Elementary and Secondary

Ranked among the Best in the Nation

Virginia's nationally acclaimed education system serves as a workforce pipeline, supplying businesses with a steady stream of skilled new entrants. Our attention to education is reflected in Virginia's superior, well-prepared labor force. Ranked among the best in the nation, Virginia's elementary and secondary schools offer a wealth of opportunity and diverse learning experiences for students.

Currently over 1.2 million students are enrolled in over 1,800 public elementary and secondary schools throughout the state and Virginia's public high schools graduate over 88,000 students annually. More than 65% of these graduates continue to a two or four-year degree program or other continuing education plan.

  • U.S. News & World Report's 2014 "America's Best High Schools" names 20 Virginia high schools as gold medal schools, 28 silver medal schools and 49 bronze medal schools. In addition, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is ranked as the forth "Best High School" in the nation.
  • Education Week's "Quality Counts" 2015 report ranks Virginia 12th best in its overall education system.
  • Virginia's students rank third nationally for achievement in Advanced Placement (AP) tests according the College Board's "2013 AP Report to the Nation." Nearly 40% of Virginia's graduating class of 2014 took at least one AP exam during high school.
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) annually serves more than 277,000 secondary students in courses offered in high schools, middle schools or at one of the 58 local and regional technical centers. More than 40,000 secondary students completed the CTE program in Virginia in 2013.


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