NEWS Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 880 S. Lemon Avenue
April 10, 2014 Walnut, CA 91789
Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204
Top-performing schools with elite students
Diamond Bar, Walnut High Named Among America’s Most Challenging Schools
WALNUT, CA—Diamond Bar and Walnut High School are among the most academically challenging schools in the nation, according to the annual rankings by the Washington Post.
Both schools made the 2014 America’s Most Challenging High Schools including more than 1,900 public high schools released on April 7.
Diamond Bar High ranked in the top 2% with 317 on the national listing, up from 399 in 2012. DBHS also improved its state ranking to 38 up from 45 last year.
“Diamond Bar High School has made a concerted effort to responsibly increase access to our Advanced Placement courses. We are pleased to see that more students are successfully attempting these courses and that our efforts to establish equitable access to rigorous courses are being recognized by publications like the Washington Post. We are very proud of our staff, students, parents, and community for their hard work and support,” said Principal Catherine Real.
“DBHS actually ranks 30th in the state if you remove all private schools from the list,” Real added. “Many of the remaining schools on the list have special admission screening processes. The fact that Diamond Bar High School is an open enrollment school and still ranks among the best in the state and nation is extremely impressive!”
Walnut High School also ranked in the top 2% with a 439 ranking on the national listing and 51 in the state.
“We’re always excited to be ranked as one of the top high schools not only in the state, but also nationally. Our staff and students worked really hard to be recognized with this honor. I’m always appreciative of the support our community provides to Walnut High School,” said Principal Jeff Jordan.
Jordan said the school offers 22 AP courses, 18 IB courses, 18 varsity sports, and a high percentage of graduates are attending four-year colleges.
Since 1998, Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews has rated public high schools around the country the Challenge Index.
The index takes the total number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at the school that year and divides it by the number of seniors who graduated in May or June.
“With a few exceptions, public schools that achieved a ratio of at least 1.000, meaning they had as many tests in 2013 as they had graduates, were put on the national list at http://apps.washingtonpost.com/local/highschoolchallenge/,” Matthews said.
Before posting the list, he also filters out magnet or charter high schools that have few average-performing students.
This year, only 9 percent of the approximately 22,000 U.S. public high schools managed to reach that standard and be included on the list, according to Mathews.