The Preuss School at UC San Diego was named June 20 as the top charter school among more than 900 in California, as rated by the USC Center on Educational Governance.
Preuss, with about 800 students in grades 6-12, was the only San Diego school on a list of the top 10 charter schools. Seven are part of a network -- Preuss has a relationship with UCSD -- and three are stand-alone schools.
Preuss, started in 1999, was the only top-10 school more than a decade old.
The top 10 list was created as part of a larger, statewide study of school performance and finances, based on data from 2003-11 in a dozen categories.
Academic performance at charter schools tended to be on the high or low end of the spectrum, compared to non-charter schools, most of which earned mid- range ratings.
In English Language Arts, charter school students consistently outperformed non-charter students, according to the study.
Statewide, more than 118 charter schools opened this past fall, bringing the number of students in charter schools to more than 412,000, according to USC.
Other highly rated charter schools in San Diego County were Albert Einstein Academy in South Park, Explorer Elementary in Liberty Station and River Valley in Lakeside.