Maryland Public Schools Rank Number One Again

Newsweek Magazine List has Maryland with the highest percentage of rigorous high schools


High school students conducting a labBALTIMORE, MD (June 15, 2010) –Maryland public schools rank first in the nation in the percentage of high schools offering—and students taking—college-level courses.

Newsweek magazine this week released its annual “America’s Top High Schools” issue.  The magazine lists 98 Maryland high schools among its top 1,622 schools—the top 6 percent in the nation. 

Maryland has 185 public high schools, which means that more than half—53 percent—have gained a place on Newsweek’s list.  A handful of states—California (285 schools), New York (162 schools), Florida (135 schools), and Texas (127 schools)—have more schools on the list.  But all of those states have a far greater number of schools overall.

The Newsweek list is based upon the Challenge Index, developed by the Washington Post.  It looks at student enrollment in Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate, and Cambridge courses and tests, which have been shown to be good preparation for higher education.  Many colleges and universities give credit for success on the rigorous end-of-course exams attached to the courses. 

“We have worked tirelessly to bring rigorous coursework to schools throughout our State,” said State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick.  “We know our children can perform at the highest level, and we need to provide them with that challenge.”

Maryland has worked closely with the College Board in a unique partnership to bring Advanced Placement courses to underserved schools throughout the State.

Students in an AP class“This is more great news for the State of Maryland and its number one ranked school system,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.  “We have worked to protect our investments in education, because we understand its importance to every community and every family.  This is yet another indication that our investments will be paying dividends for years to come.”

The Maryland schools on the list are representative of the State’s diversity.  High schools from 15 different Maryland counties made the Newsweek list.  Fifteen of the schools spotlighted by the magazine have 35 percent or more of their students receiving free or reduced-price meals.

The new ranking follows two reports from earlier this year, ranking Maryland as first in the nation.  Education Week ranked Maryland public schools as the nation’s best for the second consecutive year, and the College Board found that Maryland schools ranked first in the percentage of students scoring at the college mastery level (scores 3-5) in Advanced Placement.

To see Newsweek’s list, go to

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