The South is home to seven of the top 10 schools on Newsweek’s list of the best American schools. The region is a hotbed for progressive charter, magnet and selective schools that promote college readiness, even in some of the economically challenged areas of the country.
To generate the overall rankings, we factored in six criteria. Three make up 75 percent of the overall score—the four-year graduation rate, college-acceptance rate, and number of AP and other high-level exams given per student. Average SAT/ACT scores and AP/college-level test scores count for another 10 percent each, and the number of AP courses offered per student counts for the final 5 percent. Because most of these data aren’t available from a central source, we collected it by reaching out directly to high-school administrators directly. 15,000 were contacted, and 2300 responded.