Out of 295 top schools considering challenging in California, Aliso Niguel came out ahead of the others, at No. 124. San Clemente High was right behind at No. 125. Tesoro itself was just a couple of ticks away at No. 131. Capistrano Valley High checked in at 154.
Meanwhile, four schools in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District made the list: Laguna Hills at No. 185, Mission Viejo at 207, Trabuco Hills at 286 and El Toro barley squeaking in at 293.
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 the schools stand.
Oxford Academy, a charter school in Cypress, is Orange County’s top school on the list, No. 3 statewide.
For context, 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.
Here’s the rest of Orange County-based high schools that made the list:
- Sage Hill, a private school, in Newport Beach (No. 9)
- 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)
- Corona del Mar (No. 47)
- 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)
- Valencia in Placentia (No. 91)
- Newport Harbor in Newport Beach (No. 94)
- 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)
- Foothill in Santa Ana (No. 136)
- 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)
- Westminster (No. 214)
- Sonora in La Habra (No. 229)
- El Dorado in Placentia (No. 257)
- Estancia in
Costa Mesa (No. 281)
- Trabuco Hills in Mission Viejo (No. 286)
- El Toro in Lake Forest (No. 293)