An article on business and technology news website Business Insider named Harvard-Westlake the third-smartest high school in the nation March 25. The ranking was based on data from Niche, a website that reviews and ranks schools, colleges and cities.
The article has been read more than 3.6 million times and was featured on websites such as Yahoo! News and the Daily Reader.
“Throughout their years at Harvard-Westlake, students can participate in a number of special programs, including spending a year abroad or studying at The Mountain School, where students live and work on a rural farm in Vermont for their junior year,” the article said. “Academics still stand first and foremost, however, and last year 15 percent of graduates matriculated into Ivy League schools.”
Among the factors considered in the ranking were average SAT and ACT scores, four-year matriculation rate and student-teacher ratio.
“Using any logical criteria, Harvard-Westlake should be listed among leading secondary schools in the United States, so I’m happy we appear on the recent Business Insider list,” President Rick Commons said. “That said, I think these kinds of rankings — whether of high schools or colleges—tend to rely on imperfect and misleading data. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a ranking of schools based on the percentage of teachers students find to be inspiring every day?”