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7 High Schools Among America's Best

The Washington Post notified the Long Beach Unified School District today that seven LBUSD schools are among a list of the nation's most challenging high schools.  The 2014 rankings include schools that surpass 91 percent of other high schools nationwide in terms of their ability to offer rigorous college prep courses.

"Our high schools deserve this national recognition.  Their consistent focus on college and career preparation is paying off for thousands of students and their families," said LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser.  "Congratulations to everyone in our school communities whose hard work makes these impressive results possible."

The Post calculates a Challenge Index by dividing the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or other college-level tests a school gave in 2013 by the number of graduating seniors.  Only 9 percent of about 22,000 U.S. public high schools earned a place on this year's list.

The report by the Post includes the percentage of students receiving subsidized lunches, a figure illustrating the poverty challenges that schools face.

Local high schools' national rankings on the report (with the percentage of students receiving subsidized lunches) are:

1,016 – Wilson (57% subs. lunch)

1,086 – Millikan (55% subs. lunch)

1,089 – California Academy of Mathematics and Science (52% subs. lunch)

1,507 – Poly (63% subs. lunch)

1,843 – Lakewood (53% subs. lunch)

1,848 – Renaissance (62% subs. lunch)

1,858 – Avalon (71% subs. lunch)

Each of these schools has repeatedly appeared on the Post's annual rankings.  Nearby Los Alamitos High School this year earned a ranking of 1,231 (with a subsidized lunch population of 11 percent).