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How States Compare in the 2014 Best High Schools Rankings

Maine performed the best in the latest rankings of public high schools.

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A state-by-state breakdown of the 2014 Best High Schools rankings shows that Maine is this year's leading performer, with 22.2 percent of its eligible schools earning gold and silver medals.

California came in second with 22.2 percent, since the rankings are based on unrounded percentages of schools with gold or silver medals. Connecticut was third with 19.7 percent.

The gold and silver awards reflect which schools are most successfully preparing students for college, based on students participating in and achieving passing scores on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests. For a school to be eligible for a gold or silver medal, its students must also do well on the appropriate statewide tests, as explained in the 2014 Best High Schools rankings methodology.

[Use this map to compare state medals in the Best High Schools rankings.]

When it comes to the total number of gold medal schools, California had the most – 105 – followed by New York with 55 and Texas with 54. Only 37 states had at least one school that earned a gold medal, and six of those had only one such school within their borders. All states except North Dakota earned at least one gold or silver medal.

Bronze medals did not count in this state-by-state analysis.

This year's rankings covered all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

State rank State Number of eligible high schools* Total number of gold medal schools Percent of schools with gold medals Total number of silver medal schools Percent of schools with silver medals Total number of gold and silver medals Percent of schools with gold and silver medals
1 ME 90 4 4.4% 16 17.8% 20 22.2%
2 CA 1,872 105 5.6% 310 16.6% 415 22.2%
3 CT 188 17 9.0% 20 10.6% 37 19.7%
4 MA 341 22 6.5% 41 12.0% 63 18.5%
5 MD 228 13 5.7% 29 12.7% 42 18.4%
6 NH 83 0 0.0% 13 15.7% 13 15.7%
7 VA 319 20 6.3% 28 8.8% 48 15.0%
8 OH 824 22 2.7% 93 11.3% 115 14.0%
9 TX 1,382 54 3.9% 135 9.8% 189 13.7%
10 CO 331 14 4.2% 31 9.4% 45 13.6%
11 VT 59 0 0.0% 8 13.6% 8 13.6%
12 NY 1,136 55 4.8% 99 8.7% 154 13.6%
13 FL 602 29 4.8% 52 8.6% 81 13.5%
14 DC 31 2 6.5% 2 6.5% 4 12.9%
15 WA 433 9 2.1% 46 10.6% 55 12.7%
16 IN 362 4 1.1% 41 11.3% 45 12.4%
17 GA 414 17 4.1% 34 8.2% 51 12.3%
18 KY 229 5 2.2% 23 10.0% 28 12.2%
19 AK 82 0 0.0% 10 12.2% 10 12.2%
20 NJ 383 25 6.5% 19 5.0% 44 11.5%
21 IL 628 19 3.0% 53 8.4% 72 11.5%
22 AZ 378 8 2.1% 35 9.3% 43 11.4%
23 NC 329 2 0.6% 34 10.3% 36 10.9%
24 RI 49 1 2.0% 4 8.2% 5 10.2%
25 NV 73 1 1.4% 6 8.2% 7 9.6%
26 OR 283 4 1.4% 22 7.8% 26 9.2%
27 NM 160 3 1.9% 11 6.9% 14 8.8%
28 PA 674 7 1.0% 49 7.3% 56 8.3%
29 HI 49 0 0.0% 4 8.2% 4 8.2%
30 MT 37 1 2.7% 2 5.4% 3 8.1%
31 AR 273 1 0.4% 21 7.7% 22 8.1%
32 DE 25 0 0.0% 2 8.0% 2 8.0%
33 MN 518 7 1.4% 34 6.6% 41 7.9%
34 MI 780 10 1.3% 50 6.4% 60 7.7%
35 WI 446 2 0.4% 32 7.2% 34 7.6%
36 SC 207 2 1.0% 12 5.8% 14 6.8%
37 ID 166 1 0.6% 10 6.0% 11 6.6%
38 WY 62 0 0.0% 4 6.5% 4 6.5%
39 WV 112 0 0.0% 7 6.3% 7 6.3%
40 OK 281 4 1.4% 11 3.9% 15 5.3%
41 TN 333 4 1.2% 13 3.9% 17 5.1%
42 AL 356 3 0.8% 12 3.4% 15 4.2%
43 IA 334 0 0.0% 12 3.6% 12 3.6%
44 UT 148 1 0.7% 4 2.7% 5 3.4%
45 MO 473 2 0.4% 13 2.7% 15 3.2%
46 NE 170 0 0.0% 4 2.4% 4 2.4%
47 KS 109 0 0.0% 2 1.8% 2 1.8%
48 SD 122 0 0.0% 2 1.6% 2 1.6%
49 LA 301 0 0.0% 3 1.0% 3 1.0%
50 MS 244 0 0.0% 1 0.4% 1 0.4%
51 ND 104 0 0.0% 0 0.0% 0 0.0%

*Number of schools that had a valid state performance index (used in Step 1 of the methodology), regardless of whether they had a valid College Readiness Index.