Spotlights
14 BCPS high schools ranked among the nation's best
04/24/2013

spotlight

In April, the national High School Challenge project named 13 Baltimore County public schools – more than half of the county's 24 traditional and magnet high schools – to its list of the nation's top schools, and 10 Baltimore County schools made U.S. News & World Report's "Best High Schools" list of the top public high schools in Maryland – including five that earned "gold medal" status.

In total, 14 BCPS high schools have been ranked among the nation's best. Those schools are:

  • Catonsville High School in Catonsville
  • Dulaney High School in Timonium
  • Eastern Technical High School in Essex
  • Franklin High School in Reisterstown
  • George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Towson
  • Hereford High School in Hereford
  • Loch Raven High School in Towson
  • Owings Mills High School in Owings Mills
  • Parkville High School in Parkville
  • Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts in Dundalk
  • Perry Hall High School in Perry Hall
  • Pikesville High School in Pikesville
  • Towson High School in Towson
  • Western School of Technology and Environmental Science in Catonsville

"Team BCPS can be proud that so many of our great high schools are recognized year after year for their academic rigor and excellence," said BCPS Superintendent Dr. S. Dallas Dance. "But as I have said before, we can do better. We must have every school capable of providing students not just with a diploma but with the 21st-century skills and knowledge they will need to become successful as citizens of the world. We have some great high schools, but we cannot be satisfied with just having some."  

More about the national High School Challenge

The Challenge list, compiled and published by The Washington Post since 1998, ranks the nation's most challenging high schools for academic rigor. From more than 22,000 high schools across the nation, the list spotlights more than 1,900 high schools, representing the top 9 percent of high schools based on total student participation in highly rigorous coursework and exams.

This year's 13 BCPS schools, which are among 123 Maryland schools on the roster, also made the honor roll last year. They are:

  • Catonsville High School (ranked 50 in Maryland / 869  nationally)
  • Dulaney High School (27/487)
  • Eastern Technical High School (36/716)
  • Franklin High School (84/1,427)
  • George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology (45/812)
  • Hereford High School (26/485)
  • Loch Raven High School (61/1,008)
  • Owings Mills High School (111/1,841)
  • Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts (114/1,852)
  • Perry Hall High School (83/1,420)
  • Pikesville High School (56/942)
  • Towson High School (21/415)
  • Western School of Technology and Environmental Science (74/1,262)

The Challenge measures a school's academic rigor by comparing the number of graduates per year with the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or Cambridge tests taken by students at the school.  
The complete High School Challenge may be found at http://apps.washingtonpost.com/highschoolchallenge/.

More about the U.S. News & World Report's "Best High Schools" list

This year's rankings were culled from data from 21,035 public high schools in 49 states (excluding Nebraska, which did not provide enough data to be included) and the District of Columbia. Partnering with the American Institutes for Research, the magazine analyzed state reading and math assessment scores, demographic information, college-readiness measurements such as AP tests, and other factors. The magazine published "Best High Schools" lists in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012.

A total of 64 (from among 241) high schools in Maryland made the list of the nation's top schools, including the following Baltimore County high schools:

  • Dulaney High School (ranked 17 in Maryland /368 nationally) (Gold Medal)
  • Eastern Technical High School (13/272) (Gold Medal)
  • George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology (9/242) (Gold Medal)
  • Hereford High School (21/426) (Gold Medal)
  • Loch Raven High School (42/1,350) (Silver Medal)
  • Owings Mills High School (48/1,643) (Silver Medal)
  • Parkville High School (56/1,993) (Silver Medal)
  • Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts (55/1,968) (Silver Medal)
  • Towson High School (12/268) (Gold Medal)
  • Western School of Technology and Environmental Science (30/840) (Silver Medal)

Schools receiving the "Gold Medal" designation were those that placed in the top 500 schools on the survey based on a high degree of student college readiness. A "Silver Medal" means a school is high performing but has a lower degree of student college readiness. A "Bronze Medal" designation goes to high-performing schools based on state assessment performance.

In Maryland, Baltimore County is home to about a quarter of all Gold Medal schools.
Last year, nine BCPS high schools were included in the U.S. News report. Both Owings Mills and Parkville High Schools were new to the list this year.

The full U.S. News & World Report "Best High Schools" list may be found at http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools.

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