On Tuesday, U.S. News and World Report released its annual Best High Schools rankings. In Utah,where the list was again dominated by charter schools, the top 10 high schools are:
Beehive Science and Technology Academy, a charter school in Sandy.
InTech Collegiate High School, a charter in Logan.
Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy, a charter in Lindon.
Skyline High, a Millcreek school in the Granite School District.
Northern Utah Academy for Math Engineering and Science, a charter in Layton.
Davis High, a Kaysville school in the Davis School District.
American Preparatory Academy, Draper #3, a charter school.
Academy for Math Engineering and Science, a charter in Salt Lake City.
Park City High in the Park City School District.
Itineris Early College High, a charter in West Jordan.
Data used in this edition of rankings is from the 2018-2019 school year, so it was not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to information provided by U.S. News and World Report.
The report ranked approximately 17,860 public high schools. This is the third year in a row that charter schools have made up a majority of Utah’s top 10 list, a shift that coincided with a change in the methodology used by U.S. News.
The rankings’ methodology is based on six factors. College readiness, which was 30% of a school’s score, was measured by the proportion of a school’s 12th graders who took and earned qualifying score on AP or IB exams.
Other factors were reading and math proficiency and performance, (each worth 20%), underserved student performance (10%), college curriculum breadth (10%) and graduation rates (10%).
Math and reading proficiency was based on student performance on state standardized tests.
The underserved student performance category evaluates how Black, Hispanic and low-income students score on state assessments.
The graduation rate scored is based on how many students who entered ninth grade in the 2015-2016 academic year graduated four years later in 2019.
U.S. News and World Report added the schools’ weighted scores across the six indicators of school quality, then computed a single zero to 100 overall score reflective of each school’s performance across these metrics. This is the third year it has calculated its rankings using this methodology, meaning only its 2021, 2020 and 2019 rankings can be compared.
For comparison, Utah’s top high schools in last year’s rankings were:
Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy (now 3rd)
InTech Collegiate High School (now 2nd)
Academy for Math Engineering and Science (now 8th)
Northern Utah Academy for Math Engineering and Science (now 5th)
Skyline High (now 4th)
Corner Canyon High (Not in the top 10 this year.)
Itineris Early College High (now 10th)
Timpview High (Not in the top 10 this year.)
American Preparatory Academy — Draper #3 (now 7th)
Davis High (now 6th)
U.S. News and World Report does not collect information directly from high schools and instead gathers data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Common Core of Data; from statewide math and reading level assessments and high school graduation rates, obtained in most cases from each state’s education agency; from Advanced Placement examination data; and from International Baccalaureate examination data.
The 2021 rankings were done in coordination with North Carolina-based RTI International, a global nonprofit science research firm.