Fairfax Co. high school ranks near top of national rankings — again

WASHINGTON — A Fairfax County high school has once again ranked highly in an annual list of the best U.S. high schools.

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County, ranks fifth on the U.S. News & World Report list of the country’s best public high schools, and third on the list of best STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) high schools.

The ratings were calculated based on a combination of student performance on proficiency tests; the performance of economically disadvantaged students; graduation rate (a new step this year); and the percentage of students who take, and pass, Advanced Placement tests.

Thomas Jefferson ranked third last year, and fourth in 2014. The School for the Talented and Gifted, in Dallas, Texas, topped the rankings for the fifth straight year.

McLean, High School, in McLean; Madison High, in Vienna; George Mason High School, in Falls Church; and Oakton High, in Vienna, round out the top five for Virginia.

In Maryland, Walt Whitman High, in Bethesda, came out on top. Winston Churchill High, in Potomac; Poolesville High, in Poolesville; Thomas S. Wootton High, in Rockville; and Walter Johnson High, in Bethesda, made up the rest of the top five.

In D.C., here are the top five:

  • School Without Walls, in Northwest;
  • Wilson High School, in Northwest;
  • Benjamin Banneker Academy high School, in Northwest;
  • Ellington School of the Arts, in Northwest;
  • McKinley Technology High School, in Northeast.
Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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