TUSD's University High School was ranked the fourth-best in the country, while Basis Tucson charter school placed sixth. Basis Tucson did, however, take the top spot for best charter schools in the country.

Arizona Daily Star 2008

University High and Basis Tucson have been identified as two of the top 10 high schools across the country.

The rankings were released as part of the 2012 U.S. News & World Report's Best High Schools.

TUSD's University High School was ranked the fourth-best in the country, while Basis Tucson charter school placed sixth.

Basis Tucson did, however, take the top spot for best charter schools in the country.

Both schools improved in the rankings compared with last year, when University High came in at No. 21 and Basis was ranked ninth.

To produce the list, U.S. News teamed up with the Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research - one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world.

In all, more than 21,000 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia were analyzed. Nearly 5,000 schools were ranked by the magazine.

The rankings show how well high schools serve all of their students, not just those who are planning to go to college.

There are three steps involved in determining the nation's best public high schools. The first two steps ensure that the schools serve all of their students well by using the state proficiency standards as the measuring benchmark.

For schools that make it past the first two steps, a third step is used to assess "college readiness," or the degree to which schools prepare their students in both participation in and passing of college-level coursework using the Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests as the standard.

In addition to ranking the best high schools in the United States, U.S. News released statewide rankings.

The top 10 high schools in Arizona are:

1. University High School, Tucson (Ranked No. 4 nationally)

2. Basis Tucson, Tucson (Ranked No. 6 nationally)

3. Northland Preparatory Academy, Flagstaff (Ranked No. 70 nationally)

4. Sonoran Science Academy Tucson, Tucson (Ranked No. 144 nationally)

5. Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, Flagstaff (Ranked No. 190 nationally)

6. Estrella Foothills High School, Goodyear (Ranked No. 373 nationally)

7. Catalina Foothills High School, Tucson (Ranked No. 378 nationally)

8. Pinnacle High School, Phoenix (Ranked No. 681 nationally)

9. Mountain View High School, Mesa (Ranked No. 978 nationally)

10. Chaparral High School, Scottsdale (Ranked No. 1,000 nationally)

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at ahuicochea@azstarnet.com or 573-4175.