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Best public high school in every state

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Redd Angelo // Unsplash

Best public high school in every state

As the world continues to grow ever more intellectually advanced, so do the quality of academics even at the earliest levels. According to research from the University of Virginia, 31 percent of teachers held the belief that children should learn to read by kindergarten, while 80 percent shared this philosophy when the question was asked in 2010. Since many parents see their children’s first taste of formal education as a “make-or-break gauntlet” bound to define the course of their child’s academic rollercoaster, it stands to reason that this stress could only be amplified when it comes to choosing a high school, the time in a young person’s life when they are incredibly susceptible to emotional, physical, and psychological changes.

According to the College Board, the average all-in 4-year cost of sending a child to university is approximately $129,000, a figure so staggeringly large that parents of all income levels are constantly scrambling to find new ways to save. One of the best and most obvious ways to do that is by avoiding the astronomically high tuition and fees mandated by private and boarding high schools, and instead opting for some of the best free public schools the nation has to offer.

In seeking to keep the decision-making process as local as possible for parents, Stacker referenced Niche data in order to list the best public high school in every state. For the purposes of this story, only traditional public high schools were taken into consideration, meaning the likes of charter schools, magnet schools, or any lottery-based or admission-based schools are not included in the slideshow.


Read on and consider sending your child to the best public school in your home state!

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AuburnPilot // Wikimedia Commons

Alabama: Mountain Brook High School

Number of students: 1,073; Student-teacher ratio: 13:1
Math proficiency: 70%; Reading proficiency: 63%

Average graduation rate: 98%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A-

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Helena Bowman // Wikimedia Commons

Alaska: West High School

Number of students: 1,880; Student-teacher ratio: 22:1
Math proficiency: 24%; Reading proficiency: 30%

Average graduation rate: 87%
Overall Niche grade: A
Academics grade: A-
Clubs & activities grade: B

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Arizona College Prep

Arizona: Arizona College Prep Erie Campus

Number of students: 594; Student-teacher ratio: 20:1
Math proficiency: 86%; Reading proficiency: 80%

Average graduation rate: 90%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: B

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Flexomickey // Wikicommons

Arkansas: Fayetteville High School East

Number of students: 2,764; Student-teacher ratio: 15:1
Math proficiency: 40%; Reading proficiency: 61%

Average graduation rate: 87%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A
Clubs & activities grade: A

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Docnavi // Wikimedia Commons

California: Canyon Crest Academy

Number of students: 2,255; Student-teacher ratio: 26:1
Math proficiency: 80%; Reading proficiency: 92%

Average graduation rate: 99%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A

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Cherry Creek, Colorado—bonjourpeewee // Flickr

Colorado: Cherry Creek High School

Number of students: 3,499; Student-teacher ratio: 21:1
Math proficiency: 70%; Reading proficiency: 72%

Average graduation rate: 93%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A+

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WestportWiki // Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut: Staples High School

Number of students: 1,885; Student-teacher ratio: 13:1
Math proficiency: 76%; Reading proficiency: 91%

Average graduation rate: 99%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A+

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CHS

Delaware: Concord High School

Number of students: 1,126; Student-teacher ratio: 17:1
Math proficiency: 47%; Reading proficiency: 70%

Average graduation rate: 90%
Overall Niche grade: A
Academics grade: B+
Clubs & activities grade: A

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Justin Lebar // Wikicommons

Florida: Pine View School

Number of students: 2,175; Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
Math proficiency: 99%; Reading proficiency: 99%

Average graduation rate: 95%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: B

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homson200 // Wikimedia Commons

Georgia: Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science & Technology

Number of students: 966; Student-teacher ratio: 17:1
Math proficiency: 96%; Reading proficiency: 97%

Average graduation rate: 95%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A

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Daniel Ramirez // Wikimedia Commons

Hawaii: Mililani High School

Number of students: 2,495; Student-teacher ratio: 19:1
Math proficiency: 44%; Reading proficiency: 61%

Average graduation rate: 93%
Overall Niche grade: A
Academics grade: B+
Clubs & activities grade: A+

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Andy.priest // Wikicommons

Idaho: Boise Senior High School

Number of students: 1,549; Student-teacher ratio: 20:1
Math proficiency: 62%; Reading proficiency: 79%

Average graduation rate: 92%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A
Clubs & activities grade: A

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Racaris // Wikimedia Commons

Illinois: Adlai E. Stevenson High School

Number of students: 3,932; Student-teacher ratio: 15:1
Math proficiency: 50%; Reading proficiency: 73%

Average graduation rate: 95%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A+

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West Lafayette School Corporation

