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Northwest Ranked Among Top 500 High Schools in Nation


Northwest High School was one of eleven Montgomery County high schools to receive a gold medal rating for being among the top 500 schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Northwest was ranked at number 309 in the nation and number 11 in Maryland.

MCPS placed a total of 14 schools on the 2015 Best High Schools list, published by U.S. News & World Report today, May 12. The gold medal MCPS high schools and their national rankings are Walt Whitman (55), Winston Churchill (69), Thomas S. Wootton (101), Poolesville (129), Bethesda Chevy-Chase (161), Richard Montgomery (193), Rockville (275), Northwest (309), Damascus (378), Col. Zadok Magruder (466), Montgomery Blair (500).

Three additional MCPS schools also achieved silver medal status for being among the top 2,527. They three silver medal schools are Gaithersburg (838), Wheaton (859), and Albert Einstein (1,028). Last year, MCPS had 11 schools make the Best High Schools list, with seven in the top 500.

U.S. News worked with North Carolina-based RTI International 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.

Specifically, Northwest earned high marks from U.S. News based on its 75 percent participation rate of students in the AP program. When it comes to test scores Northwest earned 93 percent for proficient in English and 94 percent for proficient in Algebra, as well as a 60.3 score on the College Readiness Index. U.S. News calculates these values based on student performance on state exit exams and internationally available exams on college-level course work.

The full ranking of schools in Maryland can be found here.

The 6,517 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 to the next 2,027 schools, and the remaining received bronze medals. U.S. News used 2012-2013 data for the calculations.

MCPS accounted for more than half of all the Maryland high schools that received a gold medal and had the top six high schools in the state—Walt Whitman, Winston Churchill, Thomas S. Wootton, Poolesville, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, and Richard Montgomery.

This is the second national ranking to be released in the past month that shows that MCPS high schools are among the best in the nation. In April, The Washington Post released a report on America's Most Challenging High Schools, and all 25 MCPS high scho