University High School has again been ranked the seventh best high school in California and is among the best in the U.S., according to the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings.
The music-based charter school, located on Fresno State’s campus, was also ranked No. 7 in the state last year, but its national ranking has increased. University High, which has a 97 percent college acceptance rate, is ranked No. 65 in the nation, up from No. 81 in 2016. It is also ranked as the 19th best charter school in the country.
U.S. News & World Report compares academic data of more than 22,000 public high schools each year.
University High faced controversy last year regarding its acceptance process. In October, Fresno Unified – the district that authorizes University High’s charter – questioned the school’s appearance on a list of charter schools accused of being discriminatory by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Some officials voiced concern about the school’s prerequisites and lack of diversity. (Nearly 40 percent of students at University High are white, compared to Fresno Unified’s 10 percent.)
University High has since tweaked its requirements and was removed from the ACLU’s list. The school board voted to renew its charter in November.
In a statement Tuesday, head of school James Bushman said the school community “could not be more proud” of the magazine’s ranking and did not deny the school’s rigorous coursework.
“There may not be another school in the nation that demands more from its students just to earn a high school diploma,” he said.