Indiana: West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School

Number of students: 1,081; Student-teacher ratio: 16:1
Math proficiency: 80%; Reading proficiency: 83%

Average graduation rate: 95%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A

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Gregunderscorem // Wikimedia Commons

Iowa: Ames High School

Number of students: 1,270; Student-teacher ratio: 17:1
Math proficiency: 94%; Reading proficiency: 91%

Average graduation rate: 93%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A+

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elisfkc // Wikimedia Commons

Kansas: Blue Valley North High School

Number of students: 1,514; Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
Math proficiency: 56%; Reading proficiency: 58%

Average graduation rate: 96%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A

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Fort Thomas Independent Schools

Kentucky: Highlands High School

Number of students: 992; Student-teacher ratio: 19:1
Math proficiency: 74%; Reading proficiency: 81%

Average graduation rate: 95%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A+

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jmorrill13 // Youtube

Louisiana: Dutchtown High School

Number of students: 2,142; Student-teacher ratio: 17:1
Math proficiency: 87%; Reading proficiency: 89%

Average graduation rate: 92%
Overall Niche grade: A
Academics grade: A
Clubs & activities grade: A-

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Nearby Lighthouse — Rapidfire // Wikicommons

Maine: Cape Elizabeth High School

Number of students: 541; Student-teacher ratio: 12:1
Math proficiency: 77%; Reading proficiency: 87%

Average graduation rate: 95%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A

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Dwight Burdette // Wikimedia Commons

Maryland: Winston Churchill High School

Number of students: 2,093; Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
Math proficiency: 97%; Reading proficiency: 96%

Average graduation rate: 96%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A

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John Phelan // Wikimedia Commons

Massachusetts: Lexington High School

Number of students: 2,154; Student-teacher ratio: 13:1
Math proficiency: 97%; Reading proficiency: 99%

Average graduation rate: 98%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A

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Google Maps

Michigan: Troy High School

Number of students: 1,980; Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
Math proficiency: 73%; Reading proficiency: 84%

Average graduation rate: 95%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A-

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Niche

Minnesota: Minnetonka Senior High School

Number of students: 3,089; Student-teacher ratio: 21:1
Math proficiency: 70%; Reading proficiency: 78%

Average graduation rate: 96%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A+

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Stancilb23 // Wikimedia Commons

Mississippi: Oxford High School

Number of students: 1,133; Student-teacher ratio: 19:1
Math proficiency: 43%; Reading proficiency: 60%

Average graduation rate: 87%
Overall Niche grade: A
Academics grade: A-
Clubs & activities grade: A

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Christner

Missouri: Clayton High School

Number of students: 870; Student-teacher ratio: 12:1
Math proficiency: 88%; Reading proficiency: 90%

Average graduation rate: 98%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A+

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Shaciah Lee // Shutterstock

Montana: Bozeman High School

Number of students: 1,989; Student-teacher ratio: 17:1
Math proficiency: 68%; Reading proficiency: 92%

Average graduation rate: 84%
Overall Niche grade: A
Academics grade: A
Clubs & activities grade: A+

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Millard North High School

Nebraska: Millard North High School

Number of students: 2,529; Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
Math proficiency: 79%; Reading proficiency: 88%

Average graduation rate: 93%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A
Clubs & activities grade: A

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Reno High School Alumni Association

Nevada: Reno High School

Number of students: 1,700; Student-teacher ratio: 24:1
Math proficiency: 81%; Reading proficiency: 75%

Average graduation rate: 90%
Overall Niche grade: A
Academics grade: A
Clubs & activities grade: B+

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Ken_Gallager // Wikimedia Commons

New Hampshire: Hanover High School

Number of students: 691; Student-teacher ratio: 12:1
Math proficiency: 77%; Reading proficiency: 95%

Average graduation rate: 95%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A+

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Google Maps

New Jersey: Millburn Senior High School

Number of students: 1,474; Student-teacher ratio: 12:1
Math proficiency: 59%; Reading proficiency: 58%

Average graduation rate: 97%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A+

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Greg Comlish // Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico: Los Alamos High School

Number of students: 1,083; Student-teacher ratio: 15:1
Math proficiency: 47%; Reading proficiency: 64%

Average graduation rate: 83%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A
Clubs & activities grade: A-

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Alchaenist // Wikimedia Commons

New York: Great Neck South High School

Number of students: 1,205; Student-teacher ratio: 11:1
Math proficiency: 99%; Reading proficiency: 99%

Average graduation rate: 96%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A+

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Mr. Granger // Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina: East Chapel Hill High School

Number of students: 1,360; Student-teacher ratio: 16:1
Math proficiency: 74%; Reading proficiency: 84%

Average graduation rate: 95%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A-

