(May 9, 2005) -- Newsweek magazine's May 16 cover story focuses on America's Top 100 high schools and lists America's top 1,000 high schools. The Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) has three schools among Newsweek's list of America's top 1,000 high schools.
Applying a mathematical formula -- the total number of AP (Advanced Placement) or IB (International Baccalaureate) college level tests given at the school in May, divided by the number of seniors graduating in June -- Newsweek derived ratios and ranked them in descending order. Among the top 1,000 were LBUSD's:
- 685: CA Academy of Math & Science
- 790: LB Polytechnic
- 822: LB Wilson
LBUSD spokesman Chris Eftychiou told LBReport.com:
"We're thrilled to have multiple schools on the list of America's best high schools. It's a real testament to the hard work going on in our schools. All of our high schools are focused on preparing more students for success in college and it's nice to see them receive some well deserved recognition. The Newsweek rankings are very influential, much like the U.S. News & World Report rankings of colleges and universities. Both are national publications and their rankings do carry weight. Any high school should be thrilled to be on the list."
Mr. Eftychiou added, "LB Poly and Wilson made list two years ago, so nice to see them as repeat winners."
In a media release, Senior Editor Barbara Kantrowitz indicates that although the ranking doesn't tell the whole story about a school, it's one of the best measures available to compare a wide range of students' readiness for higher-level work, which is more crucial than ever in the postindustrial age.
Newsweek's rankings pit public schools across the country across the board -- from suburban to urban. In 2003, the Broad Foundation used a number of factors, including subjective ones, in naming LBUSD America's best urban school district.
Three southland schools ranked among Newsweek's top 100: Fullerton's Troy High School (19), Oxnard High (60) and San Diego's Torrey Pines (82).
Among other area schools [complete list on link below]: University High, Irvine (117); Sunny Hills, Fullerton (166); North Hollywood (168); Malibu (188); Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet, L.A. (192); Santa Monica (197); Palisades Charter (Pacific Palisades) (209); Mira Costa, Manhattan Beach (214); Corona Del Mar in Newport Beach (244); Beverly Hills (265); Fountain Valley (282); Cerritos (355); Granada Hills (377); Northwood, in Irvine (389); Esperanza, Anaheim (398); Foshay Learning Center, L.A. (408); Laguna Beach (435); Eagle Rock, L.A. (458); Tustin (473); Marshall, L.A. (498); Van Nuys (502); Locke, L.A. (511); Dana Hills in Dana Point (512); Downtown Business Magnet, L.A. (513); Simi Valley (546); Mission Viejo (551); Garfield, L.A. (571); Sonora, La Habra (591).
LBUSD's Eftychiou noted:
It's one snapshot, although an important one, and parents should be aware of the methodology used. There are other things that parents should consider too, including passage rates, type of courses offered, and it's a good idea for parents to visit a school before making decisions about a school.
LBUSD has focused on college readiness by boosting the number of students taking AP courses [Advanced Placement, qualifying for college credit]. Jordan High School also offers IP courses [International Baccalaureate, nationally and internationally recognized curriculum qualifying for college credit].
Students who take and pass AP exams can earn college credit, which parents and students love because it can save thousands of dollars on college tuition to earn those credits. And students appreciate the opportunity to earn college credits because it gives them flexibility in managing their first year college units and schedule.