Washington, D.C./ Family & Kids
Published on August 13, 2019
Back to class: Washington's top-rated and most-improved public high schoolsPhoto: Unsplash

How strong are the public high schools in Washington?

With a fresh school year kicking off, we analyzed newly released data from Niche.com, which incorporates comprehensive report cards, rankings and reviews to help you choose the right school, to identify those schools that made the biggest strides last year, as well as those that top the city's best public high school rankings.

Columbia Heights Education Campus's overall rating improved the most among its peers in Washington, rising from a C+ to a B, according to data from Niche.

For the 2019-2020 school year, the school, located at 3101 16th St. NW, enrolls 1,336 students. Niche gave the school mixed grades: B- on an A-D scale for academics, C for administration and A- for clubs and activities.

The overall ranking comes from Niche's proprietary algorithms. A school's ranking might change due to many factors, including the relative rankings of similar schools and whether a school gained or lost peers due to openings or closings. Other numbers come from current public data from the U.S. government.

Academically, 14% of Columbia Heights Education Campus's students scored proficient or above in math, and 24% did so in reading. That's compared to city averages of 14% in math and 28% in reading.

It's not the only school that's climbed Niche's rankings this year. Ballou High School saw its overall rating increase from a D to a D+. The school is located at 3401 Fourth St. SE and is a bit smaller, currently serving 930 students.

Niche gave Ballou High School mixed grades: D+ on an A-D scale for academics, D- for administration and A for clubs and activities. Its latest math proficiency was 1%, and reading proficiency was 9%. The school's upswing is notable since it serves a less-affluent population, with 68% of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch, 22% more than the city average.

H.D. Woodson High School also improved, from a D+ to a C-. The school is located at 540 55th St. NE and has 634 students currently enrolled.

Niche gave H.D. Woodson High School mixed grades — C- on an A-D scale for academics, D+ for administration and B for clubs and activities. The school's latest math proficiency was 5%, and reading proficiency was 8%. It also serves a less-affluent community, with 60% of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch.

While some public high schools are moving up the ranks, others are consistently top-rated overall, including:

  • The School Without Walls High School, with an overall rating of A+.
  • Woodrow Wilson High School, with an A rating overall.
  • Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, rated A overall.

This story was created automatically using data from Niche.com, then reviewed by an editor before publication. Click here for more about how and why Hoodline is automating local news. Got thoughts about what we're doing? Go here to share your feedback.