CRANFORD, NJ – Cranford High School was ranked no. 17 on the Washington Post’s list of “Most Challenging High Schools” in New Jersey.

The school was ranked no. 527 in the country, out of 2,323 schools. The Washington Post ranks public high schools in America by taking the total number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Cambridge tests given at a school each year and dividing that total by the number of seniors who graduated that year.

“With a few exceptions, public schools that achieved a ratio of at least 1.00, meaning they had as many tests in 2016 as they had graduates, were put on the national list,” reporter Jay Matthews wrote on The Washington Post’s website. “We rank the schools in order of that ratio, with the highest, 26.25, this year achieved by BASIS Phoenix, part of a charter school network that has ranked high on this list for years.”

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Cranford High School had a ratio of 3.475. It should be noted that the schools are ranked on the number of tests taken, not the scores achieved on those tests.

“I decided not to count passing rates in this way because I found that many high schools kept those rates artificially high by allowing only top students to take the courses,” Matthews wrote. “AP, IB and Cambridge are important because they give average students a chance to experience the trauma of heavy college reading lists and long, analytical college examinations. Research has found that even low-performing students who got a 2 on an AP test did significantly better in college than similar students who did not take AP.”

Cranford High School also ranked high on Niche’s 2017 list of “Best Public High Schools in New Jersey,” with a rank of 88.