(May 3, 2006) -- Four LB Unified School District high schools -- CAMS, Wilson, Poly & Renaissance -- have been ranked among America's best public high schools by Newsweek magazine.
Newsweek based its list on a formula it devised: the number of Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate tests taken by all students at a school in 2005 divided by the number of its graduating seniors. All of the schools on the list have an index of at least 1.000 "and are in the top 5 percent of public schools measured this way," Newsweek says.
The list includes 1,139 schools nationally and was posted on Newsweek's website (link below)...although only the top 100 schools were published in the magazine's printed edition (and no LBUSD high schools made the top 100).
LBUSD's California Academy of Mathematics and Science (CAMS) ranked 269. Wilson Classical High School was 589. Renaissance High School for the Arts, ranked 880 and LB Polytechnic High School ranked 989.
Last year, CAMS, Wilson and Poly made the list (the third time for Wilson and Poly). This year, Renaissance made the list for the first time.
"We're pleased that more high schools than ever in the Long Beach Unified School District are being recognized with this national honor. These schools rank among the top five percent of the most competitive schools nationwide," said LBUSD spokesman Chris Eftychiou in an emailed release.
Newsweek says it excluded two nearby schools -- Gretchen Whitney High School in Cerritos and Northwood High School in Irvine -- "because so many of their students score well above average on the SAT and ACT." [!] Irvine's Northwood High provides "a humanities core program that focuses on English and history" and Cerritos' Whitney High School is described as a "comprehensive school for high performers."
Among Newsweek's top 100, the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies ranked 45 and Fullerton's Troy High School ranked 46.
Using Newsweek's formula, New York State had 17 high schools within the top 100; D.C. Metro had 14, Texas had 9 and California (the nation's most populous state) had 6. LBUSD is CA's third largest school district.