Two High Schools in Region Make U.S. News Top 100

One of them is in Philadelphia. We probably don't have to tell you which one that is. The other one is in Wilmington.

Julia Reynolds Masterman School

Julia Reynolds Masterman School, once again the best high school in the region and the state of Pennsylvania and also one of the 50 best in the country. | Photo: Public domain image by Smallbones from Wikimedia Commons

The 2016 U.S. News & World Report rankings of the “Best High Schools” in the country were released in mid-April, and schools in the Greater Philadelphia region are notable by their absence from the topmost ranks: only two high schools in the 13 counties comprising the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Trenton area made it into the top 100, a list dominated by schools in the South and Southwest.

The top-ranked school in the region, and in Pennsylvania, was the one that usually tops local lists of the best high schools: Julia Reynolds Masterman in Philadelphia’s Spring Garden section, which made it into the top 50 — barely: U.S. News ranked it 46th out of more than 21,000 high schools nationwide.

The only other area school to make the top 100 was the Charter School of Wilmington, which ranked 70th nationally.

From there, one has to go all the way to No. 192 Princeton High School in Mercer County to find another area school on the U.S. News list. New Hope-Solebury High School, the No. 2 ranked school in Pennsylvania, ranked 330th nationally. Princeton High, on the other hand, was the 10th-best high school in New Jersey, whose top-ranked school, High Technology High School in Lincroft, Monmouth County, ranked 11th nationally. All of the other eight New Jersey schools on the state top 10 list are in the northern part of the state.

Philadelphia-area schools did dominate U.S. News’ Pennsylvania state rankings, however, and again, the names should be familiar. The other area schools on the state top 10 list, with their national rankings, are:

3. Conestoga High School (Tredyffrin-Easttown School District), Berwyn (353)
5. Lower Merion High School (Lower Merion School District), Ardmore (480)
7. Strath Haven High School (Wallingford-Swarthmore School District), Wallingford (514)
8. Unionville High School (Unionville-Chadds Ford School District), Kennett Square (530)
9. Lower Moreland High School (Lower Moreland Township School District), Huntingdon Valley (533)

Perennial top performer Radnor High School ranked 13th statewide and 658th nationally. Three other local schools made the state top 20: Central Bucks West (14/678), Wissahickon (16/753), Council Rock North (17/772) and Great Valley (18/802).

Only one other South Jersey high school made the New Jersey top 20 list: Haddonfield Memorial (15/305).

Only six schools in Delaware earned the gold or silver medals U.S. News requires for a numerical ranking; two earned gold medals and four received silver medals. Of those six, two besides Charter High of Wilmington are in the region: Cab Calloway School of the Arts (2/306) and Conrad Schools of Science (3/516), both in Wilmington’s Red Clay Consolidated School District.

U.S. News bestowed gold medals on the 500 best high schools nationwide; the next 2,173 received silver medals. This document (PDF) explains how the magazine arrived at its rankings; this year, for the first time, graduation rates figured into the calculations.

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