How many high schools are there?

Jul 7, 2011 by

Jay Mathews

There are 195 public high schools in the Washington area. I know because I just counted them on a list that is one of my most treasured possessions. On it I have recorded annual data on every school, in some cases dating to 1996.

But that 195 is deceptive. It does not include some alternative and vocational schools that are small and rarely offer college-level courses, my prime focus. The number can also change depending on how you define the metropolitan area. When my editors aren’t looking, I add schools — such as two in Caroline County on the Eastern Shore of Maryland — that The Washington Post does not consider part of our local region, but that interest me.

My supervisors have caught on to this. But their philosophy is to humor the old guy. So I try to be as accurate as I can be. The 195 schools include only those in districts that The Post considers part of our circulation area.

My ambition is to develop a complete list of every high school in the nation. Several years ago, the



published a big red guide to all U.S. high schools. It cost $125. But it is out of date. I can’t even use it to calculate the number of just public high schools in the country.

High schools don’t get enough respect. People put their colleges on their resumes but not their high schools. In their obituaries, only their colleges get mentioned. High schools are ignored even though they have a great influence on our character and interests. Unlike college, high school is an experience nearly all of us share.

via How many high schools are there? – Class Struggle – The Washington Post.

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