City Honors School again rated as the top public high school in the Buffalo region and one of the best in the state – if not the United States – based on the latest rankings of the nation’s high schools by U.S. News & World Report.
The school on East North Street was the highest ranked local high school, coming in at No. 17 on the list of best high schools in New York State.
City Honors also rose to No. 103 among the 20,500 public high schools across the United States – high enough to receive a “gold” from the national publication.
Other local schools on the list of best public high schools in the state include: East Aurora at No. 58; Williamsville South, No. 65; Williamsville North, No. 71; Clarence, No. 72; Williamsville East, No. 79; Hamburg, No. 112; Orchard Park, No. 120; Starpoint, No. 121; Lancaster, No. 132; and Amherst, No. 139.
On the national rankings, East Aurora came in at No. 522; Williamsville South, No. 564; Williamsville North, No. 690; Clarence, No. 693; and Williamsville East, No. 776.
The annual – and controversial – rankings were released on Wednesday.
City Honors, which includes grades five through 12, had an enrollment of 1,068 last year and a graduation rate of 98 percent. It’s known for its International Baccalaureate program that stresses higher standards and critical thinking.
City Honors has been up and down in the national rankings over the years, coming in at No. 90 among U.S. high schools in 2009; rising to No. 23 in 2012; falling to No. 75 in 2014 and No. 167 last year; then bouncing back to No. 103 this year.
Nonetheless, its prominent national ranking is yet another explanation to why there’s so much competition to get into City Honors and so much emotion involved.
The school has been under the spotlight in recent years as the school district has made changes in admissions to try to force more racial diversity and increase access to the school for African-American and Hispanic students.
More recently, parents and students at City Honors have been fighting the district’s attempt to transfer five teachers in the middle of year, as part of a dispute with the union over non-teaching duties.