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News Magazine Identifies 'Best' Schools for STEM Learning

You've surely heard of the college and high school rankings published each year by U.S. News and World Report. Well, this year, for the first time, the news magazine is also ranking the "best" public high schools for learning math and science. (See below for details on how schools were evaluated.)

Not surprisingly, some of the best-known STEM-focused schools in the country made the list, released today, including Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (#3) in Fairfax County, Va., the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (#9), and Stuyvesant High School (#18), in New York City. The top ranking went to High Technology High School, in Lincroft, N.J.

Earlier this month, we published a story on the recent surge of interest in developing STEM-focused schools. (We also ran a follow-up post about it for this blog.)

Of course, you're surely wondering: How exactly did U.S. News identify and rank the 208 high schools? Here's the long version. The short version is that it was based largely on the participation rates and performance of each school's students on Advanced Placement exams in mathematics and science. Also, the magazine only looked at the nearly 600 schools that qualified for the Gold, Silver, and Honorable Mention lists for the "best high schools" from U.S. News. (These ratings are based on a methodology that considers state achievement data, as well as participation and performance on AP and International Baccalaureate exams).

A fair way to identify the best schools to learn math and science? Discuss!

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