Out of 295 California high schools on a list compiled by the Washington Post, Los Al came in at No. 178. Nearby, Fountain Valley High came in 122.
To come up with the list of the nation’s most challenging high schools, the folks at the Post kept their calculation simple:
Number of college-level tests given at a school in the previous calendar year divided by the number of graduates that year.
Not that this methodology isn’t without controversy, especially because it doesn’t assign rank based on those who pass the exams, only by the number of those who take them.
But if you’re ready to take the list at face value, here’s where the schools stand.
Of the most recent graduating class at Los Al gauged, 39 percent had passed at least one college-level test in their high school career. At Fountain Valley, that number was 34 percent.
In total, there are 1,304 public high schools in the state. There are another 268 charter high schools, according to figures from the California Department of Education.
Oxford Academy, a charter school in Cypress, is Orange County’s top school on the list, No. 3 statewide (with 94 percent having passed at least one college-grade exam).
Here’s the rest of Orange County-based high schools that made the list:
- Sage Hill, a private school, in Newport Beach (No. 9)
- Troy High School in Fullerton (No. 17)
- University in Irvine (No. 37)
- Santa Margarita Catholic High School, a private school in Rancho Santa Margarita (No. 43)
- Beckman in Irvine (No. 44)
- Corona del Mar (No. 47)
- Sunny Hills in Fullerton (No. 49)
- Rosary, a private school in Fullerton (No. 58)
- Orange County High School for the Arts in Santa Ana (No. 60)
- Northwood in Irvine (No. 81)
- Newport Harbor in Newport Beach (No. 94)
- Woodbridge in Irvine (No. 116)
- Costa Mesa (No. 121)
- Fountain Valley (No. 122)
- Aliso Niguel in Aliso Viejo (No. 124)
- San Clemente (No. 125)
- Tesoro in Las Flores (No. 131)
- Irvine (No. 143)
- Fullerton Union (No. 148)
- Villa Park (No. 149)
- Capistrano Valley in Mission Viejo (No. 154)
- Yorba Linda (No. 155)
- La Habra (No. 170)
- Esperanza in Anaheim (No. 173)
- Los Alamitos (No. 178)
- Ocean View in Huntington Beach (No. 179)
- Laguna Hills (No. 185)
- Buena Park (No. 189)
- Mater Dei, a private school in Santa Ana (No. 190)
- Mission Viejo (No. 207)
- Sonora in La Habra (No. 229)
- Estancia in Costa Mesa (No. 281)
- Trabuco Hills in Mission Viejo (No. 286)
- El Toro in Lake Forest (No. 293)