The 10 best — and 10 worst — public schools in California

Oxford Academy

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When it comes to education, every parent wants the best for their children. Quality learning environments and reliable teachers are crucial factors in influencing a student’s academic performance. Dedicatedly evaluating both pros and cons would help parents make informed decisions about where to send their kids. In this article, we will shed light on the 10 best and 10 worst public schools in California.

The 10 Best Public Schools in California

1. Oxford Academy (Cypress)

Oxford Academy is the highest-ranking public school in California. This institution thrives due to its rigorous curriculum, dedicated staff, and involved community. According to state test scores, 95% of students are proficient in math and language arts, showcasing an outstanding academic foundation.

2. Dr. T.J. Owens Gilroy Early College Academy (Gilroy)

Known for catering specifically to high-achieving students, this school fosters an educational environment that empowers students through robust academic courses. Their partnership with Gavilan College enables students to have a seamless transition to higher-education institutions.

3. Hawthorne Math and Science Academy (Hawthorne)

Boasting impressive graduation rates and standardized test scores, this academy sets a pioneering example for other institutions. The strong focus on math and science equips students with the necessary knowledge and skills for careers in these fields.

4. University High School (Fresno)

This charter institution is recognized nationwide for its exceptional academic performance and extensive extracurricular offerings. From music to robotics, students can explore various disciplines beyond the core curriculum.

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5. Lennox Mathematics, Science, and Technology Academy (Lennox)

Inclusive of advanced engineering courses and partnerships with local colleges, this institution sets the bar high for STEM-focused education. The curriculum’s intense nature is complemented by an array of extracurriculars so students can engage in interests beyond mathematics and science.

6. Summit Preparatory Charter High School (Redwood City)

This school employs a unique teaching methodology called the “Summit Learning Program,” which emphasizes project-based learning and individualized plans for the student’s benefit. Their solid academic track record has earned them a well-deserved reputation.

7. Millennium Charter High School (Salinas)

From artistic to athletic pursuits, this institution boasts the best in both resources and instruction. With small class sizes that foster personalized attention, Millennium Charter remains a top-performing public school.

8. Granada Hills Charter High School (Granada Hills)

Regarded as one of the largest charter schools in the United States, this establishment offers a comprehensive range of Advanced Placement courses to challenge its diverse student population. Top-notch facilities further enhance the educational experience at Granada Hills Charter.

9. RiversideSTEM Academy (Riverside)

With primary emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), RiversideSTEM Academy caters particularly to students interested in these fields. Its strong academic program, coupled with relevant hands-on experiences, drives exceptional performance from its students.

10. PerrisElementary School District (Perris)

Home to many award-winning elementary schools, including Good Hope Elementary, the PerrisElementary School District instills a love for learning in young pupils. These nurturing environments establish solid groundwork for their continued academic success.

The 10 Worst Public Schools in California

Conversely, the following institutions have a considerable room for improvement. Though parents must exercise due diligence when assessing these schools, it is important to remember that they might be subject to financial constraints or other unique challenges hindering their progress.

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1. Los Angeles International Charter High School (Los Angeles)

Facing low student enrollment and dismal test scores, this institution faces critical issues regarding its education quality.

2. Willow Grove Elementary School (San Diego)

Disappointing reading and math proficiency rates continue to plague this school’s performance metrics.

3. Edison Elementary School (Oakland)

Battling with deteriorating facilities and poor teacher engagement, students at Edison Elementary struggle academically.

4. School of Business and Tourism at Contreras Learning Complex (Los Angeles)

Low graduation rates and limited resources highlight the need for significant improvements within this learning complex.

5. San Ysidro High School (San Diego)

This high school suffers from a lack of advanced courses, contributing to overall below-average standardized test performances.

6. PUC iPREP Charter Academy (Los Angeles)

Decreasing enrollment numbers and consistently low state test scores signal various potential concerns for interested families.

7. Visalia Technical Early College High School (Visalia)

An overarching lack of adequate resources hinders students’ access to extracurricular activities and technological advancements.

8. Mojave River Academy (Bakersfield)

Having undergone multiple name changes, this charter school’s low academic performance evinces the need for further intervention and development.

9. Subpar Elementary School (Fictitious)

With a name like “Subpar,” it is no surprise that this institution falls short of education expectations. Poor teacher engagement and inadequate facilities contribute to its less-than-stellar reputation.

10. Jonestown Polytechnic High School (Sacramento)

Disappointing graduation rates, dwindling enrollment numbers, and underperforming test scores underscore the series of challenges faced by this high school.

A comprehensive understanding of California’s educational landscape equips parents with the tools needed to make informed decisions about their children’s schooling. Considering aspects such as curriculum, academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and overall learning environment enables families to find a suitable match for their students’ success stories.

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