WHS Drops Out of Top 10 in US News & World Report Best High School Rankings

U.S. News & World Report released its annual list of Best High Schools on Tuesday, April 21. Coming in at #11 on the 2020 list, Wilton High School has, for the first time in many years, dropped off the top 10 list of Connecticut high schools (with the exception of 2017, when the school was not ranked because it missed a preliminary assessment qualification).

Wilton was ranked by the magazine at #11 out of 207 Connecticut high schools, down from ninth in 2019. Nationally, WHS was ranked at #537, which was a drop from #424 last year; of the national STEM schools, the magazine put Wilton at #137, a jump up from #244 in 2019. Wilton was ranked at #7 in the Bridgeport Metro Area High Schools.

According to a press release from U.S. News, the 2020 rankings list rated more schools across America than ever before, evaluating more than 17,700 public high schools on how well they serve all of their students, regardless of economic or ethnic background.

Schools are ranked on their performance on state-required tests, graduation and how well they prepare students for college.

The other schools in Wilton’s DRG (district reference group) also made appearances on the Best High Schools list in the following order:

Weston:  # 2 in CT (was #2); #202 in U.S. (was #169)
Darien:  #3 in CT (was #1); #214 in U.S. (was #150)
Westport’s Staples:  #4 in CT (was #7), #279 in U.S. (was #361)
New Canaan:  #5 in CT (was #6); #282 in U.S. (was #342)
Ridgefield:  #9 in CT (was #4); #516 in U.S. (was #317)
Wilton:  #11 in CT (was #9), #537 in U.S. (was #424)
Redding/Joel Barlow:  #15 in CT (was #18), #696 in U.S. (was #726)

“The Best High Schools rankings provide the most comprehensive, data-based information on nearly every public high school in the country,” said Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News. “Families can use this information to see how their local schools compare on graduation rates and state assessments, as well as academic performance by students who are traditionally underserved–those who are black, Hispanic or from low-income households.”

Key findings:

  • The highest-ranked schools are scattered throughout the country, showing that the best schools are not concentrated in any one geographic area. Nine different states are represented among the top 10 schools. More broadly, the top 100 schools span 29 states.
  • Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia moves up to No. 1 this year, due to its best-in-state performance in English and math assessments, top ranking in college readiness and 100% graduation rate.
  • Half of Massachusetts’ high schools are in the top quarter of the national rankings–the highest proportion of any state. However, the major metropolitan area with this distinction is found in California. The San Jose metro area, which includes Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, has 63% of its schools in the top quarter of the national rankings.

The methodology takes a holistic approach to evaluating schools, focusing on six factors: college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rates. College readiness measures participation and performance on AP and IB exams.

The Best High Schools rankings are available exclusively on USNews.com and include data on a variety of factors, such as enrollment, student diversity, participation in free and reduced-price lunch programs, graduation rates and the results of state assessments. U.S. News worked with RTI International, a global research firm, to implement the comprehensive ranking methodology.

See the full rankings online.


  1. This steady decline over years is shameful. The current leadership is clearly not up to the task.

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