11 Upstate High Schools Among Nations "Most Challenging" - WSPA.com

11 Upstate High Schools Among Nations "Most Challenging"

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A new ranking released Tuesday by the Washington Post lists 11 local high schools as some of the nation's most challenging. A new ranking released Tuesday by the Washington Post lists 11 local high schools as some of the nation's most challenging.
SPARTANBURG, S.C - A new ranking released Tuesday by the Washington Post lists 11 local high schools as some of the nation's most challenging.

Schools are measured by how well they prepare their students for college level work.

8 Greenville County schools made the list. Greenville's Southside High School earned the number 2 spot in the state and 189 on a national list of more than 2000.

2 Spartanburg County schools also made the list. 7 On Your Side spoke to Spartanburg High School Principal, Jeff Stevens. His school earned the 17th spot in the state.

“We are elated to be a part of that list that is so prestigious to the state of South Carolina and the whole nation,” he said.

The list ranks schools by the ratio of college-level tests administered to the number of the school's graduates.

“Obviously we give a lot of tests, but I think the quality of tests and how our students perform on those tests is what we're really excited about,” said Stevens.

With 25 advanced placement courses to choose from, Spartanburg High boasts an 80 percent pass rate on AP exams. Those tests can earn students college credit.

“Our students are really attracted to those courses and our parents are attracted to them as well, because it saves our kids quite a bit of money,” Stevens explained.

Stevens said last year's senior class earned more than 18 million dollars in college scholarships. He credits the dedication of both students and teachers.

“That's where the rubber meets the road when our teachers and our students get inside that classroom,” he said.

Below is the list of South Carolina Schools that made the list. A press release from Spartanburg’s district 7 indicates the index score is the number of college-level tests given at a school in 2013 divided by the number of graduates that year. Also noted are the percentage of students who come from families that qualify for free and reduced lunch. 
 Rank School City % Free/Reduced
Lunch
 Index
1 Academic Magnet  North Charleston 4.3 6.447
2 Southside     Greenville     30 4.348
3 Dutch Fork     Irmo 24 3.418
4 A.C. Flora Columbia     33 3.260
5 Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities Greenville     27 2.741
6 Chapin     Chapin13 2.699
7 James L. Mann Greenville     30 2.575
8 Eastside Greenville 30 2.449
9 Wade Hampton Greenville     50.17 2.383
10 Dreher     Columbia 40     2.171
11 Woodruff     Woodruff 57 2.157
12Wando Mt. Pleasant 15     1.786
13 Bluffton Bluffton 47     1.754
14 South Aiken Aiken 35 1.712
15 Mauldin Mauldin 24.90 1.712
16 Greenville High Academy of Law, Finance and Business Greenville 57 1.586
17 Spartanburg Spartanburg 60 1.534
18 Riverside Greer 20 1.275
19 Hillcrest Simpsonville 38 1.256

View the full list of national/state rankings. 


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Addie Hampton
Addie is a general assignment reporter covering Greenville, Pickens and Laurens Counties.
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