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Best public schools in America's biggest cities

  • Best public schools in America's biggest cities
    1/ Ravi Tek // Wikicommons

    Best public schools in America's biggest cities

    High school graduation rates are reaching new heights—84% in 2016—and an estimated 19.9 million students are expected to enroll in college this year. As high school students’ academic achievements surpass expectations, high schools are getting more competitive than ever. As a result, some schools in the public education system are pulling ahead of the pack.

    To see which educational institutions are doing A+ work, Stacker found the 50 best public high schools in America’s most populous cities using data from Niche’s 2019 Best Public High Schools in America ranking. Schools are rated based on a combination of factors, including SAT and ACT scores, graduation rates, teacher quality, state test scores, student and parent reviews, and student readiness for college. Traditional high schools as well as charter, magnet, and specialized secondary schools are included in the ranking.

    Each school that made the list will have an “Overall Niche Grade,” based on dozens of metrics and millions of reviews. Stacker sorted the top-scoring schools by their respective cities, from least to most populous. Two large states—California and Texas—each have more than five schools in the top 50.

    Whether you’re looking to see if you’re child’s school made the cut, or you’re thinking about moving districts, check to see which American public high schools are at the top of their class.

    ALSO: The best school district in every state

  • Wichita, KS: Andover Central High School
    2/ Unknown // Andover Central High School

    Wichita, KS: Andover Central High School

    Number of students: 771 — student-teacher ratio: 15:1

    Math proficiency: 42%

    Reading proficiency: 47%

    Average graduation rate: 92%

    Overall Niche grade: A

    Academics grade: A

    Clubs and activities grade: B+

  • New Orleans, LA: Benjamin Franklin High School
    3/ Infrogmation // Wikicommons

    New Orleans, LA: Benjamin Franklin High School

    Number of students: 901 — student-teacher ratio: 16:1

    Math proficiency: 95%

    Reading proficiency: 95%

    Average graduation rate: 99%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: A

  • Arlington, TX: Trinity High School
    4/ Google Maps

    Arlington, TX: Trinity High School

    Number of students: 2,475 — student-teacher ratio: 18:1

    Math proficiency: 62%

    Reading proficiency: 81%

    Average graduation rate: 97%

    Overall Niche grade: A

    Academics grade: B+

    Clubs and activities grade: A+

  • Tulsa, OK: Booker T. Washington High School
    5/ Joban Zepeda // Booker T. Washington High School

    Tulsa, OK: Booker T. Washington High School

    Number of students: 1,325 — student-teacher ratio: 20:1

    Math proficiency: 91%

    Reading proficiency: 95%

    Average graduation rate: 99%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A

    Clubs and activities grade: A+

  • Minneapolis, MN: Southwest Senior High School
    6/ edkohler // Wikicommons

    Minneapolis, MN: Southwest Senior High School

    Number of students: 1,757 — student-teacher ratio: 19:1

    Math proficiency: 45%

    Reading proficiency: 67%

    Average graduation rate: 89%

    Overall Niche grade: A

    Academics grade: A

    Clubs and activities grade: B+

  • Oakland, CA: Oakland Charter High School
    7/ Unknown // Oakland Charter High School

    Oakland, CA: Oakland Charter High School

    Number of students: 403 — student-teacher ratio: 19:1

    Math proficiency: 72%

    Reading proficiency: 92%

    Average graduation rate: 92%

    Overall Niche grade: A

    Academics grade: A

    Clubs and activities grade: C-

  • Virginia Beach, VA: Ocean Lakes High School
    8/ Google Maps

    Virginia Beach, VA: Ocean Lakes High School

    Number of students: 2,169 — student-teacher ratio: 19:1

    Math proficiency: 91%

    Reading proficiency: 94%

    Average graduation rate: 89%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A

    Clubs and activities grade: A

  • Miami, FL: School for Advanced Studies - South
    9/ Unknown // School for Advanced Studies South

    Miami, FL: School for Advanced Studies - South

    Number of students: 224 — student-teacher ratio: 19:1

    Math proficiency: N/A

    Reading proficiency: N/A

    Average graduation rate: 95%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: B+

  • Colorado Springs, CO: Cheyenne Mountain High School
    10/ teofilo // Wikicommons

    Colorado Springs, CO: Cheyenne Mountain High School

    Number of students: 1,255 — student-teacher ratio: 15:1

    Math proficiency: 57%

    Reading proficiency: 62%

    Average graduation rate: 94%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: A

