Best High Schools

Where will your kid get the best education? We pitted public versus private to find out—with surprising results.

August 2007

When DPS superintendent Michael Bennet closed Manual High School last year, it was seen as more evidence of the decline of public education. Cut to 2007. Manual is reopening under the guidance of education wunderkind Rob Stein, who left the cushy environs of Graland Country Day School to run his alma mater (see page 92). On top of that, as we compiled our list of top high schools, a surprising reality surfaced: plenty of Denver-area public high schools are more than holding their own against their private rivals. Ranking them according to key criteria, we got a vivid picture of how well these schools prepare their students for the next step. And to show that it's not only the "elite" schools that are inspiring students to loftier heights, we present writings from students at an Aurora high school that illustrate how kids who lack certain privileges still can offer remarkable insights. Whether public or private, education in the Denver metro area is alive and well.

Click the next page to see our list of the Top 15 High Schools