Which Arizona High Schools Made U.S. News’ 2020 Best High Schools in the U.S. Ranking?

Arizona had seven high schools place in the nation’s top 100, including one in the top 10, according to the latest annual rankings compiled by U.S. News.

Basis Chandler was Arizona’s top-ranked high school and No. 7 in the U.S., according to the 2020 rankings, which assessed 17,792 U.S. high schools.

The Chandler charter school topped the nation’s charter school rankings and was one of eight Basis schools ranked in Arizona’s top 20, with five of those in the Phoenix metro area (Peoria at No. 4 in the state, Scottsdale at No. 7, Phoenix at No. 8 and Ahwatukee at No. 10).

Basis, which is based in Scottsdale, has more than 16,000 students enrolled in its network of 22 public charter schools in Arizona. It operates 27 charter schools across the U.S.

U.S. News said its methodology took a holistic approach to evaluating schools, focusing on six factors: college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rates. College readiness measures participation and performance on AP and IB exams.

Seven of the Arizona’s top 20 schools had both a 100% graduation rate and 100% college readiness, according to the report. Four others had a 100% grad rate.

Among traditional public high schools, Gilbert Classical Academy was the highest ranking, taking ninth place in Arizona and No. 60 in the national rankings. The state’s only traditional public school to rank higher was Tucson’s University High School, which was third in Arizona and No. 22 in the country.

Other Valley traditional public schools in the state’s top 20 included University High School in Tolleson, No. 11 in the state and No. 86 in the nation; Arizona College Prep Erie Campus in Chandler, No. 12 in the state and No. 129 in the nation; Phoenix Union Bioscience High School, No. 14 in Arizona and No. 339 in the nation; Hamilton High School in Chandler, No. 18 in Arizona and No. 1,277 in the nation; and Madison Highland Prep, No. 19 in Arizona and No. 1,332 in the nation.

Nationally, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia moved up to No. 1, with its best-in-state performance in English and math assessments, top ranking in college readiness and 100% graduation rate cited as reasons.

U.S. News said its highest-ranked schools are scattered throughout the country, showing the best schools are not concentrated in any one geographic area. Nine different states are represented among the top 10 schools. More broadly, the top 100 schools span 29 states.

Here are Arizona’s top 20 schools for 2020 (with national rankings in parentheses):

  1. Basis Chandler (7)
  2. Basis Oro Valley (18)
  3. University High School, Tucson (22)
  4. Basis Peoria (27)
  5. Basis Flagstaff (43)
  6. Basis Tucson North (48)
  7. Basis Scottsdale (49)
  8. Basis Phoenix (56)
  9. Gilbert Classical Academy (60)
  10. Basis Ahwatukee (67)
  11. University High School, Tolleson (86)
  12. Arizona College Prep—Erie Campus, Chandler (129)
  13. Arizona School for the Arts, Phoenix (278)
  14. Phoenix Union Bioscience High School (339)
  15. Northland Preparatory Academy, Flagstaff (485)
  16. Catalina Foothills High School, Tucson (708)
  17. Tempe Preparatory Academy (1,220)
  18. Hamilton High School, Chandler (1,277)
  19. Madison Highland Prep, Phoenix (1,332)
  20. Empire High School, Tucson (1,579)

Click here to view the full high school rankings.


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