The most recent U.S. News and World Report ranking of the country's best high schools puts Timberline High School in Boise at the head of the Idaho class. For 2017, U.S. News ranked more than 22,000 public high schools, and Timberline earned the No. 1 spot in the Gem State, receiving high marks for English proficiency, a 95 percent graduation rate and 52 percent of its student population participating in advanced placement coursework.
Sandpoint High School is ranked No. 2 in the state, followed by Fruitland, Moscow, Eagle and Mountain View high schools.
According to the authors of the study, U.S. News rankings "focus on student outcomes with an emphasis on graduation rates and state proficiency tests." Overall, students at schools ranked high on the list "graduate at rates that are 15 percent higher, on average" than students at unranked schools. In particular, U.S. News gave added weight to those schools where more students participate in and pass advanced placement, college-level courses and exams.
BASIS High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., came in at No. 1 in the survey—Arizona had a strong showing with four of its schools taking the overall top spots.
U.S. News also ranked charter high schools and, while no Idaho charters received gold, silver or bronze rankings, U.S. News pointed to high graduation rates at Compass Public Charter in Meridian, Idaho Arts Charter in Nampa, Liberty Charter in Nampa, Meridian Medical Arts Charter, Meridian Technical Charter, North Star Charter in Eagle, Victory Charter in Nampa, Vision Charter in Caldwell and Xavier Charter in Twin Falls.
In the list of the nation's best magnet schools, four Idaho high schools made the cut: Compass Academy in Idaho Falls, Homedale High School, the Idaho Fine Arts Academy in Eagle and Renaissance High School in Meridian.
No Idaho schools were included among the best STEM high schools ranked in the survey.