2022 Best High Schools Rankings Coming April 26 | Morse Code: Inside the College Rankings

On April 26, US News will publish the 2022 Best High Schools rankings, which will include searchable profiles on nearly 24,000 public high schools.

US News was able to rank nearly 18,000 public schools out of about 24,000 nationally. The formula once again used six ranking factors to produce overall 0-100 percentile scores from which each school’s rank was determined. As always, the highest-ranked schools were those whose students demonstrated outstanding outcomes above expectations in state assessments, participated in and passed a diverse array of college-level exams and graduated in high proportions.

An important methodology change is that US News for the first time incorporated science state assessments into the rankings for most states, in addition to mathematics and reading.

Another change was necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the cancellation of most state testing in spring 2020. The 2022 edition rankings had been in line to use 2019-20 assessment data for all subjects. But for this edition US News instead incorporated mathematics and reading data from the three prior ranking years, which are 2016-2017, 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, as a reflection of each school’s recent performance. Science assessment data were only incorporated from the 2018-19 test year.

In addition to state assessments, the rankings again factor graduation rates and college readiness, which was measured by participation in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses and performance on those examinations. These data were available for 2019-20. The weights of the six ranking factors weren’t changed in 2022 compared to last year.

RTI International, one of the world’s leading research institutes, worked with US News to implement the ranking methodology, which makes use of value-added indicators that reflect how well high schools serve all students, not just those planning to go to college. A detailed methodology will be published when the rankings are released on April 26.

In addition to the main national rankings, US News will release separate numerical rankings for all the high schools by state, district and metropolitan region. Also, charter and magnet schools will be ranked by US News in the Best Charter Schools and Best Magnet Schools national rankings. The Best High Schools for STEM will again be a national ranking of the top 250 schools whose students excel on AP science and math tests.

For a deeper dive into the rankings, there will also be a webpage with statistical insights for state assessment data from 2018-2019, which is the most recent year available for state assessment data, and for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years for other profiles and AP and IB testing data.

Each school’s directory page will display distinguishing characteristics on enrollment, ethnic diversity, Title I status and other information that mirrors the US Department of Education’s 2020-2021 Common Core of Data.


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