Philadelphia's Masterman High School once again topped U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking of Pennsylvania schools, with a number of suburban high schools rounding out the top 10.
New Hope-Solebury in Bucks County surged into the No. 3 spot ahead of academic powerhouses Conestoga (fifth) and Lower Merion (15th).
Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy in Erie was ranked No. 2.
"I just could not be more thrilled," said New Hope-Solebury Superintendent Raymond J. Boccuti. "This district has always been dedicated to teaching, learning, and improving student achievement. . . . Each year we keep improving things and pushing forward a little bit more."
The 498-student school usually makes the top 10, but this is its highest ranking, said Boccuti.
Masterman, a magnet school for academically talented students, was first in the state last year. There are 690 high schools in the state. Masterman ranked 52d nationally, and New Hope-Solebury was 337.
Conestoga showed up in fifth place in Pennsylvania. Unionville was seventh, followed by Radnor, Wissahickon, and Great Valley.
Central, in Philadelphia, was 14th and followed by Lower Merion. Strath Haven and Souderton were 17th and 18th.
Also highly ranked were Academy at Palumbo, Mast Community Charter, and the High School of Creative and Performing Arts in Philadelphia; Penncrest; Downingtown East and West; Harriton; and Central Bucks East.
In South Jersey, Haddonfield was ranked 15th in New Jersey and 275 nationally.
The magazine said it evaluated more than 31,200 public, magnet and charter schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They were evaluated on overall student performance on state-mandated tests as well as how effectively they educated minority and poor students. It then used AP and IB exams to see how well schools prepared students for college-level courses.
Dallas-based School for the Talented and Gifted claimed the title of No. 1 public high school in the country for the third consecutive year. Students at TAG are required to take at least 11 AP courses and can partner with area universities to conduct field research.
In the national rankings, 500 high schools earned gold medals, 1,519 took home silver, and 2,688 were awarded bronze.
Charters, which limit enrollment, and magnet schools, which generally only accept top students, accounted for 155 of the top 500 schools.
Local schools listed in U.S. News & World Report's top 20 high schools in Pennsylvania.
3. New Hope-Solebury
10. Great Valley
15. Lower Merion
17. Strath Haven