NHS Named Top Challenging School
May 25, 2017
At the beginning of May, The Washington Post’s Education Columnist Jay Matthews released his annual rankings of how well the nation’s top high schools challenge their students. This list, called America’s Most Challenging High Schools, ranked Niwot High School at number 360 in the country, which is in the top two percent of all US high schools, and number three in Colorado, the first public school behind charter schools Peak to Peak in Lafayette and Lotus School for Excellence in Aurora.
According to The Post, “America’s Most Challenging High Schools ranks schools through an index formula that’s a simple ratio: the number of Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year.”
Schools qualify for the list if they have a ratio of 1.000, which means the school had as many tests as graduates. NHS offers both AP and IB courses and scored a ratio of 4.090.
“We are extremely proud of this recognition by the Washington Post,” said NHS principal Eric Rauschkolb said in an email. “It is an acknowledgement of the hard work, passion, and dedication put forth by both our teaching staff and our students. A lot of time the long hours of lesson planning, grading, answering emails, etc., goes unrecognized by our staff, and the same goes for the time that our students put into studying, doing homework, volunteering in the community, and balancing their extra-curricular activities. This honor would not be possible without the support of our parents and our community, and without the excellence demonstrated by staff and students everyday. We are very excited to be recognized as one of America’s Most Challenging Schools.”
The Washington Post first ran the Challenge Index in 1998. At that time only about one percent of U.S. schools qualified. This year, 12 percent made the list. Matthews credits this increase to several factors, including the increased influence of these tests on college admissions, and federal funding which helps low income students pay the exam fees.
To view the Challenging Schools ranking, visitwww.washingtonpost.com/graphics/local/high-school-challenge-2017.