Ranking Our High Schools

Check out profiles of Montgomery County high schools, and rankings across several performance categories. Plus: How do county schools stack up in the national rankings?

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There’s a ranking for pretty much everything these days—and none are more popular (and controversial) than the rankings of schools. Among school officials and parents, the numerous annual rankings of local public and private high schools are a source of pride and consternation—depending on how your school fares.  The rankings are often criticized because the people compiling them have subjective views on what makes a good school. The rankings can vary wildly based on the information that’s used and the weight that each data point is given. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) compiles an enormous amount of data about its schools and student performance. In the following pages, we present a data profile of eight of the county’s 25 high schools, then rank all the schools in several of the school and student performance categories so our readers can draw their own conclusions. 


1. Data on average SAT, AP and IB test scores, graduation rates, and University System of Maryland entrance requirements are from the 2015-2016 school year.  Other data are the most current available.
2. Future capacity accounts for expansions or renovations planned through the 2021-2022 school year. *Enrollment is expected to change after the expansion of Seneca Valley High School, set to be completed by September 2020.
3. University System of Maryland entrance requirements include a high school diploma, a cumulative high school grade point average equivalent to a C or better, a score on a nationally standardized test such as the SAT or ACT, and accumulated course credits in English (4 credits), social science/history (3 credits), biological and physical sciences (3 credits), mathematics (4 credits), and world languages or advanced technology (2 credits).
4. Post-graduation plans are self-reported by graduating seniors to the Maryland State Department of Education.
5. MCPS does not specify graduation rates higher than 95 percent or free and reduced-price meals rates lower than 5 percent to comply with federal reporting requirements.

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