As Newsweek Magazine explained on its website www.newsweek.com , “Public schools are ranked according to a ratio devised by Jay Mathews: the number of Advanced Placement, Intl. Baccalaureate and/or Cambridge tests taken by all students at a school in 2008 divided by the number of graduating seniors. All of the schools on the list have an index of at least 1.000….” In other words, at least as many took the tests as graduated. Newsweek said: “We do not include any magnet or charter high school that draws such a high concentration of top students that its average SAT or ACT scored significantly exceeds the highest average for any normal-enrollment school in the country. The Challenge Index is designed to honor schools that have done the best job in persuading average students to take college level courses and tests. It does not work with schools that have no, or almost no, average students. This year that meant such schools had to have an average SAT score below 1950 or an average ACT score below 29 to be included on the list.” There were 16 public schools with scores too high to make the list.
Two other statistics were noted for each school on the list: the percent of students with subsidized meals and the average “Equity and Excellence” (E&E) rate. The E&E rate represents the “percentage of graduating seniors who had at least one passing grade on at least one AP or IB test.” The average E&E rate in 2008 was 15.2; MHS scored an E&E of 25. The Sub. Lunch rate for MHS was 23.
Newsweek agreed on their website, “High School is more than just AP or IB tests,” but they offer this measure as a quantifiable and an easily understood qualitative measure. As they concluded: “These are all exceptional schools the top 6% of American high schools measured this way.” We are proud to count MHS among them.
The six schools in Kansas included by Newsweek are:
|364||Blue Valley Northwest||Overland Park||2.405||3||46|
|760||Blue Valley North||Overland Park||1.772||3||46|
|822||Blue Valley West||Overland Park||1.694||3||33|
The number one and two schools on the list were magnet or charter schools in Dallas, TX.