Jay Mathews Challenge Index
Photo by Greg Beckner.

Four high schools in Greenville County made the Washington Post’s annual Jay Mathews Challenge Index — a list ranking the most challenging high schools in the United States.

The rankings are determined by the number of advanced tests given at a high school divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year.

The list, which first appeared in the Washington Post and Newsweek in 1998, is compiled by the Washington Post’s education columnist Jay Mathews.

Of the 2,537 high schools that made the list this year, J.L. Mann Academy ranked 743, Greenville High Academy ranked 864, the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities ranked 959, and Riverside High School ranked 1,401.

Seven other South Carolina high schools also made the list, with Academic Magnet High School in North Charleston ranking within the top 0.5% in the nation at 52.

The list doesn’t factor in scores, but rather relies on participation on Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Cambridge tests. It also reports the percentage of students that passed at least one of the advanced tests.

  • J.L. Mann Academy: 38% passed at least one test
  • Greenville High Academy: 66%
  • S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities: 77%
  • Riverside: 31%
  • View the complete searchable index
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