happening in classrooms across the country.
The 2014 Best High Schools rankings, released today, can help parents identify standout schools in their state, as well as those that excel nationally. U.S. News analyzed more than 31,200 public high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and has published data on more than 19,400, including student demographics and results on state exams and Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests.
We teamed up with American Institutes for Research, a D.C.-based organization, to evaluate schools in three phases. The first two steps looked at overall student performance on state-mandated assessments, as well as how effectively schools educated their black, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students. We then used participation in and performance on AP and IB exams to evaluate how well schools prepared students for college-level course work.