Top 15 Bay Area high schools for students from low-income families

ByJan Mabry

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An Oakland-based non-profit has compiled a list of the top 15 Bay Area high schools for students from low-income families.

According to Great Schools, these “exceptional high schools are educating students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds fairly and equally.”

Great Schools ranked the schools based on 3 basic criteria: student achievement, graduation rates and the percent of graduates who meet California’s public university eligibility requirements. All the schools on the list have student populations in which 40% or more qualify for free lunches. Out of 213 Bay Area high schools, only fifteen met these specific standards of methodology.

Here are the schools that made Great Schools’ top 15 list, along with their graduation rates and CSU/UC preparedness rates:

1. Oakland Charter High School, Oakland — 85% graduation rate/91% CSU/UC preparedness

2. American Indian Public High School, Oakland — 84% graduation rate/91% CSU/UC preparedness

3. Oakland Unity High School, Oakland — 84% graduation rate/95% CSU/UC preparedness

4. KIPP San Jose Collegiate, San Jose — 88% graduation rate/73% CSU/UC preparedness

5. Leadership Public Schools – Hayward, Hayward — 93% graduation rate/64% CSU/UC preparedness

6. KIPP King Collegiate High School, San Lorenzo — 93% graduation rate/74% CSU/UC preparedness

7. Galileo High School, San Francisco — 91% graduation rate/64% CSU/UC preparedness

8. Wallenberg (Raoul) Traditional High School, San Francisco — 94% graduation rate/69% CSU/UC preparedness

9. Middle College High School, San Pablo — 100% graduation rate/52% CSU/UC preparedness

10. Lowell High School, San Francisco — 98% graduation rate/42% CSU/UC preparedness

11. Impact Academy of Arts and Technology, Hayward — 89% graduation rate/55% CSU/UC preparedness

12. Balboa High School, San Francisco — 92% graduation rate/60% CSU/UC preparedness

13. Lincoln (Abraham) High School, San Francisco — 90% graduation rate/61% CSU/UC preparedness

14. Washington (George) High School, San Francisco — 91% graduation rate/49% CSU/UC preparedness

15. Summit Preparatory Charter High School, Redwood City — 87% graduation rate/46% CSU/UC preparedness

Great Schools spokesperson Carrie Goux says parents can use this list as a tool to find the best possible educational environment for their child because it is based on real numbers, not opinions.

“It’s just the facts,” says Goux. “It’s not crowd sourcing, we use hard data.”

As for Bay Area schools that didn’t make the top 15 list, Goux says parents can consult Great Schools’ website and see where their school ranks. At there is data on schools in cities across the country.

“If parents see data on the website about their school they find disturbing, they can march into their principal’s office and ask them ‘what’s going on,’” says Goux.