Survey ranks Berkeley High School 87th among California public high schools

File of Berkeley High School.
Chen Gong/File
As a result of the rise of COVID-19 cases in the region, Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent Brent Stephens recommends distance learning as the school board's method of instruction for the fall semester.

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Berkeley High School, or BHS, was ranked No. 87 in a survey of the best public high schools in California in 2019.

The ranking was issued by Niche, an organization that synthesizes data from public sources and surveys into more easily digestible rankings, grades and profiles. For the 2019 Best Public High Schools in California ranking, Niche made its assessments based on academics, culture and diversity, parent and student surveys, and health and safety, among other factors.

“We are pleased when Berkeley High’s excellent academic program and enriching opportunities for technical education, athletics and other valuable avenues of development receive due recognition,” said Charles Burress, spokesperson for the Berkeley Unified School District, or BUSD, in an email.

Niche gave BHS an overall grade of “A+” on its website and ranked the school No. 7 out of all public high schools in Alameda County.

In 2017, Niche ranked BHS No. 57 out of 1,753 ranked public high schools, but this year Niche ranked only 919 schools in total.

This year, U.S. News & World Report ranked BHS No. 144 in the state and No. 859 nationally. BHS students scored higher than both the Alameda County average and the state average in both the math and reading subject areas on the Smarter Balanced examination, based on data from the 2015-16 school year, according to the report.

Niche also states on its website that 64 percent of BHS students score proficient or above in reading and 45 percent scored proficient or above in math on state assessments. According to PrepScholar, BHS students scored, on average, a 3.3 out of 5 on their Advanced Placement, or AP, exams, placing BHS in the top 25 percent of schools for AP testing.

Burress said the district does not keep a record of rankings or ratings that may include BHS but added that BUSD has noticed that “BHS appears with some frequency among the high schools that provide an exceptional learning environment.”

Cade Johnson is a schools and communities reporter. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @cadejohnson98.