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Best public schools in America's biggest cities

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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

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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+

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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

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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+

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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+

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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+

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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-

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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

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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+

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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

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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

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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

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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-

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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

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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

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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

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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+

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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+

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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

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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-

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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

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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-

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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+

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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+

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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+

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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-

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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

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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-

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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+

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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-

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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

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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

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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-

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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+

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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

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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+

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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

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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+

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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

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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

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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+

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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

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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+

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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

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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-

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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

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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-

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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

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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+

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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

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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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