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April 30, 2019

Masterman High School named top school in Pa. by U.S. News & World Report

The Philadelphia magnet school leap-frogged Downingtown STEM Academy in this year's rankings

Education Philadelphia School District
Masterman High School Philadelphia StreetView/Google Maps

Julia R. Masterman High School is ranked the best high school in Pennsylvania by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 ratings. Masterman ranks 22nd nationally. The second-ranked school in Pennsylvania is Downingtown STEM in Chester County.

There’s a new champ in the area: U.S. News & World Report named Philadelphia’s Julia R. Masterman High School the top high school in Pennsylvania on Tuesday.

Masterman’s ranking represents a new top dog among the state’s high schools. Downingtown STEM Academy, this year’s No. 2 in the state, led U.S. News’s rankings of Pennsylvania High Schools in 2018 with a comfortable 52-spot lead over Masterman in the national rankings.

But Masterman leapt from 86th in the U.S. in 2018 to 22nd in the U.S. this year, a gargantuan step compared to Downingtown’s hop from 34th to 29th in the U.S.

While the individual title has changed hands, regionally things have remained the same: Eastern Pennsylvania is the best place in the state for high school education. The eight best-rated high schools in the Keystone State are located in the Philadelphia area, according to U.S. News.

Here’s the Top 8 high schools in Pennsylvania, with national rankings in parentheses:

1. Masterman School, Philadelphia (22nd)
2. Downingtown STEM, Downingtown (29th)
3. Radnor High School, Radnor (237th)
4. Central High School, Philadelphia (284th)
5. Conestoga High School, Berwyn (298th)
6. Strath Haven High School, Wallingford (323rd)
7. Unionville High School, Kennett Square (329th)
8. New-Hope Solebury High School, New Hope (356th)

The first western Pennsylvania school on the list is Upper St. Clair High School, which ranks 444th nationally.

As far as Masterman’s momentous rise is concerned, U.S. News gave the school a near-perfect grade of 99.87, citing perfect mathematics and reading proficiencies, along with a 100% graduation rate, all tied for the best marks of any school in the country. U.S. News also ranked Masterman No. 11 in the U.S. in terms of magnet schools.

Masterman and Central are both public magnet schools that have a selective admissions process and to which students must apply to attend. 

Academy at Palumbo in South Philly (1,236th nationally), Carver Engineering and Science High School in North Philly (1,682nd), and Girard Academic Music Program in South Philly (1,928th) round out the rankings’ top five among Philadelphia's public schools. Each of these three schools also are magnet schools.