A list of the nation’s most challenging high schools released recently by the Washington Post includes seven schools in the Long Beach Unified School District. Each of these schools also appeared in the Washington Post rankings last year.
The 2012 rankings include schools that surpass 91 percent of other high schools nationwide in terms of their ability to offer rigorous college-prep courses.
The Post divides the number of advanced placement, international baccalaureate or other college-level tests a school gave in 2011 by the number of graduating seniors. Only nine percent of high schools, or about 1,900 schools nationwide, qualified for the list.
The report by the Post includes the percentage of students receiving subsidized lunches, a figure illustrating the poverty challenges that schools face.
Local schools ranking in the report (with the percentage of students receiving subsidized lunches indicated in parentheses) are:
• 849– California Academy of Mathematics and Science (49.4)
• 1,097– Wilson (55.9)
• 1,212– Avalon (69.8)
• 1,301– Renaissance (65.7)
• 1,339– Poly (63.7)
• 1,366– Millikan (60.6)
• 1,634– Lakewood (52.5)
Additionally, the newest ranking of America’s best high schools by U.S. News and World Report includes three schools in the Long Beach Unified School District. Among the three is a gold-medal winner, the California Academy of Mathematics and Science (CAMS), and two silver-medal winners.
CAMS made a repeat appearance on the list, as did Polytechnic High School. Making the list for the first time was Renaissance High School for the Arts.
The three high schools earned high rankings among 21,776 public high schools throughout the United States:
State ranking: 18
National ranking: 111
State ranking: 202
National ranking: 1038
State ranking: 278
National ranking: 1,326
CAMS also made the U.S. News list of best high schools for math and science, ranking 76th out of the nation’s top 600 high schools.
To determine the rankings, schools were first analyzed on how well their students performed on state assessments, taking into account the test scores of disadvantaged students. High schools that made it through this analysis were then eligible to be ranked nationally in terms of college readiness. U.S. News determines the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work by analyzing student success in advanced placement or international baccalaureate programs, both of which include college-level courses.
U.S. News awarded more than 4,800 gold, silver, and bronze medals to the top-performing schools.