A Review Of The Top K-12 Schools In The United States Of America

A Review Of The Top K-12 Schools In The United States Of America

As parents, we all want the very best for our children, especially their education, but how many of us look up the best K-12 schools in the Unites States and move to ensure that our children really are getting the best education. With School Choice, one might suppose it is an option, but before doing anything drastic, why don’t we do a review of those top schools and find out what makes them the best. We will take a look at the best private K-12 schools, best public high schools, best charter schools, and best online schools.

Best Private K-12 Schools

1)Phillips Academy Andover, MA 9-12 40,000 5:1 1,150 A+
2) Phillips Exeter Academy Exeter, NH 9-12 38,740 5:1 1,1085 A+
3) St. Paul’s School Concord, NH 9-12 55,000 5:1 541 A+
4)The Lawrenceville School Lawrenceville, NJ 9-12 51,440 8:1 822 A+
5) Choate Rosemary Hill Wallingford,Ct 9-12 43,130 7:1 862 A+

Phillips Academy Building

It’s easy to be number one when your student teacher ratio is an average 6:1 and you’re paying a yearly tuition that’s worth a full college tuition. I’m not sure what makes them the best when looking at how many surveys were answered by parents and students of the schools and the top average is 14. Money and living in New England make you the top 5 Best Private K-12 School.

Best Public High School

Walter Payton College Prep Chicago, IL 9-12 Free 17:1 899 A+
Northside College Prep Chicago, IL 9-12 17:1 1,047 A+
Aldai E. Stevenson Lincolnshire, IL 9-12 14:1 3,839 A+
Thomas Jefferson H. for Science & Technology Fairfax, Va. 9-12 16:1 1,820 A+
Illinois Mathematic & Science Academy Aurora, IL 10-12 12:1 650 A+

The rest of the country needs to take a look at Illinois, they are definitely doing something right in their education system, especially Aldai E. Stevenson High School. Having almost 4,000 students and maintaining the kind of numbers that they are. What is in their water? Part of the key to success at any high school is going to be student teacher ratio; even at a school with a high student body ratio, they are able to maintain a low teacher/student number.

Best Charter School

BASIS Scottsdale Scottsdale, AZ 5-12 11:1 754 A+
Charter School of Wilmington Wilmington, DE 9-12 4:1 972 A+
Benjamin Franklin High Orleans Parish,  LA 9-12 17:1 894 A+
Raleigh Charter Raleigh, NC 9-12 13:1 559 A+
BASIS Oro Valley Oro Valley, AZ 5-12 7:1 549 A+

BASIS Scottsdale Building

It comes as no surprise that the Charter for these schools is primarily STEM programs and that once again the class sizes are incredibly small. Reading some of the reviews from the students are interesting as they speak of the rigor of the classes and that parents are very strict, wanting the best for their students. I believe this is everywhere.

After reviewing the top five schools in the nation in the categories of Public, Private and Charter for high schools, I wasn’t personally overly impressed. As an educator in a past life, I could have been a top 5 educator in the nation if I only had 5 students to teach in every class, had the best equipment, and made the salaries I can only assume some of the New England teachers are making. The point is that what has been said about improving education for our students is still true no matter where you live.

  1. Class sizes need to be smaller
  2. Teachers need to be motivated and held to a standard of excellence
  3. Modern technology needs to be provided in every classroom
  4. Teachers, students, parents, and administrators all need to help each other out and work together
  5. Students must be held to a higher standard of learning

When these conditions are met, then every school will be a top 5 school in the country.

Current And Upcoming Reforms That Will Transform The K-12 Education System

Current And Upcoming Reforms That Will Transform The K-12 Education System

Two of America’s largest political and economic concerns are the educational system and the unemployment rate. Unfortunately, as time progresses they become more paradoxical. Three-quarters of the rapidly growing fields of occupations: science, engineering, technology, and mathematics, require students to have an education beyond high school. Unfortunately, the United States is also close to the top of the list regarding school dropout rates across the world.  For those who do graduate and attend college, over half need remedial classes, and never manage to achieve graduation.

A college degree is a primary way to boost the U.S. economic growth and increase what we have been lacking more recently – a thriving and strong middle class. For that to happen, the education system has to improve immensely, and that means throughout preschool and into college, or careers, or the innovation-based economy that future generations will employ to make their livings.

For that challenge, in 2009, the Obama Administration launched a set of core reforms that he hoped would ensure that more students would take advantage of the free K-12 education they are receiving and encourage a better take-up of the college track post high school.

Core Reforms – Obama 2009

Highly Regarded Preschools: $1 billion was invested to promote preschool attendance for all American children; over half the states markedly boosted their own investments in early learning. Through the Obama Administration’s Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge Program, 5.2 million children from low-income families in 20 states will benefit from high-quality, seamless state-funded early learning systems that link education, health, nutrition, and family supports. Additionally, 18 states are building or enhancing their infrastructure to provide or expand high-quality preschool programs in high-need communities through Preschool Development Grants.


Higher Standards: More than 24 million students have access to higher standards of education than they did a few years ago



Data and Assessments with more application:  The reform invested $360 million in states that created a newer measurement aligned to career-ready and college- standards that exceed the outdated bubble tests, concentrating with a focus on problem-solving, critical thinking, and writing.


All classrooms having effective and dedicated educators: All students require and are worthy of strong and passionate teachers; however, research reveals that those of low-income and minority students are considered to have less innovative and dedicated teachers than other students.


Discipline and Civil rights: In 2014, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice issued the package of guidance and resource materials the purpose of which was to aid schools’ focused attention on the excess of exclusionary punishment and unbalanced levels of correction for students with disabilities and students of color.


(U.S. Department of Education, 2015)

Present Reforms And Of The Future

Barack Obama

These reforms introduced during the Obama Administration (2008-2016) set the standard for the creation of the following reforms and their futures, recommended or discussed in either the Obama or the current president’s Administration.

  • Creating the STEM Program: This reform investigates methods of calculating classroom subject material and procedures in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and the Next Generation Science Standards to enhance and increase knowledge in the areas of technology, science, engineering, and math education.
  • School Choice – Giving Parents the Knowledge They Need: Parents need information about the educational lessons, amenities, and the school climate to make informed decisions about schools. An advanced method of measuring and accumulating information on performance and an approach to making the method available to families is needed in the schools.
  • The Improvement of Leadership in Schools: The Every Student Succeeds Act provides states and districts with fresh opportunities to provide for school leadership. Based on evidence, mediations, interventions, and more involvement from school policymakers it has been proven that the quality of school leadership can be vastly improved.

(RAND, 2017)

Students benefit from STEM program

These are a sampling of the latest initiatives added to the United States educational reforms.

However, the need for higher educated people has never been greater, especially in the areas that STEM covers. Parents, students, school leaders and the general populace can expect to see more reforms, more transitions, and constant changes until the United States is where it needs to be with regard to meeting the educational needs of its citizens.


The U.S. educational system has continued to slip and fall behind over the past five decades due to changing demographics and socioeconomics.