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F.C. Schools, GMHS High Up on ‘Challenge Index’

The “Challenge Index,” developed by the Washington Post’s Jay Matthews, measures a public high school’s effort to challenge all of its students. In annual results published this week in the Post, the Falls Church City Public Schools again finished first in the region as a division, with George Mason High School finishing fifth out of 179 individual high schools in the region.

The formula used in the Challenge Index divides the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or other college-level tests a school gave in 2010 by the number of graduating seniors. Tests taken by all students, not just seniors, are counted. George Mason High School scored 4.882 in the annual rating. Since George Mason is the only FCCPS high school, the school’s rating also serves as the division rating.

The individual high schools that scored above GMHS were H-B Woodlawn in Arlington (5.795), and in Maryland’s Montgomery County, Bethesda Chevy Chase (5.257), Richard Montgomery (5.663), and Poolesville (4.917).

Besides (1) Woodlawn and (5) George Mason, top ranking schools in Northern Virginia are: (6) Washington-Lee, (8) Yorktown, (13) McLean, (14) W. T. Woodson, (17) Langley, (18) Lake Braddock, (19) Centreville, (20) Madison, (22) Oakton, (23) Herndon, (30) West Springfield, (31) Fairfax, (33) South Lakes, (34) Robinson, (39) Chantilly, (44) West Potomac, (47) Marshall, (50) Westfield, (51) Falls Church, (52) Wakefield, (61) South County, (68) Stuart.