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MCPS Places 13 Schools on the U.S. News ‘Best High Schools’ List

April 21, 2016

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) placed 13 schools on the 2016 Best High Schools list, published by U.S. News & World Report. Eight MCPS high schools received a gold medal for being among the top 500 schools in the nation and five received a silver medal for being among the top 2,673.

The gold and silver medal MCPS high schools and their national rankings are: Walt Whitman (63), Winston Churchill (94), Poolesville (107), Thomas S. Wootton (115), Walter Johnson (147), Richard Montgomery (260), Damascus (410), Rockville (413), Col. Zadok Magruder (510), Montgomery Blair (528), Wheaton (934), John F. Kennedy (1258), and Gaithersburg (1366). Last year, MCPS had 14 schools make the Best High Schools list, with eleven in the top 500.

MCPS accounted for more than forty percent 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, Poolesville, Thomas S. Wootton, Walter Johnson 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 28,000 high schools across the nation, using a four-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 graduation rates and 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 6,218 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 2,173 schools, and the remaining received bronze medals. U.S. News used 2013-2014 data for the calculations.

This is the second national ranking to be released this month that shows that MCPS high schools are among the best in the nation. On April 18, The Washington Post released a report on America’s Most Challenging High Schools and two MCPS schools—Poolesville and Churchill—were ranked in the top 100.

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