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Posted at 9:18 AM ET, 06/14/2010

D.C. area schools rank among top 100

By Washington Post editors

Newsweek is out with its list of the best high schools in America, and 14 schools in the Washington region ranked in the top 100.

They are:

  • H-B Woodlawn in Arlington (27)
  • Richard Montgomery in Rockville (33)
  • Bell Multicultural in D.C. (37)
  • George Mason in Falls Church (44)
  • Poolesville (59)
  • Washington-Lee in Arlington (62)
  • Bethesda-Chevy Chase (63)
  • Winston Churchill in Potomac (75)
  • Yorktown in Arlington (82)
  • Wootton in Rockville (83)
  • Walt Whitman in Bethesda (85)
  • W.T. Woodson in Fairfax (91)
  • Walter Johnson in Bethesda (95)
  • Woodrow Wilson in D.C. (100)

Newsweek compiles the list using a methodology developed by Post education columnist Jay Mathews. His Challenge Index measures participation in advanced placement college-level courses and tests offered. Only six percent of all the public schools in the United States made the list.

By Washington Post editors  | June 14, 2010; 9:18 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Maryland, Virginia  | Tags:  best schools, challenge index, newsweek, top school  
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It would interesting if the private schools were included.

Posted by: edlharris | June 14, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Odd how quiet the MoCo critics are. Don't see any of the usual suspects talking about how lousy the schools are.

Posted by: nunovyerbizness1 | June 15, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

seeing CHEC as #37 and knowing what a mess it is, makes me wonder about the validity of the other schools on the list.

For more details see

Also check out other entries on that blog which is written by a teacher who worked thee until he couldn't stand it any longer.

Posted by: efavorite | June 15, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Bell being ranked above Banneker, School Without Walls, or Duke Ellington in DCPS is a pure joke. All of those schools have better test scores, graduations rates, and college acceptances than Bell. Just because Tukeva administers more tests at Bell does not mean it is a better school.

Posted by: scinerd1 | June 15, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

METHODLOGY developed by Jay Matthews--what a joke.

Posted by: bnew100 | June 16, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

This rating system is a COMPLETE joke!

As a current teacher at Bell, I am embarrassed and hang my head in shame that we are ranked so high given the state of the forced AP curriculum and classes, the lack of student choice in the limited variety of courses being offered, and sheer "marketing" of this school being something that it truly is not.  The AP program here and the idea of AP English for all (Juniors and Seniors) should be investigated by the college board. 

Of course the administrators here are boasting about how we are #37.  Meanwhile, most of the staff is laughing about it because we know how ridiculous it is and can't believe that Tukeva and company can continue to "market" this school and get so much positive press about the supposed progress.  You would think that a school with such high marks wouldn't have issues retaining and recruiting teachers year-after-year.  Next year again, it will be a building full of new faces (rumor has it that possibly more than half the staff).  The new hires will surely be ready to buy into the facade after the paid summer training institute until they realize very shortly into the school year that it's all a big marketing scheme and con.  It's good intentions gone bad and wild and the administration refuses to reflect upon themselves year-after-year to try to make a real dramatic change in the way they conduct themselves and support the hard working staff.  Instead, they look at the staff as replaceable "human capital" and the students as convenient marketing statistics to try to bring in more and more grant money to move their way up the regional and national spotlight.  Isn't it supposed to be all about the kids?  

Congrats to Jay for selling his worthless ranking system to Newsweek and truly showing how much of a joke it is. 

Posted by: istheresocialjustice | June 16, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

istheresocialjustice, whom we should thank for working as a DC teacher, sounds, sadly, like yet another DCPS educator rooting for failure, chaos, embarrassment while collecting her pay. Her kids will clearly sense her resignation to defeat.

isthere.: what's would your idea of a valid rating system include?

Posted by: axolotl | June 16, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Sorry axolotl, but just like a lot of your posts that are so full of assumptions...

I am not rooting for failure, chaos, and embarrassment. In fact, I would love to see my school truly serve it's students the way it promises and markets itself. But, after years of seeing the abuse of teachers and staff by the hands of administration and ACTUALLY working in the school and seeing/knowing firsthand some of the ridiculous claims that are made... I've had enough. It's no surprise why so MANY of my fellow talented and devoted colleagues have left in recent years and continue to leave. Until the mindset of the administration or certain people are removed, I'm afraid that the trend will continue and most likely worsen.

As far as HIS (another assumption here axolotl) students sensing his resignation of defeat, HE is more concerned about his students and the defeat they will feel when so many of their great teachers will be gone again next year. It's sad each year to see Juniors and Seniors struggle to find teachers within their own school to get reference letters from because there are so few left.

As for a valid "best of" rating system, I would put a higher emphasis on success rather than challenge (for example: percentage of graduating seniors that actually go to college and get degrees from college within 4-5 years).

Posted by: istheresocialjustice | June 16, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

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