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U.S. News ranks nations "best high schools," one FL schools makes Top 20

This is the fourth year the magazine has done this, though this year it reviewed more schools from 49 states (Nebraska didn't have enough data, so no cornhusker schools included) and Washington, D.C. The highest ranked Florida school is Design & Architecture Senior High, dubbed DASH, in Miami, which came in first in the state and 16th in the nation.

Like DASH, the other top Florida schools - which are ranked 26th to 68th nationally - share a key thing in common: None are traditional schools that must take everybody in a certain attendance zone who walks in the door. Instead, they are magnets, schools of choice or selective schools with admission or audition requirements. The two top schools in Jacksonville, for example, require that students have taken algebra 1 in middle school in order to apply. The arts schools in Miami and West Palm Beach require auditions. U.S. News said it first judged schools on their state's tests, taking into account the performance of "disadvantaged students…who tend to score lower on tests." The best of those, were then judged the "college readiness" of their students based on AP and IB exam scores. School were then ranked and some were given gold, silver or bronze "medals" based on that information.