The Washington Post released its annual national public school ranking called “America’s Most Challenging High Schools,” placing Evanston Township High School (ETHS) as 14th in the state and in the top 2 percent in the nation. ETHS moved up one spot from last year’s 15th place ranking, while also raising its index score. Four of the top schools are magnet schools.

For the past 15 years, Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews has rated the nation’s public high schools based on a formula called the Challenge Index, which is the following ratio: the number of Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year.

In order to earn placement on the Washington Post list, a public school must achieve a ratio of at least 1.000, meaning they had as many tests in 2012 as they had graduates. This year only 9 percent of the approximately 22,000 U.S. public high schools that were considered managed to reach that standard and earn placement on the national list, available online at

ETHS is among 1,900 high schools that received an index score ( Also noted are the percentage of students who come from families that qualify for lunch subsidies and the percentage of graduates who passed at least one college-level test during their high school career, called equity and excellence.

“We are committed to creating pathways for many more ETHS students to take our most challenging honors and Advanced Placement classes,” said ETHS Superintendent Dr. Eric Witherspoon. “This national recognition affirms the importance of continuing to make these important strides to benefit all students.”