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The 2006 Local Challenge Index

The Washington Post Challenge Index measures a public high school's effort to challenge its students. The formula is simple: Divide the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or other college level tests a school gave in one year by the number of seniors who graduated. Tests taken by all students, not just seniors, are counted. Washington-area magnet schools with SAT combined reading and math averages higher than 1300, the highest non-magnet school average in the country, are not included, since they do not have enough average students who need a challenge.

The rating is not a measurement of the overall quality of the school but illuminates one factor that many educators consider important.

When compared with schools across the country, Washington-area schools are overall among the most encouraging of AP and IB testing. In the list below, any school with a rating of 1.000 or above is in the top 5 percent of all U.S. high schools in encouraging students to take AP or IB tests. Also listed is the name of the school district and the percentage of a school's students whose family incomes are low enough to qualify for federally subsidized lunches and who also apply for that program. The number of subsidized-lunch applicants is a rough indicator of socioeconomic factors that may affect student interest in college-level courses.

In parenthesis after each school's name is the school's Equity and Excellence rate, the percentage of all seniors, including those not in AP, calculated by the College Board to have had at least one score of 3 or above on the 5-point test in high school. This statistic is new, and the College Board was not able to provide it to all schools. An IB or combined AP and IB version of that rating was calculated for some IB schools by school district officials. The average AP Equity and Excellence rate for all U.S. schools is 14.8 percent.
2006 Challenge Index: Complete Coverage

