Thirteen WCPSS High Schools Among Nation\’s Most Challenging

The Washington Post has released its annual list of the nation’s most challenging high schools.  Thirteen WCPSS high schools are on the list.

Rank School Index Excellence and Equity Percent Subsidized Lunch Percent
  275 Enloe 4.123 45.00 35.90
  616 Green Hope 3.032 60.20   6.30
1066 Broughton 2.292 30.00 35.50
1164 Millbrook 2.191 28.20 30.00
1191 Panther Creek 2.159 45.30 11.40
1416 Middle Creek 1.904 93.90 27.00
1510 Athens Drive 1.804 35.00 33.60
1657 Apex 1.647 33.60   9.50
1766 Heritage 1.557 30.00 26.10
1958 Wakefield 1.360 50.00 33.00
2001 Cary 1.324 30.00 31.70
2086 Holly Springs 1.254 29.50 18.70
2208 Leesville 1.133 32.90 19.00

The list uses a “challenge index” score to rank high schools.  It was developed by Washington Post reporter Jay Matthews.  Matthews explains that the score is calculated as the number of college-level tests that are given in the previous calendar year divided by the number of graduates in that year.  College level tests include Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests.

All schools with an index score of 1 were included in the list.  This means that at least as many college-level tests were given as there were graduates.  Given that a college-level test like Advanced Placement are typically taken by juniors and seniors, an index of 1 means that at least half of juniors and seniors are taking the tests.  It should be noted that sophomores also take advanced placement courses.  That list included 2,300 high schools of the approximately 22,000 high schools nationwide.

The Equity and Excellence rate is calculated by College Board.  It is a percentage of all graduating seniors who passed an Advanced Placement (AP) exam at some point during high school.  The national average is 21.6 percent, and all WCPSS high schools on this list exceeded that number.

Congratulations to these WCPSS high schools!

Scroll to Top