Massachusetts Is Top State for High Schools, U.S. News and World Report Says

In a ranking of 17,000 schools, we came out on top.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA - May 28, 2016: Daytime view of the oldest public school in America located in the Longwood Medical District

Boston Latin School / Photo via iStock/DenisTangneyJr

If you could choose any state in the nation to send your kids to high school, your best bet is Massachusetts.

That’s according to a new study from U.S. News and World Report, which found that the state’s high schools, on average, were superior to those found in every other state.

This year the publication analyzed 17,000 high schools. In Massachusetts, 48.8 percent of them placed in the top 25 percent, outpacing runner-up Maryland, which had 43.7 percent of its schools in that top quarter, and third-ranked California, with 40 percent.

When it comes to individual high schools, Massachusetts doesn’t crack the U.S. News’ top 30. Boston Latin School, the top-rated high school in Massachusetts, was ranked 33rd in the nation. Next best in the state were Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School in Marlborough, ranked 157th, and Sturgis Charter Public School in Hyannis, ranked 216th.

The results differ from that of Boston magazine’s 2018 ranking of the state’s best public high schools, on which Dover-Sherborn was given the top slot. Boston’s ranking is compiled by third-party researchers.

To come to its conclusions, U.S. News crunched the numbers on how the schools stacked up on six metrics, according to a news release. Those factors are “college readiness,” as determined by AP and IB exams, as well as “reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rates,” the release says.

Topping the list was Academic Magnet High School in Charleston, South Carolina. In second place was the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, a magnet boarding school that focuses on STEM and is located in Limestone. BASIS Scottsdale, a charter school in Arizona, came third.

“Our mission with the Best High Schools rankings has always been to educate families about the schools in their district,” said Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News, in a statement. “By evaluating more schools than ever before, the new edition expands that focus so all communities can see which schools in their area are successfully serving their students—including historically underserved populations.”