OC campuses are ranked among the ‘Best High Schools’ in latest U.S. News rundown

U.S. News & World Report has ranked nearly 18,000 public high schools based on their state assessments and how well they prepare students for college. Once again, a number of Orange County campuses can be found high on the list.

Oxford Academy in the Anaheim Union High School District took the No. 1 spot for all of California and was ranked No. 11 nationally in U.S. News’ latest breakdown of its “Best High Schools.” The news outlet noted that the school’s Advanced Placement participation rate is 100 percent, the graduation rate is 100 percent, and 36 percent of Oxford’s students are considered economically disadvantaged.

logo of us news siteThomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia was once again named the highest ranking school in the country. But a half-dozen OC campuses ranked in California’s top 100 — Woodbridge High came in at 101 — and 16 local schools were ranked in the nation’s top 1,000. Irvine Unified led the way with three high schools in that group.

As we’ve said in the past, news outlets often develop their own methodologies to rank schools and colleges. U.S. News works with North Carolina-based RTI International, a global nonprofit social science research firm, and examines a handful of indicators, including student participation in AP and International Baccalaureate exams, performance on math and reading tests, the performance of underserved populations and graduation rates.

“The highest ranked U.S. public schools … are those whose students demonstrated outstanding outcomes above expectations in math and reading state assessments, earned qualifying scores in an array of college-level exams, and graduated in high proportions,” the online publication said.

The report includes a searchable database of more than 24,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Below is a list of the Orange County schools that we found in the top 1,000.


Oxford Academy, Anaheim Union High School District: No. 1 in California, No. 11 in national rankings

Troy High School, Fullerton Joint Union High School District: No. 25 in California, No. 220 in national rankings

Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA), a charter school in Santa Ana: No. 38 in California, No. 273 in national rankings

La Quinta High School, Garden Grove Unified School District: No. 52 in California, No. 391 in national rankings

University High School, Irvine Unified School District: No. 57 in California, No. 431 in national rankings

Northwood High School, Irvine Unified School District: No. 59 in California, No. 435 in national rankings

Woodbridge High School, Irvine Unified School District: No. 101 in California, No. 764 in national rankings

Arnold O. Beckman High School, Tustin Unified School District: No. 108 in California, No. 796 in national rankings

San Juan Hills High School, Capistrano Unified School District: No. 116 in California, No. 844 in national rankings

Samueli Academy, a charter school in Santa Ana: No. 121 in California, No. 862 in national rankings

Magnolia Science Academy Santa Ana, a charter school in Santa Ana: No. 122 in California, No. 868 in national rankings

Fountain Valley High School, Huntington Beach Union High School District: No. 123 in California, No. 873 in national rankings

Tesoro High School, Capistrano Unified School District: No. 127 in California, No. 884 in national rankings

Laguna Beach High School, Laguna Beach Unified School District: No. 133 in California, No. 933 in national rankings

Sunny Hills High School, Fullerton Joint Union High School District: No. 134 in California, No. 938 in national rankings

Corona Del Mar High School, Newport-Mesa Unified School District: No. 138 in California, No. 956 in national rankings

Did we miss any local schools in the top 1,000? Email us at communications@ocde.us.