Top 100 Best STEM High Schools – Whitney High School – US News & World Report – 14/100

Top 100 Best STEM High Schools – Whitney High School – US News & World Report – 14/100

Top 100 Best STEM Schools – US News & World Report – 14/100


Gretchen A. Whitney High School, called Whitney High School or WHS, is a public school in Cerritos, California serving grades 7–12. It is in the ABC Unified School District.

Local Map



Whitney High School was founded on September 25, 1976 (under the name Gretchen A. Whitney Learning Center) as a community academic learning center. It was created by ABC superintendent Charles Hutchison, who envisioned Whitney to be a vocational school. The school refocused[when?] as an academic prep school.[citation needed] As a tribute to Hutchison, the current cafeteria is named the Hutch.
In 1997, half of Whitney’s parking lot was purchased by a housing contractor to build a gated community adjacent to Whitney. In exchange, Whitney received funds to construct the long-awaited gymnasium. Just recently, Whitney built a multi-media arts center featuring computer labs with Macs, and a theater.


Whitney’s curriculum includes 12 Advanced Placement courses and 35 Honors courses.


In 1991, Whitney was recognized with the Department of Education’s National Recognition Award as a Blue Ribbon School. Senator John F. Seymour spoke on the US Senate floor to recognize the school.[3] Whitney is one of the three Blue Ribbon Lighthouse Schools Charter Members.[4] The school was again honored as a Blue Ribbon school in 2008 and 2011.[citation needed] President George W. Bush’s brother Neil, co-founder of an educational software company, has visited the campus several times, as he put it, “because of the respect the staff has for students. I’ve never seen anything like it. Every school should be this way.”[5] Whitney has been honored with the California Distinguished School title six times: 1986,[6] 1990,[7] 1992,[8] 1996,[9] 2003,[10] and 2007.[11] In 2005, the Associated Press rated Whitney High the best high school in California,[12] based on its Academic Performance Index (API) score.
Whitney High has been featured in a special report done by Fox News in 2005. The report on mentoring featured Whitney’s “Big Buddy/Little Buddy” system.[citation needed] Furthermore, CBS News’s “Weekend Journal” also reported on Whitney, focusing on the public high school’s academic achievements.[citation needed] In 2006, the school was on Newsweek’s “America’s Best High School” list. Whitney was not included in the top 100 high schools because “so many of [Whitney’s] students score well above average on the SAT and ACT”. However, Newsweek did include Whitney in “The Public Elites” section, and labeled Whitney as “a comprehensive school for high performers”.[13] Newsweek again recognized Whitney in the May 23, 2007 “America’s Best High School” edition. Similar to the 2006 edition, Whitney was included as 1 of the 19 “The Public Elite” high schools and was labeled as an “award-winning school with special emphasis on college admissions”.
The passing rate for the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) for Whitney students is 100%.[citation needed] Whitney received a six-year accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in 2004.
Business Week declared Whitney as having the “Best Overall Academic Performance” in 2009 for California.
U.S. News & World Report ranked Whitney High School as the No. 12 high school in the nation in the November 30, 2007 edition.[16] Whitney was ranked No. 10 in the December 15, 2008 edition.[17] Whitney was ranked the 3rd best high school in America for 2010 in the December 10, 2009 edition
Whitney High School

Phone: (562) 926-5566

District: Abc Unified School District


Gretchen Whitney High School offers a variety of honors and Advanced Placement courses, including computer science, physics, and Model United Nations. Students can earn extra weight in the University of California admissions index via successful completion of certain honors and AP courses. Admission to Gretchen Whitney High School is selective, and is based on state and district assessments and class rank. Parent involvement at Gretchen Whitney High includes conferences, field trip participation, and fundraising opportunities.

Rankings / Awards

This details how this school compares to others based on U.S. News ranking criteria.

Medal Awarded Gold
National Rank
State Rank
See Best High Schools in California

Students / Teachers

These counts and percentages of students and teachers are from data reported by schools to the government.

