Duval has 10 of the most academically tough high schools in the nation. That’s if all you count is the number of students taking advanced classes.
The Washington Post does just that in its annual ranking of America’s Most Challenging High Schools. Here are the district’s nationally ranked schools, according to the list.
■ Stanton College Prep, 7th
■ Paxon School for Advanced Studies, 14th
■ Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts, 15th
■ Samuel W. Wolfson, 74th
■ Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, 123rd
■ Atlantic Coast, 298th
■ Mandarin, 410th
■ Duncan U. Fletcher, 608th
■ Englewood, 1,671st
To determine these rankings, the Washington Post compares the number of Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year.
Duval and many other Florida districts are paid more per student and gain additional points on state report cards when they offer AP, IB and AICE courses and get as many students as possible to the exams. The courses are available at all regular or magnet high schools in Duval County.
The Washington Post also notes how many students pass exams and the percent of students whose families are poor enough to qualify for school meal subsidies. Though its highest ranked schools have low percentages of low-income students, many of Duval’s other high schools on the list have large numbers of low-income students.
“I am incredibly proud of these high schools and the academic rigor they offer students earning recognition among the nation’s top schools,” Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said in a statement. “Results like these demonstrate that the education Duval County Public Schools offers is of the highest quality, an investment of great benefit to students, families and taxpayers.”
Duval County Public Schools is the 20th largest school district in the nation, with 125,000 students in more than 180 schools.
America’s Most Challenging High Schools ranking has been around for 16 years, spawning competing national school rankings and in some corners criticism for focusing on advanced courses.
Denise Amos: (904) 359-4083