Twenty percent of the 500 top high schools on the U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools List are charter schools. U.S. News calls these schools “gold medal schools.” (For reference, only 6% of high schools nationally are charter schools.)
U.S. News uses a three-step process to determine who makes its Best High Schools list: (1) Assess if a school is beating expectations for students in its state, (2) Assess if a school is serving disadvantaged students — and whether those students are outperforming students in the state, and (3) Assess the students’ level of college readiness based on AP and IB results.
National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education: Number and enrollment of public elementary and secondary schools, by school level, type, and charter and magnet status: Selected years, 1990-91 through 2012-13
US News & World Report, How U.S. News Calculated the 2015 Best High Schools Rankings, May 11, 2015
US News & World Report, Charter Schools Best High Schools, 2015
US News & World Report, National Rankings Best High Schools, 2015