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Two Michigan high schools rank among nation’s best, state ranking drops to 31st

National school rankings announced Tuesday revealed mixed news for Michigan: One of its high schools made the top ten list but the state’s ranking among other states slipped five spots to 31st place.

Two Michigan high schools — the International Academy of Oakland and the International Academy of Macomb —ranked eighth and 18th respectively in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 edition of best overall high schools.

The set of new, national high school were announced by the media company on Tuesday. The rankings evaluate nearly 17,660 public high schools at the national, state and local levels and include national and state rankings, plus Best STEM, charter and magnet high schools.

Avery Genna, Kaitlen Adei, Anisa Begum, and Gabriella Afram perform an experiment in a tenth grade chemistry class Monday at the International Academy of Macomb in Clinton Township.

Michigan saw its state rank — compared to other states which have the largest proportion of their high schools in the top 25% of the 2024 Best High Schools rankings — drop to 31st, compared to 26th last year.

With 673 schools evaluated, Michigan had one high school in the top ten national overall ranking, one school in the top five of magnet high schools and no schools in the top five for charter high schools or STEM high schools.

The International Academy of Oakland’s was one of five schools new to the national overall Top Ten list this year after placing 54th last year. The IA of Oakland is a tuition-free countywide magnet school that educates about 1,392 students. It is run by a consortium of 13 Oakland County districts. To get into the school, students must enter a lottery and take a placement test.

The International Academy of Macomb, which is run by the Macomb Intermediate School District, also ranked fifth on the list of best magnet high schools, while Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy in Saginaw public schools ranked 59th. Magnet high schools are public high schools that offer specialized courses, designed around a theme, and any student in the designated region can attend, the report said.

The highest ranked public schools on the list are those whose students achieved top scores on state assessments for math, reading and science, a press release said. These schools also had strong underserved student performance, college readiness and curriculum breadth, as well as graduation rates, officials said.

“The 2024 Best High Schools rankings offer a starting point for parents to understand a school’s academic performance, whether it’s a prospective school or one that their child is already attending,” LaMont Jones, managing editor of education at U.S. News, said. “Accessible data on our high schools can empower families across the country as they navigate today’s educational environment and plan for the future.”

Avery Genna, left, and Anisa Begum perform an experiment in a tenth grade chemistry class at the International Academy of Macomb, in Clinton Twp., April 22, 2024.

College readiness specifically measures participation and performance on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams, and underserved student performance focuses on students who are Black, Hispanic or from low-income households. The rankings include demographic information on schools ranked in the top 5%, 10% and 25%.

Michigan ranked 31st in a comparison of states with the highest percentage of top-ranked public high schools, dropping five spots from its ranking last year of 26th when it tied with Kentucky.

According to the report, of the 673 high schools rated Michigan had 3.7% or 25 school ranked in the top 5% percent nationally, 54 schools in the top 10% nationally and 147 schools in the top 25% nationally.

Massachusetts ranked first among states this year, with 43.9% of its eligible high schools were in the top 25% of the rankings. Connecticut came in second with 42.9% of its schools in the top 25%, New Jersey in third with 42.1%, Maryland in fourth with 39% and Florida in fifth place with 37.4%.

Along with the national rankings, U.S. News also published rankings at the state, metro and school district levels. These sub-rankings only included metro areas and school districts with three or more high schools.

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