Content Exchange

The quality of American public schools can vary widely between states, cities, and even districts. Not all schools are able to provide students with the same level of education, access to extracurriculars, counseling, or college preparation. While each public school faces its own unique challenges, each state has one public school that stands out as the very best.

The best public high schools tend to be in relatively affluent areas, where incomes are well above the U.S. median household income of $62,843. A wealthier tax base for a school district means that schools have more funding to hire teachers and other faculty and provide more extracurriculars.

In many of the best public high schools in a given state, the vast majority of students graduate and perform well in educational assessments. Nationwide, only 24% of students are proficient in math and 37% are proficient in reading, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Students at top high schools also tend to perform well in college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT, with reported scores well above the 1058 out of 1600 nationwide average for the SAT and the 20.6 out of 36 average for the ACT.

Out of nearly 250 public high schools in Kentucky, Louisville's DuPont Manual High School ranks as the best. The magnet school earned an A+ overall grade from school data platform Niche as well as top marks for its academics, clubs and activities, and college prep.

DuPont Manual High School ranks as the top high school in large part because of the academic performance of its students -- 85% are proficient in math and 88% are proficient in reading. Of the nearly 1,900 students, 80% are enrolled in Advanced Placement classes.

To determine the best public high schools in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 2022 K-12 School & District Rankings from Niche, a platform for education data. The Niche ranking is based on academic and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education as well as student reviews submitted to Niche. Data on student count and student-teacher ratio came from Niche.


StateSchoolCity/districtStudentsStudent-teacher ratio
AlabamaLoveless Academic Magnet Program High SchoolMontgomery County Schools49116:1
AlaskaMat-Su Career & Tech Education High SchoolMatanuska-Susitna Borough School District73219:1
ArizonaBASIS Oro ValleyOro Valley6266:1
ArkansasHaas Hall AcademyHaas Hall Academy45114:1
CaliforniaHenry M. Gunn High SchoolPalo Alto Unified School District1,99619:1
ColoradoCherry Creek High SchoolCherry Creek School District3,80621:1
ConnecticutStaples High SchoolWestport School District1,82812:1
DelawareThe Charter School of WilmingtonWilmington97121:1
FloridaPine View SchoolSarasota County Schools1,87717:1
GeorgiaGwinnett School of Mathematics, Science & TechnologyGwinnett County Public Schools1,15417:1
HawaiiMililani High SchoolHawaii Department of Education2,62018:1
IdahoBoise Senior High SchoolBoise Independent School District1,57018:1
IllinoisPayton College Preparatory High SchoolChicago Public Schools1,22016:1
IndianaIndiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and HumanitiesMuncie2397:1
IowaPleasant Valley High SchoolPleasant Valley Community School District1,46118:1
KansasBlue Valley North High SchoolBlue Valley Unified School District (Overland Park)1,48315:1
KentuckyDuPont Manual High SchoolJefferson County Public Schools1,88717:1
LouisianaBenjamin Franklin High SchoolNew Orleans99720:1
MaineMaine School of Science & MathematicsLimestone13310:1
MarylandPoolesville High SchoolMontgomery County Public Schools1,20519:1
MassachusettsMA Academy for Math & Science SchoolWorcester9916:1
MichiganInternational AcademyOakland Schools1,520N/A
MinnesotaMinnetonka Senior High SchoolMinnetonka Public School District3,38619:1
MississippiThe Mississippi School for Mathematics and ScienceColumbus23811:1
MissouriLadue Horton Watkins High SchoolLadue School District1,31515:1
MontanaBozeman High SchoolBozeman2,24317:1
NebraskaMillard North High SchoolMillard Public Schools2,61418:1
NevadaThe Davidson AcademyReno1784:1
New HampshireHanover High SchoolSau 7074212:1
New JerseyHigh Technology High SchoolLincroft29313:1
New MexicoArrowhead Park Early College High SchoolLas Cruces Public Schools34318:1
New YorkStuyvesant High SchoolNew York City Geographic District No. 23,38421:1
North CarolinaNorth Carolina School of Science and MathematicsDurham6807:1
North DakotaFargo Davies High SchoolFargo1,29515:1
OhioIndian Hill High SchoolIndian Hill Exempted Village School District62812:1
OklahomaOklahoma School of Science and MathematicsOklahoma City1506:1
OregonSchool of Science & TechnologyBeaverton School District17524:1
PennsylvaniaJulia R. Masterman Secondary SchoolPhiladelphia City School District1,20724:1
Rhode IslandBarrington High SchoolBarrington Public Schools1,12214:1
South CarolinaSouth Carolina Governor's School for Science & MathematicsHartsville27013:1
South DakotaWashington High SchoolSioux Falls School District1,95017:1
TennesseeHume-Fogg Academic Magnet SchoolMetro Nashville Public Schools90720:1
TexasSchool for the Talented & GiftedDallas Independent School District40917:1
UtahKarl G. Maeser Preparatory AcademyLindon63417:1
VermontSouth Burlington High SchoolSouth Burlington School District88013:1
VirginiaMaggie Walker Governor's SchoolRichmond74615:1
WashingtonTesla STEM High SchoolLake Washington School District60321:1
West VirginiaBridgeport High SchoolHarrison County Schools83317:1
WisconsinBrookfield East High SchoolElmbrook School District1,31017:1
WyomingJackson Hole High SchoolTeton County School District No. 174013:1


This article originally ran on

Locations Content Exchange

Recommended for you