  • Raleigh, NC: Raleigh Charter High School
    11/ Good Free Photos

    Raleigh, NC: Raleigh Charter High School

    Number of students: 561 — student-teacher ratio: 13:1

    Math proficiency: 95%

    Reading proficiency: 95%

    Average graduation rate: 95%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: A

  • Omaha, NE: Millard North High School
    12/ Millard North High School

    Omaha, NE: Millard North High School

    Number of students: 2,529 — student-teacher ratio: 17:1

    Math proficiency: 79%

    Reading proficiency: 88%

    Average graduation rate: 93%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A

    Clubs and activities grade: A

  • Long Beach, CA: California Academy of Mathematics & Science
    13/ Unknown // California Academy of Mathematics & Science

    Long Beach, CA: California Academy of Mathematics & Science

    Number of students: 681 — student-teacher ratio: 30:1

    Math proficiency: 92%

    Reading proficiency: 95%

    Average graduation rate: 95%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: B-

  • Atlanta, GA: Henry W. Grady High School
    14/ Public Domain

    Atlanta, GA: Henry W. Grady High School

    Number of students: 1,364 — student-teacher ratio: 15:1

    Math proficiency: 43%

    Reading proficiency: 58%

    Average graduation rate: 86%

    Overall Niche grade: A

    Academics grade: A-

    Clubs and activities grade: A

  • Kansas City, MO: Park Hill South High School
    15/ Park Hill South High School is located in Kansas City, MO // Pixabay

    Kansas City, MO: Park Hill South High School

    Number of students: 1,605 — student-teacher ratio: 16:1

    Math proficiency: 87%

    Reading proficiency: 91%

    Average graduation rate: 94%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A

    Clubs and activities grade: A

  • Mesa, AZ: Gilbert Classical Academy High School
    16/ Google Maps

    Mesa, AZ: Gilbert Classical Academy High School

    Number of students: 292 — student-teacher ratio: 13:1

    Math proficiency: 90%

    Reading proficiency: 82%

    Average graduation rate: 90%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: C

  • Sacramento, CA: Mira Loma High School
    17/ Google Maps

    Sacramento, CA: Mira Loma High School

    Number of students: 1,681 — student-teacher ratio: 26:1

    Math proficiency: 54%

    Reading proficiency: 64%

    Average graduation rate: 92%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: C+

  • Fresno, CA: University High School
    18/ Unknown // University High School

    Fresno, CA: University High School

    Number of students: 482 — student-teacher ratio: 25:1

    Math proficiency: 92%

    Reading proficiency: 95%

    Average graduation rate: 95%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: B+

  • Tucson, AZ: University High School
    19/ Unknown // University High School

    Tucson, AZ: University High School

    Number of students: 1,056 — student-teacher ratio: 23:1

    Math proficiency: 95%

    Reading proficiency: 93%

    Average graduation rate: 99%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: B

  • Albuquerque, NM: Albuquerque Institute of Math & Science
    20/ Unknown // Albuquerque Institute of Math & Science

    Albuquerque, NM: Albuquerque Institute of Math & Science

    Number of students: 356 — student-teacher ratio: 17:1

    Math proficiency: 77%

    Reading proficiency: 83%

    Average graduation rate: 90%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: C-

  • Milwaukee, WI: Rufus King International School
    21/ Google Maps

    Milwaukee, WI: Rufus King International School

    Number of students: 1,464 — student-teacher ratio: 22:1

    Math proficiency: 28%

    Reading proficiency: 50%

    Average graduation rate: 87%

    Overall Niche grade: A

    Academics grade: B+

    Clubs and activities grade: A

  • Baltimore, MD: Baltimore Polytechnic Institute
    22/ Google Maps

    Baltimore, MD: Baltimore Polytechnic Institute

    Number of students: 1,522 — student-teacher ratio: 20:1

    Math proficiency: 99%

    Reading proficiency: 97%

    Average graduation rate: 95%

    Overall Niche grade: A

    Academics grade: A-

    Clubs and activities grade: A-

  • Louisville, KY: DuPont Manual High School
    23/ Public Domain

    Louisville, KY: DuPont Manual High School

    Number of students: 1,895 — student-teacher ratio: 17:1

    Math proficiency: 86%

    Reading proficiency: 93%

    Average graduation rate: 99%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: A+

  • Las Vegas, NV: Advanced Technologies Academy
    24/ Unknown // Advanced Technologies Academy in Las Vegas

