5 Jacksonville high schools listed among America's most challenging


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A recent study by the Washington Post ranked the nation's most challenging high schools, and some of them are right here in Jacksonville.

According to the study, the rankings are determined by taking the total number of Advance Placement, Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given each school year. Those numbers are then divided by the number of seniors who graduated in May or June of that year.

To get put on the list, or the "Challenge Index," public schools had to achieve a ratio of 1.00. That means the school had as many tests during the school year as they had graduates.

          SchoolNational RankFlorida Rank
Stanton College Prep         7        1
Darnell-Cookman        15        5
Wolfson        74       14
Douglas Anderson       123       24
Atlantic Coast       289       43

Click for complete results

Also notable, many of the schools that made the list are small and somewhat obscure. Many are not well-known to people even in their own communities despite the schools' heavy emphasis on academics.

Plus, 67 out of the top 100 do not have a football team.

The study finds it represents a shift in American high school culture, at least in schools that are challenging students the most. More of those schools are adopting European and Asian education models -- fewer sports, and a lot of studying.

Anyone believing a school qualifies for the list and isn't there can email the man who did the study, Jay Mathews. If the Washington Post finds the school qualifies, it will add it to the list.

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