Newsweek ranks CHS #24


Principal Joan Benz holds up a sign reading ’24’ in honor of Churchill’s place in the Newsweek rankings.

By Ana Faguy, News Editor

Earlier this month Newsweek released its list of top 500 American high schools, with CHS taking the 24th spot. Poolsville, Wootton, Walter Johnson, Walt Whitman and Bethesda-Chevy Chase also made the list.

Newsweek ranked the schools by which schools “do the best job of preparing students for college” and “overcome the obstacles posed by socioeconomic inequality.”

At the end of last year, U.S. News and Report, another organization that composes yearly high school rankings, released its list of the top American high schools, but left CHS unranked in both the national and state standings.

“Both are credible sources,” assistant administrator Brandi Richardson said. “I think both are valuable sources because they use different indicators to project their rankings. It is information that we the school can use for the purposes of pathways to student excellence.”

According to Newsweek, the rankings are created a high school achievement index based on performance indicators and a College Readiness Score based on six indicators: enrollment rate, graduation rate, weighted AP/IB composite, weighted SAT/ACT composite, holding power and counselor-to-student-ratio. For the absolute rankings, the schools are ordered by their college readiness score.

With a college readiness score of 98.43 out of 100, CHS gained its spot at number 24. This spotlight on CHS has made many students both grateful for the recognition they think the school deserves and cognizant of the work we still have left to do.

“We should definitely consider this along with the U.S. News and Report to think of ways to improve our school,” senior Katie Kidney said. “This ranking, along with the U.S. News ranking suggests that we need to direct an emphasis towards the needs of students who aren’t taking five AP classes. We need to focus on the fact that there are students who need help. We are doing an amazing job, but we do need to improve.”

While CHS has conflicting rankings from last year to this year, students and staff are relishing the moment of breaking the charts to gain a spot as one of the top 25 schools nationwide.

“The rankings that Newsweek recently released are a reflection that the students, staff and community have put forth towards student achievement,” Richardson said.  “This is an exciting moment that calls for celebration. It’s a testament that instructional strategies and focus areas that are identified throughout the year are ones that have been effective.”

Although CHS has regained its spot as one of the best schools in the country, some feel that there is still room for improvement.

“Regardless of what U.S. News and Report said, CHS is a top school,” Kidney said. “We do have work to do, and CHS is by no means a perfect school.”