Best Public High Schools in the United States

According to the National Centre for Education Statistics (NCES), the United States has more than 24,000 public secondary schools. The criteria for selecting the best high schools in the country include: the strength of the high-school curriculum, the SAT/ACT scores, the student to teacher ratio, facilities, clubs and activities. Some of the best public high schools are listed below.

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Virginia

The Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology was created to improve the quality of student education in Science, Mathematics and Technology. The curriculum’s fundamental skills and values emphasize the need for students to hone their skills of problem solving skills, critical inquiry and research, intellectual curiosity and social responsibility. The Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology offers an extensive STEM-based curriculum including new-age subjects such as artificial intelligence, DNA science, neurobiology, linear algebra, organic chemistry, quantum mechanics, and marine biology. The curriculum also emphasizes the need for students to learn humanities and foreign languages. The heart of the school’s curriculum lies in three areas namely biology, English, and technology. Student research plays an essential role in learning at the high school. Students must complete an original engineering or experimental research project as part of their necessary and graded curricula.

Carnegie Vanguard High School, Houston

Carnegie Vanguard High School, a community-centred magnet school, has a curriculum which consists of AP courses, pre-AP courses, and Honours electives. The gradation of each student is calculated on the basis of his or her performing at least 100 hours of community service and taking ten Advanced Placement courses. The admission to this school requires universal assessment scores, teacher recommendation, transcript, and/or a gifted and talented identification.

Liberal Arts and Science Academy, Texas

The Liberal Arts and Science Academy is an advanced academic magnet high school and it recruits the most academically sound and exceptionally intelligent students from public and private middle schools in Austin, TX. The AP courses offered include everything from statistics to music theory, offering plenty of variety. All students take the AP exam with a pass rate of 96 percent. The matriculation rate to four-year colleges and universities is 95.5 percent. Outside the classroom, Liberal Arts and Science Academy offers a plethora of sports teams and clubs for students to participate in. The available clubs include chess, debate, Future Teachers of America, and philosophy. Also, there are certain foreign language clubs include French, German, Japanese, Latin, Spanish, and Chinese. The school also offers project-based courses, which rely heavily on discussion and seminar style delivery of course information as well as the use, interpretation, and delivery of research.

Gilbert Classical Academy, Arizona

Gilbert Classical Academy relies on the Socratic method of instruction. The school prepares students for college-level study by only offering Honours and Advanced Placement courses. All students participate in AP courses with a pass rate of 98 percent. The Gilbert Classical Academy enhances its curriculum with a number of fine arts, clubs, and athletic opportunities. Students must complete 80 hours of community service and defend a Senior Thesis Project at the end of their trajectory here.

Design and Architecture Senior High School, Miami

Design and Architecture Senior High School, a magnet school, provides students with a solid foundation in fashion, visual communications, fine art, entertainment, industrial design, and architecture. Students registered here can also enrol themselves in traditional science, math, and language arts courses. Design and Architecture Senior High School offers courses at the AP and Honors levels as well as dual enrollment courses with local colleges. 98 percent of students enroll in AP courses. Students can gain real-world experience through internships with local design firms. Economically disadvantaged students make up 40 percent of the Design and Architecture Senior High School student body. Design and Architecture Senior High School has also received the Blue Ribbon School of Excellence recognition from the U.S. Department of Education.

University High School, Arizona

University High School is essentially a preparatory school for college. It provides curriculum in mathematics, science, social studies, English, fine arts and modern languages. The high school serves academically focused and intellectually gifted students through the curriculum and social support. All academic courses are Honours or Advanced Placement courses. All students are required to take the AP exam. The school offers a variety of foreign languages, including Chinese, French, and German. The University High School also has a strong partnership with the University of Arizona to provide concurrent enrolment to students in an engineering course.

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