Washington Post: Hinsdale Central Sixth Most Challenging School in Illinois
As opposed to the Newsweek "America's Best High Schools" list, the Post's criteria is more focused on the "level of a high school’s commitment to preparing average students for college."
Both District 86 high schools ranked among the 20 most challenging schools in Illinois, according to The Washington Post's 2012 "High School Challenge," which judges schools on criteria it says show commitment to preparing students for college.
The top five most challenging high schools in Illinois, in order, were Walter Payton College Prep (Chicago), Jones College Prep (Chicago), Lincoln Park (Chicago), Stevenson (Lincolnshire), and Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn).
"The formula is simple," the Post explains in its introduction. "Divide the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or other college-level tests a school gave in 2010 by the number of graduating seniors. While not a measure of the overall quality of the school, the rating can reveal the level of a high school’s commitment to preparing average students for college."
The Post has measured the challenge-level of D.C. area schools since 1998, but 2011 was the first time the list was expanded to the nation.
The Hinsdale Township High School District 86 Board of Education shared the ranking with the community and Monday night's board meeting.