South Carolina

South Carolina high school takes the top spot in US News & World Report 2019 ranking


North Charleston, South Carolina is officially home to the best high school in the United States, according to the new 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools Rankings.

Academic Magnet High School in Charleston County ranked top in the country in the annual rankings released Tuesday. The second-ranked school in South Carolina is also in Charleston County. The Charleston School of the Arts ranked second in the state and 164th in the country.

As a state, South Carolina ranked 30th in the country. “This state-by-state performance rating is solely based on which states have the largest proportion of their high schools in the top 25% of the 2019 Best High Schools rankings,” according to US News.

The top 10 high schools in the country on the 2019 list are almost all magnet and charter schools:

  1. Academic Magnet High School (SC)
  2. Maine School of Science and Mathematics
  3. BASIS Scottsdale (AZ)
  4. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (VA)
  5. Central Magnet School (TN)
  6. Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GA)
  7. Haas Hall Academy (AR)
  8. International Academy of Macomb (MI)
  9. Payton College Preparatory High School (IL)
  10. Signature School (IN)

Charleston’s Academic Magnet came in first out of 17,000 public high schools in the country that US News ranked for its new report. The rankings look at six factors to score schools: college readiness, college curriculum breadth, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance and graduation rate, according to a news release.

“To produce the 2019 Best High Schools rankings, which are only available online, U.S. News teamed up with North Carolina-based RTI International, a global nonprofit social science research firm,” US News states.

Academic Magnet came in 43rd in the country in last year’s US News high school rankings. But, US News said, “Due to the expansion of the rankings this year to include thousands more high schools, U.S. News does not recommend comparisons to last year’s rankings.”

At AMHS, “All courses are taught at the honors or Advanced Placement level, offering students an unmatched opportunity to earn college credit,” according to the school.

“AMHS students are required to conduct a year-long independent research project in the field of the student’s choice with the guidance and direction of the faculty and a mentor. Students have been published in academic and professional journals in such fields as psychology, chemistry, and epidemiology,” the school says on its website.

Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.