Rank School (Equity & Excellence) District % Lunch Subsidy Rating
1.H-B Woodlawn (69%)Arlington13%5.948
2.Richard Montgomery* (59.4%)Montgomery16%4.960
3.Clarke County* (74%)Clarke13%4.730
4.Washington-Lee* (52.2%)Arlington37%4.723
5.Wootton** (69.5%)Montgomery5%4.453
6.Bethesda-Chevy Chase* (64.2%)Montgomery8%4.322
7.Yorktown (62.3%)Arlington17%4.127
8.George Mason* (71%)Falls Church7%4.060
9.W.T. Woodson (57.6%)Fairfax6%3.941
10.Langley (72%)Fairfax1%3.716
11.Whitman (70.2%)Montgomery2%3.687
12.McLean (67%)Fairfax6%3.605
13.Banneker* D.C.39%3.494
14.Lake Braddock (53.6%)Fairfax10%3.397
15.Churchill (70.4%)Montgomery3%3.382
16.Oakton (54.2%)Fairfax9%3.328
17.Centreville (48.5%)Fairfax15%3.264
18.Walter Johnson (60.6%)Montgomery6%3.166
19.Chantilly (47.6%)Fairfax11%3.070
20.Madison (50.4%)Fairfax5%2.969
21.Centennial (53.3%)Howard3%2.907
22.Fairfax (39.3%)Fairfax16%2.888
23.Robinson* (55%)Fairfax8%2.882
24.Herndon (49.3%)Fairfax18%2.866
25.West Springfield (52.3%)Fairfax9%2.805
26.SpringBrook* (36.6%)Montgomery27%2.802
27.Westfield (48.7%)Fairfax11%2.773
28.Falls Church (32.3%)Fairfax37%2.702
30.Potomac Falls (36.7%)Loudoun9%2.670
31.West PotomacFairfax30%2.657
32.Marshall* (53.4%)Fairfax17%2.628
33.Montgomery Blair (43.8%)Montgomery26%2.576
34.Watkins Mill* (31.8%)Montgomery28%2.570
35.Einstein (33%)Montgomery33%2.524
36.Loudoun Valley (44.1%)Loudoun4%2.442
37.Rockville (33.9%)Montgomery19%2.422
38.McDonough (17.6%)Charles19%2.392
39.John Handley (32.7%)Winchester31%2.390
40.Eleanor Roosevelt (32.1%)Prince George's19%2.350
41.Stone Bridge (50.9%)Loudoun5%2.342
42.Middletown (45.2%)Frederick, Md.5%2.311
43.Hylton (23.5%)Prince William17%2.306
44.Wakefield (31.6%)Arlington54%2.294
45.Bell MulticulturalD.C.81%2.253
46.Broadneck (39.8%)Anne Arundel5%2.230
47.Leonardtown (23.9%)St. Mary's13%2.220
48.River Hill (46.4%)Howard2%2.218
49.Poolesville (43.6%)Montgomery3%2.193
51.Patuxent (28.1%)Calvert15%2.147
52.Loudoun County (34.6%)Loudoun10%2.137
53.Severna Park (34.4%)Anne Arundel2%2.117
54.Heritage (36%)Loudoun15%2.068
55.Gaithersburg** (30.4%)Montgomery24%2.063
56.Huntingtown (26.1%)Calvert5%2.060
57.Quince Orchard (40.8%)Montgomery15%1.983
58.Stuart* (40.7%)Fairfax49%1.969
59.Linganore (32.5%)Frederick, Md.5%1.948
60.Liberty (21.9%)Carroll2%1.923
61.Broad Run (32%)Loudoun8%1.921
62.Paint Branch (38.4%)Montgomery17%1.897
63.Magruder (44.4%)Montgomery17%1.876
64.Sherwood (39%)Montgomery12%1.869
65.Wheaton (29.7%)Montgomery42%1.849
66.Stonewall Jackson* (38%)Prince William26%1.828
67.Frederick (31.4%)Frederick, Md.26%1.821
68.Osbourn Park (39.1%)Prince William10%1.798
69.T.C. Williams** (28.7%)Alexandria40%1.786
70.Kennedy (25.4%)Montgomery31%1.776
71.Gar-Field* (29%)Prince William35%1.776
72.Great Mills (16.2%)St. Mary's31%1.762
73.Urbana* (34%)Frederick, Md.4%1.732
74.South River (27.8%)Anne Arundel3%1.722
75.Tuscarora (30.8%)Frederick, Md.12%1.707
76.Edison* (37.2%)Fairfax27%1.630
77.La Plata (22.6%)Charles17%1.628
78.Brentsville**Prince William4%1.626
80.Northern (28.5%)Calvert8%1.608
81.Park View (31.1%)Loudoun27%1.598
82.School Without WallsD.C.13%1.584
83.Annapolis* (20.7%)Anne Arundel32%1.571
84.Old Mill* (19.9%)Anne Arundel10%1.571
85.Walkersville (32.1%)Frederick, Md.11%1.556
86.Seneca Valley (30.8%)Montgomery22%1.556
87.Mt. Vernon* (32.6%)Fairfax34%1.544
88.Hayfield (29.7%)Fairfax20%1.541
89.Lee* (39.4%)Fairfax31%1.540
90.Gov. Thomas Johnson (28.1%)Frederick, Md.16%1.523
91.Northwest (35.7%)Montgomery15%1.500
92.Manassas Park** (13.3%)Manassas Park28%1.495
93.Century (28.4%)Carroll4%1.491
94.Blake (40.5%)Montgomery10%1.490
95.South Lakes* (36.3%)Fairfax27%1.475
96.Potomac**Prince William28%1.468
97.Damascus (39.7%)Montgomery8%1.422
98.Southern (16.7%)Anne Arundel11%1.422
99.Stone (15.5%)Charles21%1.417
100.Woodbridge (23.9%)Prince William23%1.407
101.Courtland (27.3%)Spotsylvania21%1.394
102.Brunswick (22.8%)Frederick, Md.14%1.393
103.Riverbend (28.9%)Spotsylvania14%1.364
104.Mount Hebron (31.8%)Howard5%1.345
105.Chopticon (16.7%)St. Mary's10%1.343
