One of the biggest issues in deciding where to buy is the school district for any particular house. After all you can fix most problems with a single family house. You can make it bigger by adding on a room or fence the yard to hide your neighbor’s hideous landscaping, but it is hard to move the house to a different school district. But.. and this is a big but… it is also difficult to determine which school is best for your family.

So it is useful to have a review based on some kind of standardized and rational criteria. Fortunately, each year, U.S. News and World Report evaluates the nation’s schools. The rankings were based on student-teacher ratios; state proficiency test results, overall and with a particular focus on how disadvantaged students were performing; and participation rates in AP/IB programs.  Of course, these criteria may not be the ones that are most important to your children’s development and academic success – and rankings do change from year to year.

Having said that, here are the top ten high schools in Maryland, according to U.S. News and World Report – and the top four are in Montgomery County:

  1. Walt Whitman High School; Bethesda (ranked 61st overall in the country).
  2. Thomas S. Wooten High School; Rockville (ranked 65th nationally)
  3. Poolesville High School; Poolesville (ranked 83rd nationally)
  4. Richard Montgomery High School; Rockville (ranked 163rd nationally)
  5. Barbara Ingram School for the Arts; Hagerstown
  6. Quince Orchard High; Gaithersburg
  7. Eastern Technical High School; Baltimore
  8. Towson High School Law and Public Policy; Towson
  9. River Hill High School; Clarksville
  10. Col. Zadok Magruder High; Rockville

In case you are interested, the top school nationally this year is the small Dallas School for Talented and Gifted, where 100 % of the student body passed the AP exams taken. That school has 240 students and 14 teachers!

2. Basis Scottsdale: Scottsdale AZ

3. Gwinnet School of Mathematics, Science and Technology: Lawrenceville, GA

4. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology: Alexandria,VA