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MCPS Places 14 Schools on the U.S. News 'Best High Schools' List

May 12, 2015

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) placed 14 schools on the 2015 Best High Schools list, published by U.S. News & World Report, Tuesday (May 12, 2015). Eleven MCPS high schools received a gold medal for being among the top 500 schools in the nation and three received a silver medal for being among the top 2,527.

The gold and silver medal MCPS high schools and their national rankings are Walt Whitman (55), Winston Churchill (69), Thomas S. Wootton (101), Poolesville (129), Bethesda Chevy-Chase (161), Richard Montgomery (193), Rockville (275), Northwest (309), Damascus (378), Col. Zadok Magruder (466), Montgomery Blair (500), Gaithersburg (838), Wheaton (859), and Albert Einstein (1,028). Last year, MCPS had 11 schools make the Best High Schools list, with seven in the top 500.

MCPS accounted for more than half of all the Maryland high schools that received a gold medal and had the top six high schools in the state—Walt Whitman, Winston Churchill, Thomas S. Wootton, Poolesville, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, and Richard Montgomery. 

(See how MCPS high schools performed on the Best High Schools list)

U.S. News worked with North Carolina-based RTI International to evaluate more than 31,000 high schools across the nation, using a three-step process. The analysis first evaluated schools on their overall student performance on state-mandated assessments and then, how effectively schools educated their African American, Hispanic, and economically disadvantaged students. Researchers then looked at school performance on Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams to determine how well the schools prepared students for college-level work. Based on the results of their analysis, the researchers created a College Readiness Index for each school. (Learn more about the methodology)

The 6,517 high schools that met the performance criteria and had a College Readiness Index higher than the median qualified for the Best High Schools list. Gold medals were given to the top 500 schools, silver medals to the next 2,027 schools, and the remaining received bronze medals. U.S. News used 2012-2013 data for the calculations.

Schools that received gold medals also were eligible for the list of the nation’s Best High Schools for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), based on participation in science and mathematics Advanced Placement classes.  Seven MCPS high schools were among the nation’s Best STEM High Schools—Poolesville (36), Thomas S. Wootton (78), Walt Whitman (110), Winston Churchill (128), Montgomery Blair (156), Richard Montgomery (173), and Col. Zadok Magruder (237).

This is the second national ranking to be released in the past month that shows that MCPS high schools are among the best in the nation. In April, The Washington Post released a report on America's Most Challenging High Schools, and all 25 MCPS high schools made the list, placing six in the top 200. 

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