Image by Flickr user Michael @ NW Lens Graduation and college placement are large factors in the list's makeup.
US News & World Report has released their annual "Best High Schools" list and out of a reviewed 21,776 public high schools, 44 South Carolina schools made their rankings and three of those schools are in the Charleston metro area.
Number one in South Carolina (#27 nationally) is Academic Magnet High School with a "gold medal", #2 in the sate (#364 nationally) is Charleston County School of the Arts also with a gold designation, and #15 in the state (#1,631 nationally) is Wando High with a silver designation.
Via US News:
In the 2012 U.S. News Best High Schools rankings, there are 2 South Carolina schools with gold medals, 14 with silver medals, and 28 with bronze medals
What's the best school in the nation?
According to U.S. News it is the School for the Talented and Gifted out of Dallas, Texas and they scored a 100% in College readiness and a minimum of 11 Advanced Placement courses are required for graduation.