At a time when America has made it a priority list to build students' science, technology, engineering and math skills, which schools are doing best in these areas? U.S. News & World Report for the first time released a list ranking math- and science-specific high schools.
It looked at nearly 600 schools that qualified for the Gold, Silver, and Honorable Mention lists of the U.S. News Best High Schools. Then the schools' students' participation rates and performances on AP exams in math and science were evaluated. Here are the top 10, according to the list.
1. High Technology High School, Lincroft, N.J.: This school was founded in 1991 and has a pre-engineering academy and science classes with college-level labs. Almost 99 percent of its seniors take AP exams and they all score a 3 out of 5 or higher.
2. BASIS Tucson, Tucson, Arizona: This school was founded in 1998. Students take a minimum of eight AP courses and about six AP exams between ninth and 12th grades.
3. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Va.: At this school students can learn organic chemistry, marine biology and DNA science and must take an introductory computer science class. One hundred percent of seniors take AP exams and 100 percent pass with a 3 or higher.
4. Oxford Academy, Cypress, Calif.: This public school opened in 1998. Its students must take an entrance exam to walk through its doors and maintain a set GPA. It has honors and AP classes as well computer education, digital animation and industrial technology courses. One hundred percent of its seniors take AP exams and almost 100 percent pass with a 3 or higher.
5. The School of Science and Engineering Magnet, Dallas, Texas: This school was founded in 1982 and is often called the best in the nation. It is the most diverse school in the top 10. It offers AP math and science classes as well as college-level science labs and computer science courses. All its seniors take AP exams and almost 100 percent score a 3 or higher.
6. The School for the Talented and Gifted, Dallas, Texas.: Also founded in 1982, this school educates about 209 students with more than half its student comprising minority races. About a quarter of its students are from low-income families. Its students are required to take 11 AP courses and enroll in advanced research and technology classes. It always makes it as a top-ranked high school in the U.S.
7. Pacific Collegiate School, Santa Cruz, Calif.: Founded in 1999, this school regularly makes it to the top national best high school lists. Students are admitted by a lottery and are required to take a six-year sequence of math and science. They must also pass AP physics, chemistry and biology to graduate. One hundred percent of its seniors take AP exams, and 100 percent earn a 3 or higher.
8. International Community School, Kirkland, Wa.: It was founded in 1997 and educates 381 students admitted on lottery basis. Nearly 94 percent of its seniors take AP exams, and 87.8 percent of 12th graders earn a 3 or higher.
9. Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Aurora, Ill.: This school opened in 1986 and educates 637 10th- through 12th-graders. All the courses at this school are taught at the honors level. It is best known math curriculum. Eighty-two percent of its students take AP exams, and 75.2 percent of 12th graders earn a 3 or higher.
10. Mission San Jose High School, Fremont, Calif.: It is the only open enrollment school in the top 10. Mission San Jose was founded in 1963 and educates nearly 2,000 students. The school offers studies in biotechnology and forensic science. Some 92.1 percent of seniors take AP exams with 82.7 earning a 3 or higher.
Learn more about these and other schools on the list here.