Mission San Jose, 9 other California high schools top magazine's annual list

Amador, Foothill rank among top 100 in U.S. News and World Report on best in state

Both of Pleasanton's comprehensive high schools received top rankings in the recent U.S. News and World Report's annual list of best American high schools.

Mission San Jose High School in Fremont scored sixth out of the top 10 in California.

California is home to more than 650 schools that were recognized among the magazine's best high schools in its annual listing.

Amador Valley High ranked No. 315 in the nation and No. 47 in California, and Foothill High ranked No. 489 nationwide and No. 79 statewide, according to the ranking by U.S. News and World Report.

"This ranking is a testament to the strong commitment to excellence from our students, parents, educators and support staff at Amador and Foothill," interim superintendent Jim Hansen said. "Congratulations to Amador and Foothill for consistently putting Pleasanton schools on the map."

The schools were ranked based on students' performance during the 2013-14 school year on International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement and state reading and math proficiency tests, data on whether socio-economically disadvantaged students were performing higher than that demographic's statistical average and graduation rate data, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Amador Valley and Foothill both earned the news outlet's Gold Award, the highest possible.

In the East Bay, Mission San Jose High School in Fremont scored sixth out of the top 10, with Whitney High School in Cerritos named No. 1. The full list follows:


Whitney High School



Stockton Collegiate International Secondary



Lowell High School

San Francisco


University Preparatory Academy Charter

San Jose


Canyon Crest Academy

San Diego


Mission San Jose High



University High School



KIPP San Jose Collegiate

San Jose


Preuss School UCSD

La Jolla


California Academy of Mathematics and Science


Pleasanton Weekly reporter Meredith Bauer contributed to this story.

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4 people like this
Posted by jimbo
a resident of Foothill High School
on Apr 28, 2016 at 9:26 am

I guess Foothill and Amador get knocked down because because we don't have a high number of "socio-economically disadvantaged students "...... Am I reading this correctly?

9 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 28, 2016 at 9:40 am

@jimbo: "I guess Foothill and Amador get knocked down because because we don't have a high number of "socio-economically disadvantaged students "...... Am I reading this correctly?"

No, you are not. The article clearly states that an element of the ranking was whether socio-economically disadvantaged students are performing HIGHER than the average for that demographic. There is no mention at all of the number of such students at a school being a factor.

2 people like this
Posted by DJohns
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 28, 2016 at 10:01 am

DJohns is a registered user.

To manipulate this ranking, students are pushed into taking AP courses that are not always in their best interest. Schools get points for shear numbers of students who take the test, then additional points for students who pass the test. There is motive to push students to take the class and take the test even when they are unlikely to pass. These classes are stressful and damage academic records of student who are not able to succeed. Schools benefit from the high ranking; who benefits from the $122 thousands of students pay to take the test?

Web Link
"The number of 12th-grade students in the 2013-2014 academic year who took at least one AP or IB test before or during their senior year, divided by the number of 12th-graders – and how well the students did on those tests."

22 people like this
Posted by meadowlark
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 28, 2016 at 12:36 pm

What interesting comments. No mention is made of the efforts of the students and staff; no congratulations are given for a job well done. Well, I, for one, commend the students and staff for their achievements.

2 people like this
Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 29, 2016 at 7:42 pm

SHale is a registered user.

A bunch of local HS hit a list and there are negative comments? What about all the HS's that didn't make the list? When one is looking at an area or has school choices they do have to research SOMETHING or some list or ranking. sheesh.
A rather big draw to Daugherty Valley IS the quality of the schools (all of them). SRVUSD is one of the top districts in Calif; another big draw to people moving here.
Hope the schools keep in up.

Like this comment
Posted by Mission High parent
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Apr 30, 2016 at 12:45 am

As a teacher from 1970-2007 of Fremont Unified School District we all knew the top high school. Four teachers from Thornton
Junior bought in a new development the put our children in the best schools. All of our children went to college and received an excellent education. The homes.were always appx. 20% more in the "Mission Area". My husband graduated from Lowell high
In SF and he was tested to get into that high school even though it was a public school in the city and it hasn't changed to be admitted. He graduated 50 years ago from Lowell and went to U C Berkeley . Your schools have a much more diverse student
population. Those top 10 schools are not all in the same category - some are true public schools and some have special circumstances to get into the schools such as tests to be admitted.

2 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Dad
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Apr 30, 2016 at 2:14 pm

Both Amador and Foothill use destructive, high-pressure tactics that leave kids damaged mentally and emotionally. Drugs, doping, chronic destructive sleep deprivation, self-harm, depression, and yes suicide, are rampant in Pleasanton schools.

Pleasanton not quite as bad as Gunn High in Palo Alto (currently being investigated by the Federal government because of their nationally-publicized suicide disaster) but we are certainly in the top ranks of the most mentally destructive school district.

If feel most sorry for the teachers. Many of them are very unhappy at the kind of pressure they are forced to use.

Oh, but we have "high ratings" so the real estate agents can brag.

4 people like this
Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 30, 2016 at 2:53 pm

Mission San Jose and the a much lesser extent for now Amador and Foothill demand a lot of outside work to keep up to the required academic standards. My neighbor has 3 girls and they are all doing homework for hours each night. They go to school on Saturday and Chinese school on Sunday. It will only become more demanding not less demanding as time goes on. Some of the kids are so advanced that the teachers are really struggling to keep up.

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