Friday, May 30, 2003

Newsweek: top public high schools in the nation

The Top High Schools

Public schools are ranked according to a ratio called the Challenge Index devised by Jay Mathews: the number of Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests taken by all students at a school in 2002 divided by the number of graduating seniors. Schools that chose more than half of their students by grades or test scores were not considered because the index is designed to identify schools that challenge average students and does not work well with schools that have few or no average students. The schools ranked below have the strongest AP or IB programs in the country. Each of them is in the top four percent of all American high schools measured this way. If you know of a public school that belongs on the list, with at least as many AP or IB tests as graduates in 2002, contact Jay Mathews at

Surprisingly, Signature is not on that list (all schools with a ratio of 1:1 or higher get on the list). Either there's some qualification Sig does not meet (charter does not quallify as 'public' maybe), or Matthews simply missed Sig in his research because we're a new school. I mean, many seniors took AP English Literature, AP Calculus, AP Govt, and AP Art History. And then the juniors took AP English Language. And the sophomores took AP World History. And an amalgamation of students took AP Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics), AP Art (various types), and AP Foreign Language (various types).And some people took 9 AP tests *cough*amy*cough*.

The only question remaining is: where would Sig rank on that list? I estimate a challenge ratio of around 3.5, placing Sig at 22nd in the nation.

It'd be pretty cool if the list is corrected to have Signature in the top 25.

[appended 11:23: I received an email from Ms. Gregg, in which she states that Ms. Snyder figures we're around #57. Cool]

[appended 11:52: Ok, Amy straightened this out for me. The list is based on the stats from the year 2002, when Sig wasn't even its own school. So we'll make the list next year, if they produce it again]


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