How States Compare in the 2013 Best High Schools Rankings

US News

A state-by-state breakdown of the 2013 Best High Schools rankings shows that California is this year's leading performer, with 27.8 percent of its eligible schools earning gold and silver medals.

Maryland came in second with 25.7 percent, and Connecticut was third with 18.9 percent.

The gold and silver awards reflect which schools are most successfully preparing students for college, based on students participating in and achieving passing scores on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests. For a school to be eligible for a gold or silver medal, its students must also do well on the appropriate statewide tests, as explained in the 2013 Best High Schools rankings methodology.

When it comes to the total number of gold medal schools, California had the most - 94 - followed by New York with 65. Only 38 states had at least one school that earned a gold medal, and six of those had only one such school within their borders.

Bronze medals did not count in this state-by-state analysis.

This year's rankings covered 49 states and the District of Columbia. Nebraska did not provide enough assessment data for its schools to be eligible for a medal.

State rank State Number of eligible high schools* Total number of gold medals Percent of schools with gold medals Total number of silver medals Percent of schools with silver medals Total number of gold and silver medals Percent of schools with gold and silver medals
1 CA 1,799 94 5.2% 407 22.6% 501 27.8%
2 MD 226 21 9.3% 37 16.4% 58 25.7%
3 CT 185 11 5.9% 24 13.0% 35 18.9%
4 VA 319 21 6.6% 30 9.4% 51 16.0%
5 NY 1,109 65 5.9% 111 10.0% 176 15.9%
6 MA 345 24 7.0% 30 8.7% 54 15.7%
7 FL 573 31 5.4% 58 10.1% 89 15.5%
8 VT 58 0 0.0% 9 15.5% 9 15.5%
9 OH 813 19 2.3% 106 13.0% 125 15.4%
10 NH 82 0 0.0% 12 14.6% 12 14.6%
11 NJ 388 32 8.2% 22 5.7% 54 13.9%
12 TX 1,469 53 3.6% 146 9.9% 199 13.5%
13 DC 30 2 6.7% 2 6.7% 4 13.3%
14 ME 114 3 2.6% 12 10.5% 15 13.2%
15 IN 368 3 0.8% 44 12.0% 47 12.8%
16 AR 270 1 0.4% 33 12.2% 34 12.6%
17 AZ 413 8 1.9% 43 10.4% 51 12.3%
18 WA 455 10 2.2% 45 9.9% 55 12.1%
19 OR 282 3 1.1% 30 10.6% 33 11.7%
20 GA 411 10 2.4% 37 9.0% 47 11.4%
21 CO 350 15 4.3% 24 6.9% 39 11.1%
22 IL 640 19 3.0% 50 7.8% 69 10.8%
23 WI 446 1 0.2% 46 10.3% 47 10.5%
24 AK 95 0 0.0% 10 10.5% 10 10.5%
25 PA 673 9 1.3% 60 8.9% 69 10.3%
26 NC 498 2 0.4% 47 9.4% 49 9.8%
27 RI 51 1 2.0% 4 7.8% 5 9.8%
28 MI 769 7 0.9% 68 8.8% 75 9.8%
29 SC 204 2 1.0% 17 8.3% 19 9.3%
30 KY 230 4 1.7% 16 7.0% 20 8.7%
31 UT 143 0 0.0% 12 8.4% 12 8.4%
32 MN 566 6 1.1% 40 7.1% 46 8.1%
33 NM 160 2 1.3% 11 6.9% 13 8.1%
34 DE 37 0 0.0% 3 8.1% 3 8.1%
35 MT 110 1 0.9% 7 6.4% 8 7.3%
36 TN 324 5 1.5% 18 5.6% 23 7.1%
37 IA 347 0 0.0% 21 6.1% 21 6.1%
38 WV 116 0 0.0% 7 6.0% 7 6.0%
39 SD 134 0 0.0% 8 6.0% 8 6.0%
40 ID 159 1 0.6% 8 5.0% 9 5.7%
41 MO 486 3 0.6% 23 4.7% 26 5.3%
42 AL 362 2 0.6% 16 4.4% 18 5.0%
43 OK 403 3 0.7% 14 3.5% 17 4.2%
44 KS 307 2 0.7% 8 2.6% 10 3.3%
45 WY 63 0 0.0% 2 3.2% 2 3.2%
46 LA 302 3 1.0% 5 1.7% 8 2.6%
47 NV 115 1 0.9% 2 1.7% 3 2.6%
48 MS 245 0 0.0% 4 1.6% 4 1.6%
49 ND 102 0 0.0% 1 1.0% 1 1.0%
50 HI 50 0 0.0% 0 0.0% 0 0.0%

* Number of schools that, at a minimum, served at least 15 students in 12th grade and could be expected to award high school diplomas, and therefore eligible to be part of the rankings analysis.

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