photo of Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda

MCPS Places 11 on ‘Best High Schools’ List

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) placed 11 schools on the 2014 Best High Schools list, published by U.S. News & World Report Tuesday. Seven MCPS high schools received a gold medal for being among the top 500 schools in the nation, and four received a silver medal for being among the top 2,019 schools.

The gold and silver medal MCPS high schools and their national rankings are Walt Whitman (61), Thomas S. Wootton (65), Poolesville (83), Richard Montgomery (163), Quince Orchard (176), Col. Zadok Magruder (319), Montgomery Blair (389), John F. Kennedy (583), Wheaton (589), Gaithersburg (591), and Springbrook (1,047).

MCPS has more than 25 percent of the 42 Maryland schools on the Best High Schools list, including the top four in the state—Whitman, Wootton, Poolesville, and Richard Montgomery. In 2013, MCPS had eight of the 58 Maryland schools on the list.

See how Montgomery County Public Schools performed on the Best High Schools list

“The U.S. News list recognizes the work that MCPS is doing to prepare its students for success in college and the work place,” said Superintendent Joshua P. Starr. “We must continue to focus on meeting the educational needs of every student so they have the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in their future.”

U.S. News worked with the Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research 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 4,707 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 were given to the next 1,519 schools, and the remaining received bronze medals. U.S. News used 2011-2012 data to calculate this report.

Last week, it was announced that eight MCPS high schools placed in the top 200 of The Washington Post High School Challenge. All 25 MCPS high schools appeared on the High School Challenge list, which only includes the top 9 percent of high schools in the nation.


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