    Las Vegas, NV: Advanced Technologies Academy

    Number of students: 1,097 — student-teacher ratio: 20:1

    Math proficiency: 87%

    Reading proficiency: 99%

    Average graduation rate: 99%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: B+

  • Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics
    25/ Google Maps

    Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics

    Number of students: 150 — student-teacher ratio: 6:1

    Math proficiency: N/A

    Reading proficiency: N/A

    Average graduation rate: 100%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A

    Clubs and activities grade: B+

  • Portland, OR: School of Science & Technology
    26/ School of Science & Technology is located in Portland, OR // Jeff Gunn // Flickr

    Portland, OR: School of Science & Technology

    Number of students: 159 — student-teacher ratio: 21:1

    Math proficiency: 85%

    Reading proficiency: 90%

    Average graduation rate: 85%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: C-

  • Memphis, TN: White Station High School
    27/ Google Maps

    Memphis, TN: White Station High School

    Number of students: 2,201 — student-teacher ratio: 18:1

    Math proficiency: 57%

    Reading proficiency: 77%

    Average graduation rate: 86%

    Overall Niche grade: A

    Academics grade: A

    Clubs and activities grade: A

  • Nashville, TN: Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School
    28/ Michael Rivera // Wikicommons

    Nashville, TN: Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School

    Number of students: 903 — student-teacher ratio: 20:1

    Math proficiency: 90%

    Reading proficiency: 99%

    Average graduation rate: 99%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: A-

  • Detroit, MI: Cass Technical High School
    29/ Notorious4life // Wikicommons

    Detroit, MI: Cass Technical High School

    Number of students: 2,370 — student-teacher ratio: 24:1

    Math proficiency: 34%

    Reading proficiency: 67%

    Average graduation rate: 98%

    Overall Niche grade: B+

    Academics grade: B

    Clubs and activities grade: A+

  • El Paso, TX: Maxine L. Silva Health Magnet School
    30/ Google Maps

    El Paso, TX: Maxine L. Silva Health Magnet School

    Number of students: 635 — student-teacher ratio: 16:1

    Math proficiency: 95%

    Reading proficiency: 99%

    Average graduation rate: 95%

    Overall Niche grade: A

    Academics grade: A

    Clubs and activities grade: A-

  • Boston, MA: Boston Latin School
    31/ Public Domain

    Boston, MA: Boston Latin School

    Number of students: 2,439 — student-teacher ratio: 22:1

    Math proficiency: 98%

    Reading proficiency: 99%

    Average graduation rate: 98%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: A

  • Washington, DC: The School Without Walls High School
    32/ Paul Sableman // Wikicommons

    Washington, DC: The School Without Walls High School

    Number of students: 589 — student-teacher ratio: 12:1

    Math proficiency: 52%

    Reading proficiency: 82%

    Average graduation rate: 95%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: A

  • Denver, CO: Dsst: Stapleton High School
    33/ Unknown // Stapleton High School

    Denver, CO: Dsst: Stapleton High School

    Number of students: 523 — student-teacher ratio: 14:1

    Math proficiency: 67%

    Reading proficiency: 67%

    Average graduation rate: 87%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A

    Clubs and activities grade: B-

  • Seattle, WA: Garfield High School
    34/ Joe Mabel // Wikicommons

    Seattle, WA: Garfield High School

    Number of students: 1,712 — student-teacher ratio: 23:1

    Math proficiency: 86%

    Reading proficiency: 98%

    Average graduation rate: 85%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: C+

  • Charlotte, NC: Ardrey Kell High School
    35/ Google Maps

    Charlotte, NC: Ardrey Kell High School

    Number of students: 2,876 — student-teacher ratio: 21:1

    Math proficiency: 84%

    Reading proficiency: 84%

    Average graduation rate: 98%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: A

  • Indianapolis, IN: Herron High School
    36/ Google Maps

    Indianapolis, IN: Herron High School

    Number of students: 763 — student-teacher ratio: 15:1

    Math proficiency: 52%

    Reading proficiency: 87%

    Average graduation rate: 95%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A

    Clubs and activities grade: C+

  • Fort Worth, TX: Aledo High School
    37/ Google Maps

    Fort Worth, TX: Aledo High School

    Number of students: 1,168 — student-teacher ratio: 17:1

    Math proficiency: 85%

    Reading proficiency: 89%

    Average graduation rate: 97%

    Overall Niche grade: A

    Academics grade: A

    Clubs and activities grade: A

  • Columbus, OH: Dublin Coffman High School
    38/ Sesamehoneytart // Wikicommons

