All Fairfax County high schools have been designated among the “most demanding” public schools in the country and are featured in the 2017 Washington Post list of more than 2,300 top U.S. high schools.
Oakton High School had the highest ranking of FCPS high schools on the list, which is based on a formula devised by Washington Post education reporter Jay Mathews.
The Challenge Index measures public and private high schools’ ability to challenge their students. A school’s ranking is determined by dividing the number of college-level tests given by a school to all its students by the number of graduates for that year. The index is designed to identify schools that challenge average students.
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, which serves students across the region, was not included in the list because of its selective admissions process. It is recognized in a separate group of top-performing schools with elite students.