The 30 Smartest Public High Schools in America

By Simi

Niche recently released its 2019 ranking of the best public high schools in America, based on analysis of key statistics and survey responses from parents and students. Ranking factors included teacher quality, state test scores, graduation rates, college readiness, SAT/ACT scores and high school ratings.

As a parent, you may fear that you can’t give your child the best because you can’t afford a private school education. This list of public high schools demonstrates that private schools are not the only institutions to offer a quality education. Becoming a high-performing school often takes years of hard work. There is no one thing a school can do to ensure students perform highly. A clear and shared focus is one factor – everyone knows what they want to accomplish and why.

Teachers must believe that students can reach high standards. Students should be offered an ambitious and rigorous course of study. Effective teachers are required to nurture the instructional program and school culture. Strong teamwork is necessary between teachers, students, parents and members of the community. Frequent monitoring of teaching and learning needs to take place. Great schools have a supportive learning environment with personalized instruction.

Academic performance and exam scores are good indicators of how well a school is performing, but there are other factors, too. Parents want to send their children to schools that produce well-rounded students who will succeed in the real world after school. The student-teacher ratio is another important factor because many studies show that students receive more attention in small classes, and their test scores improve as a result. The following 30 public schools can be proud of what they have achieved.

30. Poolesville High School

Poolesville High School in Poolesville, Maryland, has an average SAT score of 1390 and an average ACT score of 31. It has an enrollment of 1,205 students in grades 9-12. The student-teacher ratio is 19:1. Proficiency in mathematics and reading is 96%. The average graduation rate is 97%.

Poolesville High School is the only magnet school in Montgomery County, uniting rural community values and global perspectives. It challenges its students through rigorous cross-curricular pathways and meaningful learning experiences. The curriculum includes the basics, but it also supports exceptional children – the highly able, those with disabilities and those who fare best in alternative programs.

The school offers Project Lead the Way (PLW), a national program. When combined with high school mathematics and science, it prepares students to graduate from college as quality engineers. The school also offers courses beyond Advanced Placement, such as Robotics, Introduction to Genetic Analysis, Linear Algebra, Quantum Physics, Biochemistry, Analysis of Algorithms and many more.