106.Westlake (15.3%)Charles15%1.342
107.Annandale* (42.5%)Fairfax40%1.329
108.Fauquier (21.2%)Fauquier10%1.308
109.Osbourn (22.8%)Manassas13%1.305
110.Forest Park (21.7%)Prince William15%1.300
111.Glenelg (27.9%)Howard2%1.296
112.Colonial Forge (26.4%)Stafford8%1.276
114.Battlefield (21.1%)Prince William8%1.250
115.Brooke Point (19.8%)Stafford10%1.239
116.Bowie (15.2%)Prince George's15%1.225
117.Hammond (29.4%)Howard11%1.158
118.Massaponax (15%)Spotsylvania22%1.108
119.Catoctin (23.8%)Frederick, Md.11%1.104
120.FlowersPrince George's28%1.095
121.Spotsylvania (16.5%)Spotsylvania34%1.084
122.Monroe (24.6%)Fredericksburg30%1.075
123.Winters Mill (23%)Carroll15%1.070
124.Atholton (27%)Howard4%1.064
125.Arundel (18.1%)Anne Arundel9%1.050
126.Stafford (17.8%)Stafford12%1.035
127.Westminster (25.8%)Carroll6%1.029
129.Calvert ((12.3%)Calvert14%1.024
130.Long Reach (19.9%)Howard16%0.997
131.Oxon Hill (10.6%)Prince George's23%0.993
132.Chesapeake (21.4%)Anne Arundel5%0.990
133.Wilde Lake (26.7%)Howard19%0.952
134.Booker T. Washington (0%)D.C.86%0.943
135.Reservoir (20.4%)Howard8%0.919
136.Howard (21.8%)Howard6%0.916
137.South Carroll (22.6%)Carroll4%0.913
138.Meade (19.2%)Anne Arundel29%0.903
139.Math Science TechD.C.80%0.885
140.Friendship Collegiate**D.C.65%0.873
141.Northwestern (16.9%)Prince George's53%0.873
142.Liberty (14.9%)Fauquier14%0.848
143.Cesar ChavezD.C.81%0.843
144.Lackey (6.9%)Charles25%0.841
145.Culpeper County (13.3%)Culpeper16%0.801
146.Rappahannock County ** (20.8%)Rappahannock14%0.798
147.Glen Burnie (9.8%)Anne Arundel23%0.776
148.Central*Prince George's42%0.745
149.Laurel* (7.9%)Prince George's25%0.722
150.Crossland (0%)Prince George's34%0.695
151.North Stafford (16.2%)Stafford12%0.681
152.Suitland*Prince George's34%0.631
153.High Point (14%)Prince George's61%0.616
154.Key (12.3%)Carroll15%0.606
155.Oakland Mills (16%)Howard20%0.582
156.Frederick Douglass (0.5%)Prince George's16%0.573
157.Northeast (9.7%)Anne Arundel13%0.571
158.Parkdale*Prince George's53%0.566
159.H.D. Woodson (2%)D.C.62%0.510
161.DuVal (1.4%)Prince George's32%0.510
162.North County (9.7%)Anne Arundel17%0.505
163.North Carroll (12.5%)Carroll7%0.498
164.Warren County (6.1%)Warren15%0.480
166.Potomac (0.4%)Prince George's47%0.273
167.Anacostia (0%)D.C.68%0.271
168.Millbrook (7.2%)Frederick, Va.17%0.239
169.Friendly (2.1%)Prince George's18%0.233
170.Sherando (8.7%)Frederick, Va.12%0.216
171.Thurgood Marshall (0%)D.C.70%0.214
172.James Wood (8%)Frederick, Va.13%0.190
173.Ballou (0%)D.C.90%0.185
174.M.M. Washington (0%)D.C.67%0.180
176.Surrattsville (1.3%)Prince George's15%0.167
177.Bladensburg (5%)Prince George's41%0.161
178.Gwynn Park (1.1%)Prince George's12%0.158
179.Largo (1.7%)Prince George's20%0.154
180.ForestvillePrince George's42%0.092
181.Fairmont Heights (0%)Prince George's37%0.077
182.Integrated Design & Electronics AcademyD.C.70%0.056
183.Spingarn (0%)D.C.79%0.047
184.Dunbar (0%)D.C.54%0.046
185.Eastern (0%)D.C.63%0.024

*Includes IB tests.
**Includes community college or other types of college-level final exams.

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, with a rating of 7.311 and an Equity and Excellence rate of 100 percent, was not ranked because it is a magnet school with a selective admissions policy and an average SAT reading and math score, 1454, higher than the highest average for any regular enrollment school in the country. The index is designed to show which schools are challenging average students and does not work well with schools like Jefferson that have few or no average students.

South County in Fairfax County, Briar Woods and Freedom in Loudoun County, Battlefield and Freedom in Prince William County, Mountain View in Stafford County, Clarksburg and Northwood in Montgomery County, North Point in Charles County, Marriotts Ridge in Howard County, and McKinley Tech in the District were not included because they are new schools and did not have full senior classes graduating this year.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company