Yarmouth, Cape Elizabeth and Falmouth high schools cracked the top 500 high schools nationwide in the latest annual U.S. News & World Report rankings released Wednesday.

In overall best high schools in the nation, Yarmouth was 209th, Cape Elizabeth was 459th and Falmouth was 485th. Last year, there were two Maine schools in the top 500 – the Maine School of Science and Mathematics was ranked 19th and Falmouth was 328th.

The rankings fluctuate considerably from year to year, sometimes because of changing criteria, and this year’s results were the second time in three years that MSSM was not ranked at all. In 2016, a technical reason disqualified the school, which in 2017 was identified as the 10th best school in the nation for science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM.

As a state, Maine ranked fifth in the nation, with 22 percent of 72 eligible high schools reaching the magazine’s top rankings. That compares with 25.7 percent for top-ranked Massachusetts. In the last three years’ rankings, Maine has been identified as seventh, ninth and 24th.

In the STEM rankings this year, two Maine schools were identified: Cape Elizabeth as 99th best STEM school in the nation, and Yarmouth as 231st. No Maine schools were ranked for top magnet or charter schools.

The top 10 high schools in Maine and their national rank are: Yarmouth (209); Cape Elizabeth (459); Falmouth (485); Wells High School, Wells-Ogunquit CSD (523); Scarborough High School (1,126); Greely High School, Cumberland, RSU 51/MSAD 51 (1,539); York High School, York (1,551); Winthrop High School, Winthrop, (1,786); Orono High School, Orono, RSU 26 (1,916); and Bangor High School, Bangor (1,999).

Noel K. Gallagher can be contacted at 791-6387 or at:

[email protected]

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