CAMS, Poly, Wilson Among America’s Best High Schools

Newsweek’s May ranking of "America’s Best High Schools" lists the California Academy of Mathematics and Science, Polytechnic High School and Wilson Classical High School among the top four percent of U.S. high schools. Schools ranked by Newsweek have the greatest number of students taking Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests, compared to the number of graduating seniors. Graduates of these high schools save millions of dollars in college tuition each year by earning college credit on the difficult AP exams. Each school on the list performed among the top four percent of 27,468 public high schools nationwide. "This national recognition validates our schools’ extraordinary efforts to prepare more students for success in college," said Christopher J. Steinhauser, superintendent of schools. "All of our schools are working very hard to help students excel." Newsweek’s 1,036 top-ranking U.S. high schools included CAMS at 685, Poly at 790 and Wilson at 822. The magazine’s May 16 cover story and school rankings are available at Newsweek.com, along with Newsweek’s web-exclusive extended list of the nation’s top high schools. Newsweek’s list of top high schools has been compared to U.S. News & World Report’s "America’s Best Colleges" list. Newsweek ranks public schools according to a ratio called the Challenge Index -- the number of Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests taken by all students at a school divided by the number of graduating seniors. The schools on the list are deemed to have the strongest AP or IB programs in the nation. International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement courses have become increasingly important for college admissions and scholarships. Students have enrolled in 1,700 more AP courses in the Long Beach Unified School District this school year. The LBUSD Board of Education recently approved plans to honor high school seniors who go above and beyond regular coursework to take the most challenging classes. Advanced Academic Achievement Awards will honor seniors upon graduation, starting with the Class of 2005. Awards will include a special designation on students’ diplomas.