Maine School of Science and Mathematics Ranked #2 Best High School in the Nation by U.S. News and World Report

Submitted by Ryan McDonald, Summer Programs Director and Public Relations Coordinator at Maine School of Science and Mathematics.

Maine School of Science and Mathematics (MSSM) has been ranked #2 Best High School in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. MSSM received a 99.99% overall score out of a possible 100 points. Ranking factors included #1 in College Readiness Index Rank, #1 in Math and Reading Proficiency Rank, #1 in Math and Reading Performance Rank. MSSM was also ranked #1 in Maine and #2 Magnet School in the nation. This is the highest rank MSSM has received from U.S. News and World Report and has been ranked 8 times in the past 12 years. In recent years, MSSM has recorded rankings in the top 20.

Executive Director, David Pearson, said, “The MSSM family is rightly thrilled about the marvelous U.S. News and World Report educational rankings that places the school top in Maine, second in the United States, and nationally second as a magnet high school.  But as in all things, there is no singular responsibility for such impressive results. These rankings are consequent upon what is, and always will be, a team effort at the school.  As such, we are deeply grateful for the tireless efforts of our staff who teach, coach, advise, and nurture our extraordinary students; but also to the continuous support of their parents, and the many school districts throughout the State who educated them through their formative elementary and middle school years. We also owe very special gratitude to the Maine Legislature for providing the financial support for our academic and extracurricular programming. Quite simply, this is not just an MSSM success story, but one for our entire great State of Maine.”

Dean of Enrollment Management, Alan Whittemore, said, “Although we have received such prestigious recognition from the likes of U.S. News & World Report in the past, it is truly rewarding to reach #2 in the nation. We are happy for all involved here at Limestone, the students, staff, and faculty all of whom are working together to provide an education second only to one!”

MSSM’s College Counselor, Erica Jortberg, enjoys the privilege of working with some of the most motivated students in the state. She noted, “They are what makes MSSM what it is. When they choose to come to MSSM, it is because they are seeking a challenge and the opportunity to push themselves academically. It is exciting to work with them through the college process and see them off on their post-secondary endeavors.”

To produce the 2019 Best High Schools rankings, U.S. News teamed up with North Carolina-based RTI International, a global nonprofit social science research firm. RTI implemented the U.S. News comprehensive rankings methodology which reflects how well high schools serve all of their students, not just those who are planning to go to college. According to the U.S. News Best High Schools methodology, schools were rated on the following six measures and the weights used for each indicator are in parentheses. College readiness (30% of the ranking), College curriculum breadth (10%), Reading and math proficiency (20%), Reading and math performance (20%), Underserved student performance (10%), Graduation rate (10%).

The six indicators were first normalized using standardized scores and then weighted. Those weighed scores are then summed and transformed so that each eligible school receives an overall percentile score between zero and 100 at two decimal places, with the top performer scoring 100. The overall score as a percentile score indicates the percentile position a school is in out of the 17,245 ranked schools. A school with a score of 90 means that 10% of the schools are ranked higher and 90% of the schools are ranked lower. Finally, high schools are ranked against their peers in descending order of their overall scores. High schools placing in the top 75% display their individual rank on