Education

Washington Post Ranks James Caldwell High School and West Essex Regional High School Among "America's Most Challenging High Schools"

6f25f9df69fda8e6c265_school_supplies_EvelynGiggles.jpg
Credits: EvelynGiggles on flickr
6f25f9df69fda8e6c265_school_supplies_EvelynGiggles.jpg

WEST ESSEX AREA, NJ — When the Washington Post analyzed advanced placement tests and graduating senior rates for the nation’s high schools, James Caldwell High School and West Essex Regional High School were considered two of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools.” The annual Washington Post report ranked 2,300 out of a possible 22,000 high schools throughout the United States and officially listed West Essex Regional High School at 1280, and James Caldwell High School at 2287.

According to the methodology for the ranking, the Washington Post took the total number of Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) tests given at a high school each year and divided that by the number of seniors who graduated in May or June. The formula is known as the “Challenge Index.”

“With a few exceptions, public schools that achieved a ratio of at least 1.00, meaning they had as many tests in 2014 as they had graduates, were put on the national list,” Washington Post Education Columnist Jay Mathews said. “We rank the schools in order of ratio, with the highest (20.44) this year achieved by BASIS Oro Valley, in Oro Valley, AZ.” 

Sign Up for E-News

The Challenge Index score is the number of college-level tests given at a school in the previous calendar year divided by the number of graduates that year. According to Mathews, the ranking counts only the number of tests given, rather than the grades on these tests because he believes many high schools keep these rates “artificially high” by allowing only top students to take the courses. They said AP, IB and AICE courses are important to consider because they give average students a chance to experience the trauma of heavy college reading lists and long, analytical college exams.

“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,” Mathews said of the methodology. “Some schools brag about their high passing rates, meaning the percentage of test-takers who scored 3, 4, or 5 on the 5-point AP exam or 4, 5, 6 or 7 on the 7-point IB exam. Passing scores make students eligible for credit at many colleges and universities.”

According to the Washington Post, the list also gives readers a sense of how well students are scoring on tests by posting an Equity and Excellence rate. The Equity and Excellence rate is the percentage of all graduating seniors, including those who did not take AP courses, but scored a 3 or higher on at least one AP exam throughout their high school experience. The nonprofit College Board, which oversees the AP program, invented the metric used by the Washington Post

James Caldwell High School and West Essex Regional High School were both among the nation’s best in persuading average students to take college-level courses and tests. Schools that have no, or almost no, average students were ranked on a separate list called the “Public Elites List.” 

Other local regional high schools that placed on “America’s Most Challenge High Schools” included Millburn High School (752), West Orange High School (2016), Montclair High School (2322), Montville High School (1600), Verona High School (921), Columbia High School (1541), Newark Academy (115) and Livingston High School (1294).

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Essex

Evolve Cycle And Fitness Presale Happening Now!

May 18, 2018

CALDWELL, NJ - Evolve Cycle and Fitness is now offering 10 classes for only $90. That’s only $9 a class when you purchase before its official Grand Opening on Friday, June 1, 2018. 

Only two weeks left to take advantage of this limited time offer! Call Martha at 973-979-5919 or click here to sign up.

Evolve Cycle and Fitness is a Premier Fitness Boutique ...

Save Up To 20% at CNP Treasures

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Are you still looking for the perfect gift for your mom or that special someone in your life for Mother's Day? Then CNP Treasures has you covered! Save up to 20% at CNP Treasures located at 14 Northfield Ave in West Orange.

Come by this weekend so we can help you find the perfect gift! Offer expires Sunday, May ...

West Essex Softball's Lilly James Named Athlete of the Week

May 20, 2018

NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — In her senior season at West Essex High School, Athlete of the Week Lilly James has made an impact as both a physical and vocal leader on the West Essex softball team.

“[I’m] just staying confident with myself and trying to push my confidence into everyone else so they can have the same amount and hit as well as me and my other teammates so we can ...

Montclair HS Student Reported Sexual Assault in All-Gender Bathroom, Officials Say

May 17, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - According to published reports on Wednesday, Montclair Police officials are investigating allegations of sexual assault reported to have occurred in a bathroom at Montclair High School.

Montclair police officials state that officers received a report about an incident at the high school of a sexual nature that occurred around 3:18 p.m. on Monday. The ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_81f3c4488d8c75dcf892_screen_shot_2018-05-02_at_7.58.52_am

Mon, May 21, 7:45 AM

Essex Fells Country Club, Essex Fells

2018 West Essex PBA Local #81 Golf Outing

Police & Fire

Carousel_image_f6336b4ae60182e89776_roseland_library_logo

Mon, May 21, 6:00 PM

Roseland Public Library , Roseland

Drop-In Tech Night

Education

Carousel_image_f6336b4ae60182e89776_roseland_library_logo

Tue, May 22, 9:30 AM

Rosalind Public Library, Roseland

Spring T’ai Chi Chih

Health & Wellness

CCM Golf Team Sweeps Conference and Region Titles

May 19, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ —For the second time since 2007, the County College of Morris (CCM) Titans Golf Team has won both the conference and region championships in the same season, earning them a place in the national championship.

The team’s overall record for the year was 36-1 with the only loss coming at the hands of Ocean County College by two strokes back in mid-March.

Galloping ...

Obituaries

Jan 7, 1927 - May 10, 2018
Benjamin Cappiello, 91, of Roseland, died on May 10, 2018 at home surrounded by his loving ...
Read more

10-Year-Old Cancer Patient Receives Donation from Randolph Hockey Family

May 21, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ — While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real-life battles off the ice, there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the members of the Randolph varsity hockey team, when they came together to ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&M@royalwedbot.co.uk.  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...