In their latest list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools for 2017, The Washington Post once again listed Lamar High School within the top 1% nationally. The ranking was based on a ratio called the Challenge Index, created by Washington Post education columnist Jay Mathews. The Challenge Index is calculated by adding the total number of International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP), and Cambridge exams are given at a school in a given year divided by the number of seniors who graduated in May or June of that year. This year’s Challenge Index scores were based on the data collected from Spring 2016.
The Challenge Index is intended to recognize high schools that are readily preparing their students to meet the demands of college-level work. Lamar’s Challenge Index rating was calculated to be 4.386. As an IB World School, Lamar offers a wide array of IB courses for students to take in order to become IB diploma candidates or IB course students. The school also offers several AP classes, as well as dual credit college courses through a partnership with Houston Community College.
Lamar is one of HISD’s 37 schools that ranked among the best this year out of approximately 22,000 public and private high schools that were included in the rankings. The district’s high rankings are due to a decision made by the HISD Board of Education in 2009 to increase the number of AP courses offered in their high schools, as well as to waive the AP exam fees for all students who take those courses. In 2015, HISD students set a record by passing 8,277 AP exams, which was a 60 percent increase from 2009.
“No city in America has as strong of a collection of high schools as Houston,” said Interim HISD Superintendent Ken Huewitt. “We are proud of the phenomenal teachers, students, administrators and support staff who pull together every day to make HISD great.”
In addition to the national recognition, Lamar earned a spot among the top 100 high schools in Texas, along with 15 other HISD schools.
Lamar would like to thank our teachers, administration, students, parents, and support staff for working together to make Lamar an exemplary school that has been nationally recognized for the past several years.
To view the Washington Post’s full list of national rankings, visit America's Most Challenging High Schools.