Newsweek’s 100 Best High Schools in America have the most students taking Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams. The list, which actually goes up to 1,000, includes the percentage of students eligible for a free or reduced-price lunch, the standard measure of poverty. The numbers are very low for most schools on the list but there are exceptions. Pensacola High in Florida has a 63 percent subsidized lunch rate yet ranks 8th. (But it gets only a “D” grade from the state of Florida.) Like many of the high-ranking schools with fairly high poverty rates, Pensacola has an IB program for some students. Mills University Studies in Little Rock is the highest ranking non-IB and non-magnet school with half the students in poverty: It has a special honors program that prepares students for AP courses. Again, test scores aren’t all that impressive for the average student.
The most challenging high schools
May 9, 2005 by