Please note we have moved the launch date for the 2012 U.S. News Best High Schools to Tuesday, May 8.
Due to the extensive amount of new data we will be publishing online for nearly 22,000 public schools, we are extending our internal review and testing.
Here's how the rankings will be calculated: First, we analyzed information from nearly 22,000 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia using data from the 2009-2010 school year. A three-step process will be used to determine the Best High Schools on the national level.
The first two steps will ensure that the schools serve all their students well, using state proficiency standards as the measuring benchmarks. For the schools that make it past the first two steps in their state, a third step will be used to assess "college readiness"—the degree to which schools prepared students in terms of both participation in and passing of college-level work using Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests as the standard.
U.S. News will then nationally rank the highest-scoring schools. In addition to the main national rankings, there will be other numerical rankings published for the top high schools in each state and for the Best Charter Schools and the Best Magnet Schools on a national level.
Media representatives: To get access to embargoed Best High Schools 2012 rankings materials, please E-mail Education-PR@usnews.com.