For the second year in a row, Daniel Boone Area High School near Birdsboro ranks among the most challenging high schools in the United States.

The oldest ranking system in the country, The Washington Post Challenge Index, evaluates and measures public and private schools’ instructional rigor, educational opportunities, and student population.

Originating in 1998 in Newsweek and The Washington Post, it is “the only list that does not rely on test scores” to determine the value of a school’s educational program (Jay Mathews Challenge Index).

According to the Challenge Index website,, the ranking is calculated by using a ratio of the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Cambridge tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of graduating seniors. The list recognizes the efforts of the students, teachers and administration to create a culture of academic excellence and tenacity.

Daniel Boone Area High School has an enrollment of 1,150 students, with 24 percent of the population eligible for free or reduced lunches. Over the last two years, the number of students taking AP exams increased by 111 students, totaling 248 students who took 460 AP exams. Additionally, the number of students scoring a 3 or higher on their AP exams increased dramatically and is now nearly 20 percent above the national average.

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