CRANFORD, NJ - Cranford High School was once again named to the Washington Post’s list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools. In a field of more than 400 high schools in New Jersey, Cranford is now ranked 62, and just fifth among all public schools.

The Washington Post looked at the number of Advanced Placement or other college-level tests administered by the school divided by the number of graduates that year.  To qualify for the list, the school had to achieve a ratio of one or at least one test given for every senior receiving a diploma.  

This year only eleven percent of the approximately 22,000 U.S. public high schools reached this standard and were placed on the list. 

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The Washington Post’s Most Challenging High Schools index is intended to identify schools that support and encourage students to take college-level courses and sit for the tests, according to their published report.   

Cranford High School Principal, Kate McCabe, commented on the recognition, "It's an impressive accomplishment and one that makes us all very proud of our students, our teachers, and our community." 

Cranford High School offers 26 Advanced Placement Courses and according to McCabe, the school adminstered nearly 1,000 AP tests during the 2014-2015 school year.

At Cranford High School, McCabe notes that they encourage students to take advantage of the opportunity "to push themselves and rise to the challenges inherent to those courses" versus restricing access to courses to some students. She adds, "Not only do we administer a large number of tests, our students do well on them."

And while the Washington Post ranking is a wonderful recognition according to McCabe, she adds, "Here at CHS, we encourage students to take AP classes, but we also recognize that AP classes aren't for everyone. We have a full slate of electives for many different disciplines that don't offer AP classes - like Accounting, Wood Shop, Auto Shop, Acting, Graphics, Art, Fashion Design, Engineering and Robotics, and health-related careers."

Cranford High School is academically exceptional according to McCabe, but exceptional beyond test scores she adds, "Not only because our students excel in Advanced Placement classes, but because they excel in all of their classes. And, something that's even more important: they are kind, respectful, and caring individuals whose curiosity and spirit could never be quantified for any kind of list or ranking."