These are the Top 20 ‘most challenging’ Illinois high schools in 2017

May 11, 2017

Sixty-five public and private high schools in Illinois are among the nation’s most challenging, an accolade just 12 percent of American high schools can boast about, according to the Washington Post.

The annual report ranks schools based on what the Post calls its “Challenge Index,” a ratio calculated by dividing the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a high school during an academic year by the number of graduating seniors.

In order to make the cut, a school must have a ratio of 1.000, which means there were as many such tests as graduates.

The majority of Illinois high schools deemed the “most challenging” in 2017 improved compared to the previous year, and there were two newcomers to the list: suburban Deerfield High School and Lisle High School.

Out of a total of 2,323 ranked schools, national ranks for the state’s high schools ranged from No. 53 to No. 2,218.

We’ve listed the Top 20 most challenging high schools in Illinois below, along with the percentage of graduates who passed at least one college-level test (equity and excellence, or E&E), the percentage of low-income students and the Challenge Index for each school. You can find the full list here. 

article image Credit: cpsaonline.com

1. College Prep School of America

Lombard

National rank: 53

  • E&E: 92%
  • Lunch: 0%
  • Index: 7.846

*Private school

article image Credit: lincolnparkhs.org

2. Lincoln Park High School

Chicago

National rank: 148

  • E&E: 67%
  • Lunch: 52%
  • Index: 5.559
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3. Adlai E. Stevenson High School

Lincolnshire

National rank: 163

  • E&E: 73%
  • Lunch: 5%
  • Index: 5.379
article image Credit: cusd201.org

4. Westmont High School

Westmont

National rank: 187

  • E&E: 58%
  • Lunch: 41%
  • Index: 5.066
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5. Whitney M. Young Magnet High School

Chicago

National rank: 208

  • E&E: 80.4%
  • Lunch: 41%
  • Index: 4.888
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6. Jones College Prep

Chicago

National rank: 245

  • E&E: 89%
  • Lunch: 42%
  • Index: 4.639
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7. Glenbard West High School

Glen Ellyn

National rank: 258

  • E&E: 61%
  • Lunch: 20.3%
  • Index: 4.553
article image Credit: bghs.d214.org

8. Buffalo Grove High School

Buffalo Grove

National rank: 387

  • E&E: 55.5%
  • Lunch: 16.8%
  • Index: 3.995

 

 

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9. Prospect High School

Mt. Prospect

National rank: 424

  • E&E: 59.3%
  • Lunch: 8.6%
  • Index: 3.850
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10. John Hersey High School

Arlington Heights

National rank: 445

  • E&E: 63.7%
  • Lunch: 12.2%
  • Index: 3.769
article image Credit: ifsvp.org

11. Islamic Foundation School

Villa Park

National rank: 459

  • E&E: 71.1%
  • Lunch: 0%
  • Index: 3.700

*Private school

article image Credit: journal-topics.com

12. Elk Grove High School

Elk Grove Village

National rank: 540

  • E&E: 44.5%
  • Lunch: 31.9%
  • Index: 3.429
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13. Auburn High School

Rockford

National rank: 591

  • E&E: 29.8%
  • Lunch: 69%
  • Index: 3.306
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14. Libertyville High School

Libertyville

National rank: 612

  • E&E: 56.6%
  • Lunch: 4.8%
  • Index: 3.257
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15. Hinsdale South High School

Darien

National rank: 613

  • E&E: 50%
  • Lunch: 30%
  • Index: 3.255

 

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16. Hinsdale Central High School

Hinsdale

National rank: 654

  • E&E: 55.9%
  • Lunch: 6.2%
  • Index: 3.139
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17. Cristo Rey Jesuit

Chicago

National rank: 686

  • E&E: 100%
  • Lunch: 71%
  • Index: 3.063

*Private school

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18. Grayslake Central High School

Grayslake

National rank: 687

  • E&E: 51.6%
  • Lunch: 11.2%
  • Index: 3.061
article image Credit: scorestream.com

19. Rolling Meadows High School

Rolling Meadows

National rank: 711

  • E&E: 58%
  • Lunch: 23.5%
  • Index: 3.007
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20. Vernon Hills High School

Vernon Hills

National rank: 736

  • E&E: 54.1%
  • Lunch: 12.2%
  • Index: 2.966

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