Total Enrollment 1,023
Total Minority Enrollment (% of total) 96%
Total Economically Disadvantaged (% of total) 17%
Full-Time Teachers N/A
More About Student Body

Test Scores

U.S. News calculates these values based on student performance on state exit exams and internationally available exams on college-level coursework (AP®/IB exams).

Academic Performance Index Evaluation Achieves CA goal
College Readiness Index 95.5
More about Test Scores

School Data

School profile information is based on government data.

Grades Served 07 – 12
Setting Small City
Charter School No
Magnet School No
Receives Title I Funding No

This information relates to high schools run by this school’s state operating agency. Many districts contain only one high school.

Total Schools 6
Total Students 7,330
Academic Performance Index Evaluation Does not achieve CA goal
College Readiness (district average) 51.6

Total Enrollment 1,023
9th Grade 179 Students
10th Grade 173 Students
11th Grade 171 Students
12th Grade 171 Students
Student Diversity

This is the breakdown of ethnicity and gender of a school’s student body, based on data reported to the government.


Total Minority Enrollment (% of total) 96%
American Indian/Alaskan Native Enrollment (% of total) 0.1%
Asian Enrollment (% of total) 81%
Black Enrollment (% of total) 3%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander (% of total) 1%
Hispanic Enrollment (% of total) 10%
White Enrollment (% of total) 4%
Two or More Races Enrollment (% of total) 1%

Male (% of total) 49%
Female (% of total) 51%
Economically Disadvantaged Students

These are the percentages of the school’s students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, based on data reported to the government.

Free Lunch Program (% of total) 12%
Reduced-Price Lunch Program (% of total) 6%
Total Economically Disadvantaged (% of total) 17%

Test Scores

Academic Performance Index

Academic Performance Index is based on California High School Exit Examination and Standardized Testing and Reporting results.

Total Students Tested 843
Academic Performance Index 993
Overall Student Performance

This measures overall student performance on state exams. The calculations by U.S. News were the first of two steps in determining which schools received at least a bronze medal.

State Test Performance Index 993.0
Risk-Adjusted Performance Index 249.4
Disadvantaged Student Performance

This measures the proficiency on state exams among typically underperforming subgroups. The calculations by U.S. News were the second of two steps in determining which schools received at least a bronze medal.

Percentage of Disadvantaged Students Who Are Proficient 987.6
Percentage of Non-Disadvantaged Students Who Are Proficient 997.0
Gap Between Disadvantaged and Non-Disadvantaged Students -9.4
Gap Between School and State Among Disadvantaged Students 290.6
College-Ready Student Performance

High school students take AP® and IB exams to earn college credit and demonstrate success at college-level course work. U.S. News calculated a College Readiness Index based on exam participation rates and percentages of students passing at least one exam. The Index determined which types of medals (gold, silver or bronze) were awarded to top-performing schools.

College Readiness Index 95.5
Exam Used for Index AP®
Advanced Placement® (AP®) Student Performance

Many U.S. higher educational institutions grant credits or advanced placement based on student performance on AP® exams. This shows this school’s student participation and performance on these exams if data were available. (N/A means no students participated.)

Participation Rate 98%
Participant Passing Rate 97%
Exams Per Test Taker 5.0
Exam Pass Rate 93%
Quality-Adjusted Participation Rate 95%
Quality-Adjusted Exams Per Test Taker 4.8

” I went to a school in east LA, got into college through a program called EOP (educational opportunity program) pretty much where they let f××× ups like me into the CSU system. Became a registered nurse and now I’m working next to a bunch of nerds who went to this school. In other words it doesn’t matter how you start the race it matters how you finish it. And so far I think I’m doing well. Good luck to all you geeks out there … make sure you don’t run out of gas in college like a lot of my coworkers who went for pre med than simply became a nurse. Lol ” – Jaime Contreras

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