Sage Hill One of the State's Most Challenging Schools, Washington Post Says

Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor also make the grade.

Sage Hill School in Newport Beach. Patch file photo.
Sage Hill School in Newport Beach. Patch file photo.

Sage Hill School in Newport Beach is one of the state’s more challenging high schools. So says the Washington Post.

Two other area schools made the list, too: Corona del Mar at No. 47 and Newport Harbor at No. 94. 

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. 

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 Sage Hill stands. Out of 295 top schools considering challenging in California, Sage Hill ranks No. 9. Out of all the graduating seniors, 81 percent have taken and passed at least one college-level test, the Washington Post says.

At Corona del Mar, passage rates weren't available. At Newport Harbor, 85 percent of all seniors graduate having passed at least one college-level test.

Oxford Academy, a charter school in Cypress, is Orange County’s top school on the list, No. 3 statewide.

Here’s the rest of Orange County-based high schools that made the list:

  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)


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