We would like to applaud the students and administrators at the Preuss School at UCSD, which was recently named one of the top 10 best high schools in America by Newsweek magazine.
The magazine listed Preuss as the ninth best high school out of 1,200 regarded as the best in the nation. It was the only California school among the top 25 in the rankings.
The Preuss School, created in 1999 and currently serving 756 students in grades six through 12, is dedicated to providing intensive college-prep education for motivated low-income students who will become the first in their families to graduate from college.
We consider that mission to be not only admirable but essential in a nation where those with skill and desire should never be denied the opportunity to reach their potential.
The Preuss School’s execution of that mission has been admirable as well. Of this year’s graduating class of 78 seniors, 96 percent of them will move on to four-year colleges or universities in the fall.
The school earned its ranking in the Newsweek study based largely on the percentage of seniors who participated in college-level Advanced Placement tests. While ranking schools strictly on how many seniors took the tests may not be a completely accurate exercise, we feel it is an indication of how willing the students are to challenge themselves. Students pay to take the tests, and those who pass them can earn college credit before they even set foot on a college campus.
We suspect the Preuss students fared well after a school year in which they spent 198 days on campus compared to an average of 180 at traditional high schools. The Preuss school day is more than a half hour longer than the average at traditional schools.
We commend the students at the Preuss School for their hard work and congratulate those who are moving on to college.
And we commend all of La Jolla’s 2007 graduates and their parents. We hope that today’s students grow to become tomorrow’s leaders in a rapidly evolving and increasingly complex world.