June 17, 2010

Montgomery County has 7 schools on Newsweek list; Baltimore County has 12

The county public school system has seven high schools on Newsweek magazine's list of the top 100 public high schools in the nation, the most of any school system. High schools are named to the top 100 list based on their ability to provide all students with access to Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes. Last year, the school system placed four schools on the Newsweek top-100 list. The county school system is the only one in Maryland to have high schools on the top-100 list.

Richard Montgomery ranked the highest among local high schools, at 33rd; Poolesville ranked 59th; Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 63rd; Winston Churchill, 75th; Thomas Wootton, 83rd; Walt Whitman, 85th; and Walter Johnson, 95th. All 25 county high schools made Newsweek's rankings of the nation's top 1,622 high schools. To be eligible for the list, at least half of the students at a school must take the AP or IB classes in their junior or senior year. The 1,622 high schools to qualify represent about 6 percent of the nation's public schools, according to the Newsweek website. The other local schools on the list were:

-Montgomery Blair, which ranked 139th;
-Quince Orchard, 218th;
-Paint Branch, 263rd;
-Rockville, 299th;
-Albert Einstein, 361st;
-Sherwood, 364th;
-James Hubert Blake, 433rd;
-Northwest, 439th;
-Col. Zadok Magruder, 481st;
-Gaithersburg, 521st;
-John F. Kennedy, 538th;
-Wheaton, 541st;
-Springbrook, 546th;
-Damascus, 553rd;
-Clarksburg, 656th;
-Seneca Valley, 723rd;
-Watkins Mill, 741st;
-Northwood, 752nd.

Last week, the county school system was recognized for having the highest graduation rate in the nation among large school systems, according to a national report by Education Week. The publication's 2010 Diplomas Count report had the county with a graduation rate of 83 percent of its seniors in 2007, the top figure among the nation's 50 largest school systems.

The Fairfax County school system, in neighboring Virginia, had the second-highest graduation rate at 82 percent, according to the report. In last year's Diplomas Count report, Montgomery County's school system tied for first with the Cypress-Fairbanks school system in Houston. Both systems graduated 81 percent of their students. SOURCE: Gazette

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