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These SoCal high schools are among the best in state, nation

Los Angeles and Orange counties once again had some of the best high schools in the country, according to the latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report — with Southern California in general having a strong showing in the statewide rankings.

Whitney High School in Cerritos ranked 14th nationally, California Academy of Mathematics and Science — which is part of Long Beach Unified School District but is on the Cal State Dominguez Hills campus — ranked 15th and Cypress’ Oxford Academy ranked 16th in the news magazine’s 2022 Best High Schools report. And for the second consecutive year, Southland schools occupied the top-four spots in the California rankings, with Whitney, CAMS and Oxford leading the way and Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy, a Los Angeles Unified school in Wilmington, coming in fourth.

The rankings came out late Monday evening, April 25.

This was the third time in the last four years Whitney has been ranked as the best high school in California, with Oxford taking that title in 2021.

Overall, Southern California had five schools in the top 100 nationally and 10 in the top 25 statewide, the same as last year.

U.S. News & World Report — working in collaboration with North Carolina Based RTI International, a global nonprofit social science research firm — ranked more than 17,800 high schools for this year’s rankings. The news magazine reviewed about 24,000 schools across the country.

“The Best High Schools rankings take a comprehensive approach to evaluating schools,” Eric Brooks, principal data analyst at U.S. News & World Report, said in a press release. “Looking at factors like graduation rates and underserved student performance, families can use this information to learn more about their local schools.”

Several schools saw jumps in either their national or state rankings this year — though some also declined.

Whitney jumped from 25th to 14th nationally while Oxford dropped from 11th to 16th. CAMS improved 17 spots this year, from 32nd to 15th. Harbor Teacher Prep went from 84th nationally and eighth in the state to 62nd and fourth, respectively. In 2021, Riverside Stem occupied the same spots Harbor Teacher Prep claimed this year — but fell to 100th nationally and 10th in the state.

Overall, Southern California fell just shy of topping last year’s top 25 statewide performance: Troy High School, in Fullerton, fell one spot this year — to 26th.

The other schools in the top 25 statewide this year are:

  • 12th: Eunice Sato Academy of Math and Science, in Long Beach.
  • 13th: Hawthorne Math and Science Academy.
  • 15th: Western Center Academy, in Hemet.
  • 19th: Lennox Mathematics, Science and Technology Academy.
  • 24th: Downtown Business High School, in Los Angeles.

U.S. News & World Report weighed school performances based on college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rates.

College readiness measured a school’s participation and performance on advanced placement and international baccalaureate exams, according to the news magazine’s press release. U.S. News & World Report determined underserved student performance by focusing on those from low-income households, as well as Black and Hispanic pupils.

U.S. News & World Report typically relies on U.S. Department of Education data — as well as state-level assessment test results — to make its rankings. It doesn’t allow high schools to self-report their information.

But that data was largely unavailable for the 2019-20 school year because of school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the news magazine said. The U.S. Department of Education allows states to forgo testing for the 2019-20 academic year.

So instead, the news magazine used historical data from the previous three ranking years — and, for the first ime, analyzed science performance and proficiency in states that had the appropriate data, U.s. News & World Report said.

For a complete list of the 2022 U.S. News Best High Schools rankings — including rankings per state, metro area and school district levels — go to U.S. News & World Report’s website.

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Source: Orange County Register

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