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Best public high school in every state

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    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!

  • AuburnPilot // Wikimedia Commons
    2/ 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-

  • Helena Bowman // Wikimedia Commons
    3/ 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

  • Arizona College Prep
    4/ 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

  • Flexomickey // Wikicommons
    5/ 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

  • Docnavi // Wikimedia Commons
    6/ 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

  • Cherry Creek, Colorado—bonjourpeewee // Flickr
    7/ 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+

  • WestportWiki // Wikimedia Commons
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    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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    9/ 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

  • Justin Lebar // Wikicommons
    10/ 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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    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

  • Daniel Ramirez // Wikimedia Commons
    12/ 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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    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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    14/ 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+

  • West Lafayette School Corporation
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    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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    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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    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

  • Fort Thomas Independent Schools
    18/ 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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    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-

  • Nearby Lighthouse — Rapidfire // Wikicommons
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    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

  • Dwight Burdette // Wikimedia Commons
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    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

  • John Phelan // Wikimedia Commons
    22/ 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

  • Google Maps
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    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-

  • Niche
    24/ 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+

  • Stancilb23 // Wikimedia Commons
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    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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    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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    27/ 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+

  • Millard North High School
    28/ 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

  • Reno High School Alumni Association
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    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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    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+

  • Google Maps
    31/ 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+

  • Greg Comlish // Wikimedia Commons
    32/ 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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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

  • Chris Phan // Wikimedia Commons
    38/ 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+

  • OnlyInAmerica // Wikimedia Commons
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    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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    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+

  • Cpl Gabrielle Bustos // U.S. Marines Corps
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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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+

  • Fairfax County // Flickr
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    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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    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-

  • Slowking4 // Wikimedia Commons
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    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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    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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    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+

  • Big Horn High School
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    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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