    Columbus, OH: Dublin Coffman High School

    Number of students: 1,910 — student-teacher ratio: 17:1

    Math proficiency: 70%

    Reading proficiency: 80%

    Average graduation rate: 97%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: A+

  • San Francisco, CA: Lowell High School
    39/ Goodshoped35110s // Wikicommons

    San Francisco, CA: Lowell High School

    Number of students: 2,685 — student-teacher ratio: 21:1

    Math proficiency: 89%

    Reading proficiency: 93%

    Average graduation rate: 97%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: A

  • Jacksonville, FL: Stanton College Preparatory
    40/ Google Maps

    Jacksonville, FL: Stanton College Preparatory

    Number of students: 1,508 — student-teacher ratio: 19:1

    Math proficiency: 82%

    Reading proficiency: 96%

    Average graduation rate: 99%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: A

  • Austin, TX: Liberal Arts & Science Academy
    41/ Atxmanuel // Wikicommons

    Austin, TX: Liberal Arts & Science Academy

    Number of students: 1,016 — student-teacher ratio: 16:1

    Math proficiency: 99%

    Reading proficiency: 99%

    Average graduation rate: 99%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: A+

  • San Jose, CA: Saratoga High School
    42/ David Sawyer // Flickr

    San Jose, CA: Saratoga High School

    Number of students: 1,305 — student-teacher ratio: 18:1

    Math proficiency: 90%

    Reading proficiency: 87%

    Average graduation rate: 96%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: C

  • Dallas, TX: School of Science & Engineering
    43/ School of Science and Engineering is located in Dallas, TX. // Robert Hensley // Wikicommons

    Dallas, TX: School of Science & Engineering

    Number of students: 418 — student-teacher ratio: 17:1

    Math proficiency: 100%

    Reading proficiency: 100%

    Average graduation rate: 100%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: B+

  • San Diego, CA: Canyon Crest Academy
    44/ Docnavi // Wikimedia Commons

    San Diego, CA: 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 and activities grade: A

  • San Antonio, TX: Health Careers High School
    45/ Google Maps

    San Antonio, TX: Health Careers High School

    Number of students: 841 — student-teacher ratio: 17:1

    Math proficiency: 90%

    Reading proficiency: 99%

    Average graduation rate: 95%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: B-

  • Philadelphia, PA: Julia R. Masterman Secondary School
    46/ Smallbones // Wikicommons

    Philadelphia, PA: Julia R. Masterman Secondary School

    Number of students: 1,184 — student-teacher ratio: 21:1

    Math proficiency: 97%

    Reading proficiency: 99%

    Average graduation rate: 95%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: C

  • Phoenix, AZ: Basis Phoenix
    47/ Basis Pheonix is located in Phoenix, AZ - pictured // Melikamp // Wikicommons

    Phoenix, AZ: Basis Phoenix

    Number of students: 758 — student-teacher ratio: 18:1

    Math proficiency: 80%

    Reading proficiency: 88%

    Average graduation rate: N/A

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: C-

  • Houston, TX: Carnegie Vanguard High School
    48/ Ravi Tek // Wikicommons

    Houston, TX: Carnegie Vanguard High School

    Number of students: 621 — student-teacher ratio: 19:1

    Math proficiency: 90%

    Reading proficiency: 99%

    Average graduation rate: 95%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: B

  • Chicago, IL: Walter Payton College Prep
    49/ Google Maps

    Chicago, IL: Walter Payton College Prep

    Number of students: 887 — student-teacher ratio: 16:1

    Math proficiency: 95%

    Reading proficiency: 92%

    Average graduation rate: 95%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: A+

  • Los Angeles, CA: Granada Hills Charter High School
    50/ jcjusay //Wikicommons

    Los Angeles, CA: Granada Hills Charter High School

    Number of students: 4,650 — student-teacher ratio: 19:1

    Math proficiency: 58%

    Reading proficiency: 80%

    Average graduation rate: 98%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: A

  • New York, NY: Stuyvesant High School
    51/ Jim.henderson // Wikicommons

    New York, NY: Stuyvesant High School

    Number of students: 3,328 — student-teacher ratio: 22:1

    Math proficiency: 99%

    Reading proficiency: 99%

    Average graduation rate: 99%

    Overall Niche grade: A+

    Academics grade: A+

    Clubs and activities grade: A+

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