Education

Charlotte region’s best public high school is not in Charlotte, US News says

Marvin Ridge High graduates smile for the camera before the 2016 commencement ceremony.
Marvin Ridge High graduates smile for the camera before the 2016 commencement ceremony.

Three neighborhood schools and two charter schools in Charlotte’s suburbs made U.S. News & World Report’s list of the 500 best high schools in America, with Union County’s Marvin Ridge High topping the local ratings.

The magazine’s annual report rated more than 22,000 public high schools based on state exam performance (disadvantaged students had to outperform state averages for inclusion), graduation rates and participation and performance on Advanced Placement tests. The top 500 earned gold medal status.

Marvin Ridge in Waxhaw moved up from 505th place last year to 275th in 2017, moving past Lake Norman Charter School in Huntersville, which is No. 325.

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Two south suburban Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools, Ardrey Kell (362) and Providence (369), made the gold medal list, along with Community School of Davidson (406), a charter school in north Mecklenburg County.

Guilford County Schools topped the North Carolina list, with Weaver Academy, an arts and advanced technology magnet school, ranked 39th in the nation. Raleigh Charter High was next at 56th, followed by Early College at Guilford, another Guilford magnet school. Early College at Guilford was also listed as the nation’s fourth best high school specializing in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

Raleigh Charter High
A student dissects a frog at Raleigh Charter High School, which had Wake County’s highest rating on the on the 2017 U.S. News & World Report best high schools list. John Rottet News & Observer file photo

U.S. News has been rating high schools since 2007. RTI International, a research firm based in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, crunched the numbers for the 2017 list.

The list is designed to recognize excellence in public education, and it always sparks interest among schools competing for bragging rights. Critics say data can’t fully capture the quality of education, and note that high schools serving impoverished neighborhoods seldom make the cut.

Read the full report at www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools

Charter schools are one option in the growing "school choice" movement. Funded by taxpayer money, these schools are growing nationally, though some states have yet to pass related laws. Find out what sets them apart from traditional public and pri

Ann Doss Helms: 704-358-5033, @anndosshelms

Best NC high schools

These schools made the Top 500 in the U.S. News & World Report best high schools list.

School

Type

Location

National rank

Philip J. Weaver Ed Center

Guilford County Schools

Greensboro

39

Raleigh Charter High School

Charter

Raleigh

56

Early College at Guilford

Guilford County Schools

Greensboro

62

Woods Charter

Charter

Chapel Hill

104

Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy

Charter

Mooresboro

135

East Chapel Hill High

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools

Chapel Hill

142

School of Inquiry and Life Sciences

Asheville City Schools

Asheville

159

Chapel Hill High

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools

Chapel Hill

169

Carrboro High

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools

Carrboro

246

Marvin Ridge High

Union County Schools

Waxhaw

275

Lake Norman Charter

Charter

Huntersville

325

Green Hope High

Wake County Schools

Cary

356

Ardrey Kell High

CMS

Charlotte

362

Providence High

CMS

Charlotte

369

Community School of Davidson

Charter

Davidson

406

Franklin Academy

Charter

Wake Forest

484

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