Darien High School is the ninth best in the state, according to U.S. News, which calls the school a winner of one of its “gold medals.” Nationwide, Darien ranks 410th best, overall.
U.S. News says it comes up with its rankings “based on their performance on state-required tests and how well they prepare students for college.”
The magazine’s 2018 “Best High Schools” survey covers 20,500 public high schools across the country, with rankings for 5,948 of them.
DHS ranks 22nd best nationwide in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math subjects. No other high school in the state ranks in the top 40 nationwide in the magazine’s STEM rankings. Weston High School is ranked No. 48; Westport’s Staples at 70; New Canaan at 74; Wilton at 98.
The AP participation rate at Darien High School is 65 percent, and 92 percent passed. The student body makeup is 52 percent male and 48 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 10 percent. and 2 percent are reported as “economically disadvantaged.
2. Connecticut IB Academy — Hartford — ranked 55th nationwide
4. Academy of Aerospace and Engineering — Windsor
8. Staples High School — Westport
Here’s how other schools near Darien ranked: New Canaan High School (No. 472 nationwide; No. 15 in Connecticut), Weston High School (No. 458 nationwide; No.48 in Connecticut),
Criticism of the U.S. News Rankings
In past years, the U.S. News best high schools rankings frequently have been criticized. Here’s a sample of some past published critiques, which may in part be criticizing aspects of the rankings that have since been changed:
- Why High-School Rankings Are Meaningless—and Harmful — The Atlantic, May
- Why the U.S. News Best High School Rankings Are Like Basketball — The Progressive, May 10, 2017
- A critical look at the annual high school rankings by U.S. News — Washington Post, Aug. 10, 2015
- Did U.S. News use the wrong data in its 2015 ‘best high schools’ rankings? — Washington Post, May 21, 2015
- Why the U.S. News best high school rankings are flawed — American Enterprise Institute, May 1, 2017