Charles County High Schools on Newsweek’s Top Schools List

LA PLATA, Md. (June 16, 2010)—Four Charles County Public Schools were among the nation’s top 1,622 high schools ranked by Newsweek magazine this week in its annual “America’s Top High Schools.”

La Plata, Maurice J. McDonough, North Point and Westlake high schools were listed among the top six percent of schools in the nation that offer, and have students take, college level courses. In Charles County, the measure used is for Advanced Placement (AP) classes. La Plata’s ranking was 487, McDonough was 961, North Point was 1,043 and Westlake was 1,443.

The Newsweek list is based on the Challenge Index developed by the Washington Post. It ranks the number of AP tests taken in relation to the number of graduating seniors. Schools rank in the top 6 percent if they achieve a ratio of at least 1.0, meaning they had as many tests taken in 2009 as they had graduates.

More than half of Maryland’s 185 public high schools – 53 percent – were on Newsweek’s list.

“We continue to work to ensure that our students are challenging themselves by taking the highest level of courses they can. We encourage students to take Advanced Placement classes and we continue to offer rigorous coursework for all students,” Superintendent James E. Richmond said.

Richmond pointed to a new initiative, the Stars (Scholars Targeting Academic Rigor with Success) program that is encouraging rising ninth-grade students to enroll in challenging courses. The program is designed to push students with potential, especially those from traditionally underserved populations, to take the most rigorous courses possible, including honors and AP classes.

Newsweek’s list is located at:

Source: Charles County Public Schools

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