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LisaMarei // Wikicommons

North Dakota: Fargo Davies High School

Number of students: 1,210; Student-teacher ratio: 16:1
Math proficiency: 58%; Reading proficiency: 77%

Average graduation rate: 96%
Overall Niche grade: A
Academics grade: A
Clubs & activities grade: A

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Sesamehoneytart // Wikimedia Commons

Ohio: Dublin Jerome High School

Number of students: 1,563; Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
Math proficiency: 82%; Reading proficiency: 91%

Average graduation rate: 99%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A

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Smb1138 // Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma: Memorial High School

Number of students: 2,155; Student-teacher ratio: 21:1
Math proficiency: 90%; Reading proficiency: 90%

Average graduation rate: 93%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A
Clubs & activities grade: A

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Chris Phan // Wikimedia Commons

Oregon: South Eugene High School

Number of students: 1,447; Student-teacher ratio: 26:1
Math proficiency: 79%; Reading proficiency: 87%

Average graduation rate: 89%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: C+

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OnlyInAmerica // Wikimedia Commons

Pennsylvania: Conestoga Senior High School

Number of students: 2,062; Student-teacher ratio: 16:1
Math proficiency: 95%; Reading proficiency: 95%

Average graduation rate: 99%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A+

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0xF8E8 // Wikimedia Commons

Rhode Island: Barrington High School

Number of students: 1,028; Student-teacher ratio: 13:1
Math proficiency: 54%; Reading proficiency: 76%

Average graduation rate: 97%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A+

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Cpl Gabrielle Bustos // U.S. Marines Corps

South Carolina: Wando High School

Number of students: 4,068; Student-teacher ratio: 16:1
Math proficiency: 92%; Reading proficiency: 93%

Average graduation rate: 91%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A
Clubs & activities grade: A+

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TCN7JM // Wikimedia Commons

South Dakota: Brandon Valley High School

Number of students: 1,024; Student-teacher ratio: 22:1
Math proficiency: 59%; Reading proficiency: 77%

Average graduation rate: 94%
Overall Niche grade: A
Academics grade: A-
Clubs & activities grade: A

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doe-oakridge // Wikimedia Commons

Tennessee: Brentwood High School

Number of students: 1,775; Student-teacher ratio: 19:1
Math proficiency: 89%; Reading proficiency: 94%

Average graduation rate: 98%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A-

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Redsully // Wikimedia Commons

Texas: Westlake High School

Number of students: 2,584; Student-teacher ratio: 15:1
Math proficiency: 93%; Reading proficiency: 96%

Average graduation rate: 99%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A+

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Morganpitcher // Wikimedia Commons

Utah: Park City High School

Number of students: 1,147; Student-teacher ratio: 19:1
Math proficiency: 58%; Reading proficiency: 57%

Average graduation rate: 93%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A+

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Webpage882003 // Wikimedia Commons

Vermont: South Burlington High School

Number of students: 881; Student-teacher ratio: 13:1
Math proficiency: 60%; Reading proficiency: 82%

Average graduation rate: 93%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A+

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Fairfax County // Flickr

Virginia: McLean High School

Number of students: 2,103; Student-teacher ratio: 18:1
Math proficiency: 90%; Reading proficiency: 98%

Average graduation rate: 92%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A-

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YouTube

Washington: Interlake Senior High School

Number of students: 1,590; Student-teacher ratio: 19:1
Math proficiency: 91%; Reading proficiency: 96%

Average graduation rate: 87%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A-

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Slowking4 // Wikimedia Commons

Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson High School

Number of students: 1,791; Student-teacher ratio: 15:1
Math proficiency: 19%; Reading proficiency: 21%

Average graduation rate: 88%
Overall Niche grade: A
Academics grade: A-
Clubs & activities grade: A

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Prayitno / Thank you for (12 millions +) view // Flickr

West Virginia: Morgantown High School

Number of students: 1,808; Student-teacher ratio: 20:1
Math proficiency: 40%; Reading proficiency: 63%

Average graduation rate: 89%
Overall Niche grade: A
Academics grade: A
Clubs & activities grade: B+

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FOX6 Milwaukee // Flickr

Wisconsin: Whitefish Bay High School

Number of students: 954; Student-teacher ratio: 16:1
Math proficiency: 76%; Reading proficiency: 80%

Average graduation rate: 96%
Overall Niche grade: A+
Academics grade: A+
Clubs & activities grade: A+

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Big Horn High School

Wyoming: Big Horn High School

Number of students: 146; Student-teacher ratio: 11:1
Math proficiency: 75%; Reading proficiency: 65%

Average graduation rate: 90%
Overall Niche grade: A
Academics grade: A-
Clubs & activities grade: A-

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