Utah’s highest ranking traditional high school was Corner Canyon High School in Draper at 980th nationwide, according to U.S. News’ rankings. The Canyons School District high school was ranked seventh best overall in Utah, with the top spots in the state going to six public charter schools.
Utah high schools that ranked No. 2 to No. 6 for the state were, respectively, InTech Collegiate Academy in North Logan; Northern Utah Academy for Engineering and Science in Layton; Academy for Math Engineering & Science (AMES) in Murray; Itineris Early College High School in West Jordan; and Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy in Lindon.
What’s the nation’s top rated school?
The top-ranked school nationwide was Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia. It uses a STEM-focused curriculum that culminates with a technical lab project for seniors. The school offers courses such as DNA science, advanced marine biology, automation and robotics, architectural drawing and design, research statistics and AP calculus, according to the rankings, the U.S. News rankings state.
Recently, the school has made headlines for other reasons: a legal challenge to its race-based admissions policy.
According to a Fox News report, the Fairfax County School Board in 2021 overhauled the admissions process for the elite school, scrapping an aptitude test in favor of a system distributing the majority of slots to the top 1.5% of students at each of the county’s middle schools — a system that officials said would increase racial diversity.
Parents sued the school, alleging the new admissions policy discriminates against Asian Americans, who made up more than 70% of the student body.
The Supreme Court recently rejected an emergency request to block a race-based admissions policy, Fox News reported.
The other top 10 schools nationally were:
2. Academic Magnet High School, North Charleston, South Carolina.
3. Signature School, Evansville, Indiana.
4. School for Advanced Studies, Miami.
5. Payton College Preparatory High School, Chicago.
6. The Davidson Academy of Nevada, Reno.
7. Central Magnet School, Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
8. The School for the Talented and Gifted, Dallas.
9. Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology, Lawrenceville, Georgia.
10. Julia R. Masterman Secondary School, Philadelphia.
What goes into the rankings?
The rankings include nearly every public high school in the United States, with more than 17,800 schools ranked at the national, state and local levels.
The methodology focuses on six factors: college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rates.
“The Best High Schools rankings take a comprehensive approach to evaluating schools,” said Eric Brooks, principal data analyst at U.S. News in a statement.
“Looking at factors like graduation rates and underserved student performance, families can use this information to learn more about their local schools,” Brooks said.
According to U.S. News, college readiness measures participation and performance on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams, and underserved student performance focuses on students who are Black, Hispanic or from low-income households.
For the first time, science proficiency and performance was also incorporated into the methodology for states where science assessment data was available.