Newsweek Ranks Two MCPS High Schools in Top 100 Best High Schools

Newsweek Ranks Two MCPS High Schools in Top 100 Best High Schools

Six other county public high schools were ranked in Newsweek's top 500 high schools in the country

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Winston Churchill High School was ranked 24th in the country on Newsweek's 2014 Best High Schools list

Montgomery County public high schools were once again well-represented in the latest “best high school” rankings published by Newsweek Monday.

Seven county schools were ranked in Newsweek’s top 500 high schools nationwide, with Potomac’s Winston Churchill leading the pack at number 24 in the country. Poolesville High ranked 91 and Thomas S. Wootton in Rockville came in at 170. Bethesda’s three schools were led by Walt Whitman at 194, then Walter Johnson at 237 and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School came in at 417. Sherwood High School in Sandy Spring eeked its way into the list at 500.

While these types of rankings have been criticized in the past for including factors like diversity rates or improvement rates on tests, such as the U.S. News rankings, Newsweek attempted to avoid these criticisms by offering two different rankings.

One focuses only on statistics such as enrollment rates, graduation rates and standardized test scores to create a college readiness score, while a second and different ranking accounts for the percentage of students eligible for free and reduced-priced lunches to account for school poverty rates.

The schools listed above made the first list, which Newsweek is calling the “absolute” list, at those rankings. Churchill received a college readiness score of 98.43. The only Maryland school to receive a higher ranking was Howard County’s Centennial High School in Ellicott City which ranked 18th overall and received a college readiness score of 98.82.

Other local schools' college readiness scores, according to Newsweek:

  • Poolesville High School: 94.05
  • Thomas S. Wootton: 88.88
  • Walt Whitman: 87.31
  • Walter Johnson: 84.5
  • Bethesda-Chevy Chase High: 72.73
  • Sherwood High School: 67.3

Each statistic used by Newsweek was weighted by a different percentage. The data was taken from the National Center for Education Statistics. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Enrollment Rate—25 percent
  • Graduation Rate—20 percent
  • Weighted AP/IB composite—17.5 percent
  • Weighted SAT/ACT composite—17.5 percent
  • Holding Power (change in student enrollment between ninth and 12th grades; this measure is intended to control for student attrition)—10 percent
  • Counselor-to-Student Ratio —10 percent

In the second list, which Newsweek calls “Beating The Odds 2014 – Top Schools for Low Income Students”, Montgomery Blair High in Silver Spring was ranked 379 with a college readiness score of 74.25 and was the only Montgomery County school to make that list.

Editor's Note: The original version of this article did not point out that Sherwood High in Sandy Spring also made the list at 500, we've added it to the article.

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