Three Collier County high schools and two Lee County high school made the Washington Post’s list of the top 1,900 public high schools in the country.
The news organization released its High School Challenge issue on Sunday.
The Washington Post chose the top 7 percent of the nation’s schools based on a formula of college-level testing and graduating seniors. To generate the list, reporters divided the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or other college-level tests by the number of graduating seniors.
Coming in at 240 was Barron Collier, placing the school in the top one percent of schools in the nation. Naples High School was ranked 694, and Gulf Coast High School was ranked 1,173.
In Lee County, Fort Myers High School placed 91, while North Fort Myers High School was ranked 1,390.
While the rating may not measure the overall quality of a school, Washington Post reporter Jay Matthews states in the article the rating can reveal the level of a high school’s commitment to preparing average students for college.
“To send a student off to college without having had an AP, IB or (Advanced International Certificate of Education) course and test is like insisting that a child learn to ride a bike without ever taking off the training wheels,” Matthews said. “It is dumb, and in my view a form of educational malpractice.”
Barron Collier had an Equity and Excellence rating of 41 percent, meaning 41 percent of the graduating students who took an AP exam scored a 3 or higher. Their index rate was 3.279 — the ratio of AP exams taken per graduating senior.
In all, 1,500 AP tests were given this year at Barron Collier for 21 different AP courses.
“The opportunity is provided for all students to be in AP courses,” said Carl DeFurio, assistant principal for curriculum and instructions. “We want students to choose the most rigorous courses possible that are appropriate for them.”
The ranking is a distinction DeFurio credits toward the entire Barron Collier student body and community.
“High expectations of the students are held by the school, community and parents,” he said. “We have high expectations for our students to reach high goals and challenge themselves with more difficult courses”