Fairfield Warde Named One Of 'Most Challenging' In U.S.

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Fairifeld Warde High School ranked 12th in Connecticut on the Washington Post's list of "Most Challenging" high schools.
Fairifeld Warde High School ranked 12th in Connecticut on the Washington Post's list of "Most Challenging" high schools. Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield Warde High School is one of the “most challenging” in the United States, according to a recent study by the Washington Post.

Warde ranked 12th among the 18 Connecticut high schools that made the nationwide list. Overall, Fairfield Warde was No. 860 out of the more than 2,000 schools included in the rankings.

The Post determined its rankings based on the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given per student each year, with all school with a ratio better than 1.000 included in the national list. Fairfield Warde’s ratio was 2.228 for 2013, more than a half point higher than it was last year.

Of the 18 Connecticut high schools that made the list, Greenwich High School was ranked at No. 6, Weston High School at No. 7, Ridgefield High at No. 8, Staples High School at No 9, Wilton High School at No. 10, and New Canaan at No. 14.

The rankings did not include magnet schools or charter schools that attract exclusively high-performing students. It also relied on schools self-reporting their information, so not all schools were included in the rankings.

Nationwide, American Indian Public Charter in Oakland, Calif., was rated as the No. 1 most challenging school. In the state, Connecticut IB Academy in East Hartford ranked at No. 1.

See the full nationwide list here.

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KTM5, I can't wait for you to tell us about Ludlowe I don't think I can sleep tonight. What are you a walking statistic for high school rankings? Why don't you explain why you are such an expert.

This ranking is based on a ratio of on how many AP exams are taken in relation to the number of graduating seniors. The rankings have NOTHING to do with student performance on tests, or knowledge in general. The ranking also leaves out any schools that have average SAT scores over 2000 and elite charter schools, so the really great schools are not included in rank. It does report something called an Equity and Excellence rate, which is the percent of all graduating seniors, including those who never took an AP course, who had at least one score of 3 or above on at least one AP test sometime in high school. Fairfield Warde had 42% for that E&E rate. Greenwich had a 80% E&E rate, Weston 60%, Ridgefield 56%, Westport 57%, just for comparison. Not exactly stellar results for Fairfield Warde!!! The ranking is highly criticized and not widely used. Still, I have asked why Fairfield Ludlowe was not included. I will keep you posted, if they decide to include Ludlowe....