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See the top ranked high schools in the Raleigh and Durham-Chapel Hill metro areas

The ABCs of Charter Schools

Charter schools are one option in the growing "school choice" movement. Funded by taxpayer money, these schools are growing nationally, though some states have yet to pass related laws. Find out what sets them apart.
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Charter schools are one option in the growing "school choice" movement. Funded by taxpayer money, these schools are growing nationally, though some states have yet to pass related laws. Find out what sets them apart.

Two charter schools are ranked as the top public high schools in the Raleigh and Durham-Chapel Hill metro areas by U.S. News & World Report in a list released Wednesday.

The magazine released its 2019 Best High Schools By Metro Area Rankings, listing what it considers to be the top schools for 933 metropolitan areas across the nation. Raleigh Charter High School was ranked the top school in the Raleigh metropolitan area and Woods Charter School was No. 1 in the Durham-Chapel Hill metro area.

“We’ve heard from students, parents and school officials that they’re interested in seeing how their school compares with others in the community,” Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News, said in a news release. “With these new rankings, residents in more than 900 metro areas nationwide can see which local schools are succeeding at educating and graduating their students.”

The new metro area rankings are based on the same methodology that U.S. News used in April when it released its annual rankings of the top U.S. high schools. The magazine had ranked 17,245 schools based on college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rates.

In the April rankings, Raleigh Charter was the second-highest-ranked school in North Carolina, coming in 111th nationally. Woods Charter, which is in Chatham County but has a Chapel Hill mailing address, was No. 5 in the state and No. 142 nationally.

Charter schools are taxpayer-funded schools that are exempt from some of the rules that traditional public schools must follow. For instance, they’re not required to provide school bus service or serve school meals. They also have more flexibility in how they spend their money, don’t have to follow the school calendar law and don’t need all their teachers to be licensed.

After Raleigh Charter, the remaining top 10 schools in the Raleigh metro area (which includes Wake, Johnston and Franklin counties) are:

Wake STEM Early College High School in Raleigh

Franklin Academy in Wake Forest (charter school)

Green Hope High School in Cary

Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Raleigh

Panther Creek High School in Cary

Johnston County Middle College in Smithfield

Apex High School

Longleaf School of the Arts in Raleigh (charter school)

East Wake Academy in Zebulon (charter school)

After Woods Charter, the remaining top 10 schools in the Durham-Chapel Hill metro area (which includes Durham, Orange, Chatham and Person counties) are:

East Chapel Hill High School

Chapel Hill High School

Carrboro High School

Durham School of the Arts

Research Triangle High School in Durham (charter school)

City of Medicine Academy in Durham

Voyager Academy in Durham (charter school)

Roxboro Community School (charter school)

Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough

Read the full report at https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools.

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T. Keung Hui has covered K-12 education for the News & Observer since 1999, helping parents, students, school employees and the community understand the vital role education plays in North Carolina. His primary focus is Wake County, but he also covers statewide education issues.

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