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*Post originally published on and was authored by Joey Oliver

The purpose of the rankings is to provide insight into academic performance among underserved groups, showing how well schools are supporting these students, Anita Narayan, managing editor of education at U.S. News, said in a news release.

Families can also use the rankings to see how schools compare at the national, state and local level on factors such as graduation rates and college readiness, Narayan said.

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia, was ranked No. 1 in the nation, as well as among magnet schools.

Here are the top 10 schools in this year’s national Best High Schools ranking:

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology – Alexandria, Virginia
Academic Magnet High School – North Charleston, South Carolina
The Davidson Academy of Nevada – Reno, Nevada
Payton College Preparatory High School – Chicago, Illinois
School for Advanced Studies – Miami, Florida
Sumner Academy of Arts and Science – Kansas City, Kansas
Merrol Hyde Magnet School – Hendersonville, Tennessee
BASIS Chandler – Chandler, Arizona
Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology – Lawrenceville, Georgia
Signature School – Evansville, Indiana
The methodology used for this year’s ranking focused on six factors: college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rates.

The data used in this edition is from the 2018-2019 academic school year and, therefore, was not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more about the Best High Schools methodology.

In addition to the national rankings, U.S. News also published rankings at the state, metro area and school district levels. Only metro areas and school districts with three or more high schools were included in these subrankings.

BASIS Chandler in Arizona is at the top of the list for charter schools, and High Technology High School in Lincroft, New Jersey, is the No. 1 STEM school.