Washington Post: KIPP Denver Collegiate High School Considered One of America's Most Challenging High Schools

By Jay Mathews | May 1, 2015

Students gather for lunch in the foyer of the School Without Walls in the District in 2011. It was the top-ranking high school from Washington, D.C. on the America’s Most Challening High Schools list in 2015. (Marvin Joseph/Washington Post)

Students gather for lunch in the foyer of the School Without Walls in the District in 2011. It was the top-ranking high school from Washington, D.C. on the America’s Most Challening High Schools list in 2015. (Marvin Joseph/Washington Post)

The index score is the number of college-level tests given at a school in the previous calendar year divided by the number of graduates that year. Also noted are the percentage of students who come from families that qualify for lunch subsidies (Subs. lunch) and the percentage of graduates who passed at least one college-level test during their high school career, called equity and excellence, (E&E). A (P) next to the school's name denotes a private school.

View the rankings.

How does the America's Most Challenging High Schools list work?

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. I call this formula the Challenge Index. With a few exceptions, public schools that achieved a ratio of at least 1.00, meaning they had as many tests in 2014 as they had graduates, were put on the national list. We rank the schools in order of ratio, with the highest (20.44) this year achieved by BASIS Oro Valley, in Oro Valley, Ariz., which takes over as the top-ranked school after the American Indian Public Charter in Oakland, Calif., held the position for two years. Read more.