BANGOR, Maine — Seventeen Maine schools appear on the 2015 U.S. News and World Report’s list of best high schools in the country, five of which didn’t make the list last year.

Brewer High School, which didn’t make the 2014 list, jumped to 669 in the national rankings and No. 5 in Maine. Other schools that earned a new spot on the list include Boothbay Region High School, Gorham High School, Sanford High School and Madawaska Middle/High School.

“This is the first time anyone recalls Brewer High School being ranked in Maine’s top five,” Brewer Superintendent Jay McIntire said in a Tuesday email sent to school officials. “This is another great honor for the City of Brewer, for Principal [David] Wall, and the many teachers, other employees, students, and families that make ours an up-and-coming high school in Maine, and now recognized nationally.”

The list is based on the performance of all students on state assessments in reading and math; the performance of disadvantaged students (minority students and those that qualify for free and reduced lunch) on these assessments; and the degree to which high schools prepare students for college by offering a college‐level curriculum, according to the national media company that specializes in news, consumer advice and rankings.

The list released Tuesday was compiled using data from the 2012-13 school year.

Schools on the list, in order of their rank in Maine are Yarmouth High School, Falmouth High School, Cape Elizabeth High School, Wells High School, Brewer High School, Camden Hills Regional High School, York High School, Greely High School, Boothbay Region High School, Bangor High School, Scarborough High School, Gorham High School, Hampden Academy, Presque Isle High School, Madawaska Middle/High School, Mt. Desert Island High School and Sanford High School.

“Some schools were new to the 2015 rankings because they passed both steps of this year’s methodology but didn’t pass both of those steps in 2014 and therefore weren’t eligible for a gold, silver or bronze medal,” according to the magazine.

In all, 2,527 schools appear on the U.S. News & World Report list.

Yarmouth, Falmouth and Cape Elizabeth each received “gold medal” designations from the publication. The rest of the Maine schools on the list received “silver.”

For more information about the rankings or to review the national and state lists, visit

Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.