Charter Schools Take 9 of the Top 10 Spots on Washington Post’s Most Challenging High Schools in America List As National Charter Schools Week Wraps Up

Charter Network IDEA Public Schools in Texas comprises 5 of the top 10 high schools in the nation.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, The Washington Post released its 30th Annual Most Challenging High Schools in America List with charter public schools taking 9 of the top 10 spots. The most prolific school on top was 2016 Broad Prize winner IDEA Public Schools, which represented five of the top 10 spots.

The list analyzes more than 2,900 public high schools across the country looking specifically at the number of students who participated in Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate tests in relation to the overall size of the high schools graduating class. The Washington Post index considers college test participation a better measure of school success than test scores.

“Now, more than ever, IDEA is committed to ensuring we have the right people, academic programs, and systems in place for the more than 100,000 students we will serve across the nation by 2022,” said Tom Torkelson, CEO of IDEA Public Schools. “With our continued dedication to rigorous coursework and emphasis on college matriculation, we know that our students will graduate IDEA ready for college and beyond. We couldn’t be more proud to have our schools in the Rio Grande Valley ranked on this list, among the best high schools in the nation.”

The Washington Post’s rankings come just one week after U.S. News & World Report named a charter school in Arizona the Top Public High School in America. That list ultimately ranked charter schools and magnet schools – public schools of choice – in nine of the top ten spots. Public schools of choice also comprised 60 percent of the rankings’ top 100 schools.

The news of charter schools’ success in the Washington Post rankings comes on the last day of National Charter Schools Week – which saw three Broad Prize finalists recognized as among the top charter school networks in the country, three Charter School Hall of Fame inductees announced, 19 elected officials distinguished as Charter Champions, and countless students, teachers, and families honored for their commitment to giving all children access to a high-quality public education.

“It’s incredibly exciting to see National Charter School Week come to a close on such a high note,” said Nina Rees, President and CEO of National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “Throughout the week we celebrated the change makers who are contributing to the growing success of the charter school movement – from the leaders who open charter schools and the students who are taking advantage of them to the families that choose to engage in the school community and the policymakers who advocate on their behalf. Today’s rankings give us a chance to celebrate the schools that are pursuing rigor and the students who are meeting and exceeding high expectations every step of the way.”

Check out all the news, celebrations, and fun at the National Charter Schools Week 2017 Storify.