November 13, 2019
Newsweek released a ranking of the 500 best STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) high schools in the U.S. this week, grading them on a points-based scale. Pennsylvania, and specifically the Philadelphia area, was well-represented on the list.
Nineteen Pennsylvania schools, including 12 in the Philadelphia area, were included on the list, good for 3.8% of the entire list. Philly's own Germantown Friends led the way for the entire state, ranking No. 41 overall with a score of 96.66.
Neighboring New Jersey contributed a whopping 34 schools (6.8%) to the list, including three in the Top 50 – all in North Jersey. One, Middlesex County Academy for STEM, finished ranked No. 40, a narrow .02 points ahead of Germantown Friends.
The other two – Bergen County Technical High School in Teterboro and Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, ranked Nos. 13 and 14, respectively.
Delaware contributed three schools to the list, including a Top 100 finish for Charter School of Wilmington.
Here's how Newsweek explains its methodology:
"STEM.org Educational Research (SER) has developed a proprietary scoring logic utilizing the latest in regression analysis that takes into consideration a broad set of quantitative and qualitative data inputs, collected from Q2 2015 - Q3 2019. The purpose was to determine which primary/secondary institutions in America best offer students experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) — as defined by the Congressional Research Service — while preparing them for post-secondary outcomes. Additional factors including affluence and median household income were taken into consideration in compiling the rankings."
Here are all 12 listed schools from the Philadelphia area:
41. Germantown Friends
137. Conestoga Senior High
142. The Hill School
188. New Hope-Solebury High
197. Julia R. Masterman
261. Moravian Academy
319. Radnor Senior High
406. Harriton Senior High
428. The Haverford School
447. Agnes Irwin
463. The Baldwin School
498. Episcopal Academy
It's been a good year for Julia R. Masterman High School: earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report named it the top high school in Pennsylvania, ranking No. 22 in the country overall.
Interestingly, Downingtown STEM Academy, which was ranked the second-best high school in the state and No. 29 in the country by U.S. News & World Report, didn't land on Newsweek's list.