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Huntington High School Ranks in Top Three Percent Nationally


A new set of rankings compiled by The Washington Post puts Huntington High School in the top three percent of all public high schools in the United States and among the best in the state.

Huntington is ranked 62nd in the state out of more than 1,000 high schools and 723rd in the country out of about 22,000 high schools. Huntington’s Challenge Index was 2.404, placing the school in the top tier in the country. The school also has an “Equity and Excellence” rate of 36.10 percent, more than double the national average.

“While no one index or criterion can represent a comprehensive measure of a district’s success, we are proud to note that Huntington High School is listed among America’s top high schools based upon the level of rigor associated with the coursework our students complete,” Superintendent James W. Polansky said.

Huntington High School is led by longtime Principal Dr. Carmela Leonardi and first year Assistant Principal Brenden Cusack. The school has a long tradition of excellence, boasting graduates that have gone on to successful careers in just about every possible field.

The Washington Post‘s Challenge Index dates to 1998 when reporter Jay Matthews began ranking Washington, DC area high schools based on how well they prepared students for college. In recent years the ranking index has been expanded to every public school (with limited exceptions) in America.

“We take the total number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year and divide by the number of seniors who graduated in May or June,” Mr. Matthews explained in an online overview of the ranking. “I call this formula the Challenge Index. With a few exceptions, public schools that achieved a ratio of at least 1.000, meaning they had as many tests in 2012 as they had graduates, were put on the national list.”

Huntington High School routinely sends graduates to many of the top colleges and universities in the country, including Ivy League and similarly highly regarded institutions. The school’s Challenge Index of 2.404 far exceeded that of the average high school.

“I think 1.000 is a modest standard,” Mr. Matthews wrote. “A school can reach that level if only half of its students take one AP, IB or AICE test in their junior year and one in their senior year. But this year only seven percent of the approximately 22,000 U.S. public high schools managed to reach that standard and be placed on our list.”

The Washington Post said its Challenge Index “is designed to identify schools that have done the best job in persuading average students to take college-level courses and tests.”

“Providing opportunities for all students to challenge themselves is critical, as we help them prepare for the demands of post-secondary academia and the 21st century workforce,” Mr. Polansky said. “This year alone, we experienced a 30 percent increase in the number of students completing Advanced Placement coursework; a tribute to Huntington students and staff alike.”

Huntington’s average SAT score in 2012 was 1,520 according to The Washington Post. The school’s state Challenge Index ranking jump 21 spots, going from 83 in 2011 to 62 last year.

“On the list we also give readers a sense of how well each school’s students are doing on the tests by posting the ‘Equity and Excellence’ rate, which is the percentage of all graduating seniors, including those who never took an AP course, who had at least one score of 3 or above on at least one AP test sometime in high school,” according to The Washington Post. “The non-profit College Board, which oversees the AP program, invented this metric. It found that the average ‘Equity and Excellence’ rate in 2012 was 19.5 percent.” At 36.10 percent, Huntington’s “E&E” rate towers over the national average.

In interviews with members of this year’s senior class, it quickly becomes obvious that Huntington students are proud of their high school and The Washington Post‘s ranking is sure to lead to a burst of pride for current students and alumni alike.

Source: Public Information Office

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5 comments to Huntington High School Ranks in Top Three Percent Nationally

  • Parent of student

    Too bad there are drugs all over that school. Something needs to be done.

  • Anonymous

    Thank the good Lord those people that clOsed t the school are all out and nevrr got elected again!

  • mom with three recent grads from HHS

    there is alcohol abuse and drugs in every school…don’t kid yourself. If you raise your children to be responsible and respectful of themselves and others they will choose the right path. BRAVO HHS! shake off that prejudice stigma.

  • Student

    It’s not a stigma. It’s a fact. Your response does not help the problem. Even at Finley.

  • Real Student

    You people have never been to HHS and have no idea what you are talking about. It’s a great school. I have never seen a drug or heard of any and have been there several years. How about congratulations on the achievement?

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