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For the first time, U.S. News ranked all public high schools in Tampa Bay. Here’s how it turned out.

The metropolitan area rankings are a new feature for the annual Best High Schools rankings.
U.S. News & World Report has refined its annual high school rankings to show the best high schools in metropolitan areas across the nation, including Tampa Bay. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
Published Jun. 12

The annual Best High Schools Rankings by U.S. News & World Report have a new wrinkle this year. The digital news and information company now ranks public high schools within each metropolitan area across the nation.

This is different from the U.S. News results we shared with you in April, which ranked schools nationally and within states. The metropolitan area rankings — a first — were released early Wednesday.

“We’ve heard from students, parents and school officials that they’re interested in seeing how their school compares with others in the community,” Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News, said in a statement. “With these new rankings, residents in more than 900 metro areas nationwide can see which local schools are succeeding at educating and graduating their students.”

For its 2019 rankings, U.S. News included all public high schools in the nation with a 12th-grade enrollment of 15 students or more, or that had a sufficient number of students in other grades to be analyzed. (Get a closer look at the methodology here) That comes to 17,245 public high schools in this year’s ranking — up from the 2,700 schools that were ranked last year.

The organization measured schools using six factors, including college readiness as measured by 12th-graders who took and passed AP and IB exams, math and reading proficiency, graduation rates, and the performance of black, Hispanic and low-income students.

For the Tampa Bay area, the ranking included schools in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties — 67 in all. So which local schools fared best in the first year of this ranking? We listed the top 25 below. See the entire Tampa Bay area list here.

1. Plant High

2. Steinbrenner High

3. Newsome High

4. Sickles High

5. Land O’Lakes High

6. Brooks Debartolo Collegiate High

7. Robinson High

8. East Lake High

9. Tampa Bay Tech High

10. St. Petersburg High

11. Palm Harbor University High

12. Osceola Fundamental High

13. Strawberry Crest High

14. James W. Mitchell High

15. Middleton High

16. Bloomingdale High

17. King High

18. Alonso High

19. St. Petersburg Collegiate High

20. Wiregrass Ranch High

21. Sunlake High

22. Riverview High

23. Tarpon Springs High

24. Wesley Chapel High

25. River Ridge High


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