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MCPS Has Seven Schools in Newsweek's Top 100 List

June 13, 2010
   Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has seven schools on Newsweek’s list of the top 100 public high schools in the nation—the most by one district. 
   The 2010 America's Best High Schools list ranks schools based on their efforts to provide all students access to rigorous classes, such as Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. By having seven schools in the top 100, MCPS breaks its own record of six, set in 2008. Last year, MCPS had four schools in the top 100. 
   The seven high schools are Richard Montgomery (33), Poolesville (59), Bethesda-Chevy Chase (63), Winston Churchill (75), Thomas Wootton (83), Walt Whitman (85), and Walter Johnson (95). The remaining MCPS high schools all finished in the top 3 percent of all schools in the nation.
   MCPS is the only Maryland district with schools in the top 100. 
   “The Newsweek report is another confirmation that the reform efforts we have put in place the past 11 years are having a very positive impact,” said Patricia O’Neill, President of the Montgomery County Board of Education. “We have made a commitment to giving all students access to college-level work, so they are better prepared for the rigors of post-secondary classes."
   Several MCPS high schools made significant gains on the list from last year, most notably Poolesville High School, which jumped from 305th to 59th this year. The list is based upon the “Challenge Index,” developed by the Washington Post, which put out a ranking of Washington-area schools earlier this year. MCPS had five schools in the top 10 on that list.
   Receiving a college ready score on an AP or IB exam has been identified as one of MCPS’ “7 Keys to College Readiness,” a series of K-12 benchmarks that lays out a pathway to college preparedness. 
   Students who succeed in rigorous classes, like AP, are more than three times as likely to get a bachelor’s degree than those who do not, according to college completion data.  Among MCPS students in the classes of 2001-2004, only 25 percent of those who did not take an AP exam earned a bachelor’s degree. But among those students who took at least one AP exam, 60 percent earned a degree, and among those who scored 3 or higher on at least one exam, 76 percent earned a bachelor’s degree.
   “By providing broader access to rigorous classes, we are giving our students a distinct advantage in college,” Superintendent Jerry D. Weast said. “Simply taking an AP class more than doubles a student’s chances of earning a bachelor’s degree, which leads to higher lifetime earnings and greater success in the workplace.”
  
   The Newsweek list is the latest in a string of accolades about the performance of MCPS students:


America's Best High Schools Rankings for All MCPS Schools


RANK

SCHOOL

CITY

STATE

33

Richard Montgomery

Rockville

MD

59

Poolesville

Poolesville

MD

63

Bethesda-Chevy Chase

Bethesda

MD

75

Winston Churchill

Potomac

MD

83

Wootton

Rockville

MD

85

Walt Whitman

Bethesda

MD

95

Walter Johnson

Bethesda

MD

139

Montgomery Blair

Silver Spring

MD

218

Quince Orchard

Gaithersburg

MD

263

Paint Branch

Burtonsville

MD

299

Rockville

Rockville

MD

361

Albert Einstein

Kensington

MD

364

Sherwood

Sandy Spring

MD

433

Blake

Silver Spring

MD

439

Northwest

Germantown

MD

481

Magruder

Rockville

MD

521

Gaithersburg

Gaithersburg

MD

538

John F. Kennedy

Silver Spring

MD

541

Wheaton

Silver Spring

MD

546

Springbrook

Silver Spring

MD

553

Damascus

Damascus

MD

656

Clarksburg

Clarksburg

MD

723

Seneca Valley

Germantown

MD

741

Watkins Mill

Gaithersburg

MD

752

Northwood

Silver Spring

MD


Source: Newsweek's America's Best High Schools 2010

See frequently asked questions about the list. 

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