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One in Three on ‘America’s Most Challenging High Schools’ List Are Charter Public Schools

Washington, D.C. – Nearly one in three of the top 100 schools (32 schools) on the Washington Post’s annual list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools are charter public schools. The list, which identifies the schools across the country that are the most effective at getting their students to take college-level courses and tests, measures the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Cambridge tests given at a school, and also factors in their number of graduates. While charter high schools make up seven percent of all high schools nationwide, they are overrepresented on the Washington Post’s list.

“We know that parents send their children to charter public schools because of the high-quality education, and this report validates our parents’ decisions by showing charter schools’ commitment to preparing students for life after high school,” said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools. “Charter schools, which educate a greater percentage of minority students, are given the flexibility to innovate in exchange for accountability around student results. We are proud to see this report recognize the hard work of charter schools and their leaders toward improving student achievement.”

This year, the report features 2,300 high schools across the country. Of the top 100 schools, the following are charter schools:

Ranking

School

Location

1

BASIS Oro Valley

 Oro Valley, AZ

BASIS Flagstaff

 Flagstaff, AZ

BASIS Tucson North

 Tucson, AZ

Signature

 Evansville, IN

11 

IDEA College Prep Mission

 Mission, TX

13 

Kings Valley Charter

 Philomath, OR

15 

IDEA Frontier College Prep 

 Brownsville, TX

16 

IDEA College Prep San Benito 

 San Benito, TX

17 

IDEA Quest College Prep 

 Edinburg, TX

19 

Young Women’s Leadership Academy 

 San Antonio, TX

23 

Uplift Education North Hills Preparatory 

 Irving, TX

27 

Archimedean Upper Conservatory 

 Miami, FL

28 

IDEA College Prep San Juan 

 San Juan, TX

29

Uplift Education Summit Preparatory

Arlington, TX

31

American Indian Public Charter

Oakland, CA

32

Westlake Academy

Westlake, TX

38

Preuss School UCSD

La Jolla, CA

40

Gwinnett School of Math, Science & Tech

Lawrenceville, GA

43

IDEA College Prep Alamo

Alamo, TX

48

Stockton Collegiate International

Stockton, CA

52

Northcoast Prep and Performing Arts Academy

Arcata, CA

60

Albuquerque Institute for Mathematics and Science at UNM

Albuquerque, NM

61

LISA Academy

Little Rock, AR

62

Oasis

Cape Coral, FL

75

Uplift Education Williams Preparatory

Dallas, TX

77

Gateway College Prep

Georgetown, TX

79

KIPP Generations Collegiate

Houston, TX

81

Challenge Early College

Houston, TX

93

St. Croix Prep

Stillwater, MN

94

Doral Academy of the Performing Arts

Doral, FL

95

Lotus School for Excellence

Aurora, CO

100

Pacific Collegiate School

Santa Cruz, CA