Oxford Academy in Cypress and Whitney High in Cerritos were once again the top-performing high schools in the state and among the best in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2021 rankings, which came out late Monday night, April 26 — and revealed a strong showing among Southern California campuses.

The two schools, ranked Nos. 11 and 25 nationally this year, have been the best in the state the last few years, with Whitney High nabbing the top spot in the news magazine's 2019 and 2020 rankings.

Overall, five Southern California schools ranked in the top 100 nationally. And the top four spots in the statewide rankings were held by Southern California high schools.

The California Academy of Mathematics and Science, which is part of Long Beach Unified School District but is on the Cal State Dominguez Hills campus, ranked 32nd nationally and No. 3 statewide, according to the rankings.

Riverside Stem Academy rated 62nd nationally and No. 4 statewide, and Harbor Teacher Prep Academy, an LAUSD school in Wilmington, came in at No. 84 nationally and No. 8 statewide.

Five other Southland schools finished in the top 25 in the statewide rankings. They are:

Eunice Sato Academy of Math & Sciences, in Long Beach, at No. 11;

Hawthorne Math and Science Academy, in Hawthorne, at No. 13;

Lennox Mathematics, Science and Technology Academy, in Lennox, at No. 17;

Los Angeles Center for Enriched Students, in Los Angeles, at No. 24; and

Troy High School, in Fullerton, at No. 25.

U.S. News & World Report ranked more than 17,800 high schools for this year's rankings. To do so, it judged the schools in six categories: college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rates.

The news magazine, which uses data from the U.S. Department of Education rather than letting schools self-report, judged college readiness based on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams, according to a press release. It used standardized testing to measure math and reading proficiency.

The purpose of the rankings, the publication said in a press release, is to help families determine how their high schools compare to others nationwide.

"Families can use the Best High Schools rankings to see how schools compare at the national, state and local level on factors like graduation rates and college readiness," Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News, said in the release. "The rankings also provide insight into academic performance among underserved groups showing how well schools are supporting these students."

The data used for the 2021 ranking is from the 2018-2019 academic school year. Data from the 2019-2020 school year was not included because of the extreme learning circumstances for students during the coronavirus pandemic.

To view the complete list for the 2021 U.S. News Best High Schools rankings, including rankings per state, metro area and school district levels, go to usnews.com/education/best-high-schools.

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