|Rank||High School||Average SAT||National Merit Semi-Finalists||Presidential Scholar Candidates||Number Attending 15 Top Colleges||Type||City||State|
|1||Thomas Jefferson Magnet||1466||31.90%||5.61%||9.18%||Magnet||Alexandria||VA|
|2||Sidwell Friends School||1400||13.76%||9.70%||14.40%||Private||Washington||DC|
|3||National Cathedral School (NCS)||1399||9.92%||9.76%||15.79%||Private||Washington||DC|
|4||St. Albans School||1350||13.30%||7.79%||14.21%||Private||Washington||DC|
|6||Georgetown Day School||1343||7.34%||4.72%||9.54%||Private||Washington||DC|
|7||St. Anselm's School||1351||8.09%||2.94%||5.22%||Private||Washington||DC|
|10||Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School||1295||4.92%||1.43%||5.55%||Private||Rockville||MD|
|11||Washington International School (WIS)||1285||1.34%||1.43%||4.37%||Private||Washington||DC|
|12||Stone Ridge School||1268||2.77%||1.27%||3.66%||Private||Bethesda||MD|
|14||Georgetown Preparatory School||1292||2.27%||0.65%||4.70%||Private||Washington||DC|
|15||Walt Whitman High School||1272||3.65%||0.53%||Not reported||Public||Bethesda||MD|
|16||Richard Montgomery High School||1190||6.22%||1.07%||4.45%||Public||Rockville||MD|
|17||Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School (Visi)||1254||2.51%||0.84%||Not reported||Private||Washington||DC|
|18||St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School||1254||2.27%||0.00%||Not reported||Private||Alexandria||VA|
|19||Winston Churchill High School||1107||1.93%||0.38%||4.30%||Public||Potomac||MD|
|21||School Without Walls||1202||1.07%||0.97%||Not reported||Magnet||Washington||DC|
|22||Gonzaga College High School||1230||1.53%||0.43%||2.11%||Private||Washington||DC|
|23||Edmund Burke School||1241||1.26%||0.00%||Not reported||Private||Washington||DC|
|24||Sandy Spring Friends School||1230||1.17%||0.00%||Not reported||Private||Sandy Spring||MD|
|25||Emerson Preparatory School||1200||0.35%||0.00%||Not reported||Private||Washington||DC|
|26||Walter Johnson High School||1174||1.19%||0.21%||0.87%||Public||Bethesda||MD|
|27||Bethesda-Chevy Chase (BCC) High School||1146||1.63%||0.47%||Not reported||Public||Bethesda||MD|
|28||Thomas Wootton High School||1234||1.73%||0.32%||Not reported||Public||Rockville||MD|
|29||McLean School||1126||0.86%||0.00%||Not reported||Public||Potomac||MD|
|30||Montgomery Blair*||1116||6.13%||1.62%||Not reported||Public||Silver Spring||MD|
|31||Bullis School||Not reported||0.20%||0.00%||2.40%||Private||Potomac||MD|
|32||Field School||Not reported||0.82%||0.00%||1.30%||Private||Washington||DC|
|33||British School||Not reported||0.35%||0.00%||Not reported||Private||Washington||DC|
|34||St. John's College High School||Not reported||0.24%||0.00%||Not reported||Private||Washington||DC|
|35||Episcopal High School||Not reported||0.35%||0.00%||3.73%||Private||Alexandria||VA|
Methodology: ranking the best high schools
Academically, what are the top high schools in Washington, DC; Maryland; and Virginia? These rankings are a rigorous answer to that question, based solely on objective academic measures.
Also answered are common questions about high schools. Which schools send the highest percentage of their students to top colleges? Which schools have the most National Merit semi-finalists? Which schools have the highest average SAT scores?
Highlights of the rankings:
- 1 public high school, Thomas Jefferson (tuition: $0) and Montgomery Blair (tuition: $0), outranked every private high school in the DC metro area.
- Otherwise, private high schools dominate the rankings.
- 1 DC public high school made the list. It was #22 – the School Without Walls, a magnet high school.
*Montgomery Blair was scored on the basis of its entire student body, rather than its magnet program alone, because magnet students at that school are mainstreamed in many classes.
3 factors were weighted equally:
- Average SAT (math and critical reading)
- Average number of Presidential Scholar candidates
- Average number of National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists
For many high schools, we also reported the average number of students who went on to attend 15 top colleges. This number was not included for ranking purposes. The schools included were Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Williams, Pomona, Swarthmore, Chicago, Johns Hopkins, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, the University of Chicago, and the University of Pennsylvania.
Each criterion was normalized to make it comparable to the other criteria. The Min-Max method was used to create raw scores:
xt – minc(xt0) / (maxc(xt0 – minc(xt0)).
High schools were ranked by raw score.
1 SAT Average. Calculated by adding average Math and average Critical Reading scores. Scores for all public high schools, all magnet high schools, National Cathedral School (NCS), Stone Ridge School, Gonzaga, St. Anselm’s, Washington International School, Holton-Arms, and Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School were obtained from the schools’ websites. Maret School scores were obtained from their 2015-16 Curriculum Guide. Scores for Sidwell, Emerson, Georgetown Day, and Georgetown Visitation were obtained from the Washington Examiner. Scores for other private high schools were obtained via private communication with school staff.
2 National Merit Scholarship Semi-finalists. Calculated by averaging the percentage of National Merit Semi-finalists from 2006-2015.
3 Presidential Scholar Candidates. Calculated by averaging the percentage of Presidential Scholar Candidates from 2006-2015.
4 Number attending 15 Top Colleges. This is an average of the percentage of students from each high school who went on to attend 15 top schools from 2004 to 2014. The schools included were Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Williams, Pomona, Swarthmore, Chicago, Johns Hopkins, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, the University of Chicago, and the University of Pennsylvania. The methods of obtaining this information were inspired by three different studies and included collecting the high schools’ self-reports and viewbooks from the 15 colleges. Education researcher Sam Tuo collected these data from 2004 to 2014.