Harrison High School scored its highest ranking ever in this year’s challenge index – No. 1 in Westchester County.
Since 1998, the Newsweek and now the Washington Post has ranked high schools on how effectively a school prepares its students for college by offering them a challenge.
Harrison also ranked among the top high schools in New York State, the region and across the country:
Harrison High School was also raked 4th in the state; 8th in the East Coast region; and 71st in the nation.
The Challenge Index is based on the number of Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) tests taken by all students at the school in 2009-2010 divided by the school’s total number of graduates. The High School Challenge encourages high schools to offer as many students as possible the choice to participate in AP, IB or AICE courses and exams. Of the approximately 27,000 U.S. public schools only 7 percent or 1,900 managed to reach that standard and be placed on the list.
“We are proud of our high school’s standing in the Washington Post Challenge Index. It demonstrates our commitment to challenge and to provide opportunity to all of our students, and most importantly to prepare them to face the rigor of college. We have been and continue to remain committed to excellence for all the students who attend Harrison High School,” said Superintendent Louis Wool.
In announcing the 2011 rankings, The Washington Post points out that they count the number of exams given, and not just the outcomes on these tests. “AP, IB and AICE are important because they give average students a chance to experience the trauma of heavy college reading lists and long, analytical college examinations,” the Post said in an announcement.
Harrison’s high expectations for its students’ and commitment to providing access to college level AP classes has resulted in a 505 percent increase in AP Scholars from only 20 in 2003 to 121 this year, and the highest percentage of graduates (92 percent) accepted to four-year colleges in school history.
“Our experience demonstrates that when you hold high expectations for children and both support and challenge them, they rise to meet them,” Wool said.