They're number 66!

Philadelphia's prestigious Masterman High again made the list of top American high schools, as ranked by U.S. News and World Reports. The magazine looked at state test scores, paying special attention to scores of minority- and low-income students. It also counted college readiness, as judged by Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate test data.

Masterman Principal Marjorie Neff was jubilant this morning, and not at all fazed by the fact that the magnet school had slipped, down from 53rd last year.

The magazine relied on data from the 2006-07 school year, and Neff said that Masterman students improved scores last school year. Expect a better performance next year, she said.

"I'm thrilled that we continue to represent Philadelphia and the quality of education in the Philadelphia public schools," Neff said.

There hadn't been much reaction yet among students, Neff said - she plans on making an announcement to them later in the day, before they go home for the weekend.

Masterman was the only area school on the magazine's Top 100 list, a change from last year, when Berwyn's Conestoga High was ranked the 79th best school in the U.S. This year it slipped to the magazine's second-tier list.

In addition to Conestoga, other area schools on the "silver" and "bronze" lists:

In Bucks County, Central Bucks East and West both earned silver designation. In Delaware County, Radnor High took silver.  In Montgomery County, Lower Merion and Harriton took silver and Abington took bronze. In Chester County, Conestoga and Great Valley landed on the silver list. Philadelphia high schools Central earned silver and Carver, Bodine and Girls Highs took bronze.

In New Jersey, Camden's Brimm Medical Arts and High School of the Creative and Performing Arts earned bronze distinction. So did the Camden County Technical School, located in Pennsauken.