U.S. News and World Report has ranked Malibu and Santa Monica high schools in the top 150 schools in California, with rankings of 68 and 147, respectively. U.S. News rankings stem from college readiness scores — based on demographics, state test scores and college prep exams.

The publication surveyed nearly 20,000 public high schools nationwide for its 2015 Best High Schools list and released its findings this week. Nationally, Malibu High ranked 360; Santa Monica ranked 788.

“This recognition by a highly respected publication illustrates that our stellar teachers, staff and leaders are truly supporting and preparing our students for college and career,” SMMUSD Superintendent Sandra Lyon said. “We congratulate each school site team and our students for their hard work, dedication and forward-thinking.”

To create the rankings, U.S. News looked at overall student performance on state-required tests; factored how effectively schools educate their least-advantaged students, including those of African American, Latino and low-income backgrounds; and assessed participation in and performance on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams.

In the national rankings, 500 high schools received gold medals, 2,027 schools earned silver and 3,990 took home bronze. Malibu High was awarded a gold medal and Santa Monica High earned a silver medal.

The U.S. News ranks comes at the heels of a Niche national academic ranking that deemed Santa Monica-Malibu Unified within the top 10 percent of California school districts, and relies on student and parent feedback, test scores and student achievement data.

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