US News Rankings: The Three Best High Schools in Michigan are Charter Schools

LANSING, Michigan – The three best high schools in Michigan are charter schools. And four of five best high schools in the country are charter schools. So says US News & World Report, which released its highly respected rankings of high schools today. 

US News releases the rankings every year, and they’re considered the gold standard of high school rankings. This year’s ranking has charter schools capturing the top three spots in Michigan:

  1. Wellspring Preparatory High School, Grand Rapids
  2. Arbor Preparatory High School, Ypsilanti
  3. Black River Public School, Holland

“That’s remarkable, but it’s no surprise,” said Dan Quisenberry, President of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA), the state charter school association. “This is more proof that innovation and accountability will lead to increased student achievement. The US News rankings are the most prestigious high school rankings in the country, and the fact that charter schools rate so highly – both in Michigan and nationally – speaks volumes.

“As they say in sports, the scoreboard doesn’t lie. That’s why we push for A-F accountability for schools, and it’s why we welcome evaluations and rankings such as these.”

In addition to the top three, numerous other charter schools were ranked highly by US News & World Report, including West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science in Grand Rapids (No. 17); West Michigan Aviation Academy in Grand Rapids (No. 72 in Michigan); and Star International Academy in Dearborn Heights (No. 80 in Michigan).

US News & World Report uses a metric that looks at how well schools prepare their students for college. A story in USA Today explained the rankings thusly:

“U.S. News assesses several factors to determine the schools' placements, including enrollment, graduation rates, diversity, participation in free and reduced-price lunch programs, and the results of state assessments and Advanced Placement (AP) exams. This year, the magazine changed the way it factors AP exams to better reflect schools that are preparing students for college. The measure includes giving more weight to schools where students participate — and pass — a variety of college-level courses and exams. The magazine awards schools gold, silver and bronze medals, with gold indicating the top level of college readiness.