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Bellevue District High Schools Among the Top Ranked in Washington Post "Challenge Index"

The newspaper ranked schools nationwide based on the number of Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Cambridge tests, which are tests for college-level work.

Bellevue district high schools made the top ranks of the Washington Post "Challenge Index," which is based on the number of college-level tests that students take.

International School, Interlake, Newport and Sammamish high schools all placed in the Challenge Index's top 100 and Bellevue High School made the top 150, according to the newspaper's website. The Bellevue schools were the top five in the state, according to the way the Post analyzed the schools. The rankings were based on 27,000 public schools nationwide that the paper analyzed.

According to the Washington Post, the Challenge Index's formula is to divide the number of Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) or other college-level tests a school gave in 2010 by the number of graduating seniors. The Post advises that while the index not a measure of the overall quality of the school, the rating can reveal the level of a high school’s commitment to preparing average students for college.

"I am very pleased to see Bellevue’s schools once again land on a national list of top schools for advanced placement participation. The ranking reflects this Districts’ commitment to the AP and IB programs and the belief that any student may challenge themselves to higher levels," said Bellevue Superintendent Amalia Cudeiro in a prepared statement.  "The ranking also reflects the commitment of our teachers and staff to help all children succeed and challenge themselves in new ways."

All Bellevue high schools offer Advanced Placement (AP) classes, which prepare students for a test of college-level work and skills in a certain subject area administered at the end of the year. Many students take more than one Advanced Placement course in a year. Interlake also offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, which is a two-year academically challenging curriculum across multiple subjects.

Ranking

School

Index Score

Free & Reduced %

17

International

8.161

2

21

Interlake

7.561

25

55

Newport

5.468

11

75

Sammamish

4.797

32

133

Bellevue

3.975

11

 -- Table information from Washington Post Challenge Index

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Interlake offered IB and not AP, when it fact it offers both. The story has been corrected.

Becky Kraus May 24, 2011 at 11:46 PM
I do not feel that the number of AP classes a school offeres it's students shows acedemic excellence. I think the ONLY thing it shows is that said student's parents are pushing their kids to get ahead faster than normal, which results in kids heading to college too young, not being ready for the college experience; teens losing out on the teen experience because the push they recieve from their parents and teachers is for them to get higher and higher grades in classes rather than to go to the dances, hang out with friends and do those stupid things that teens do that makes your teen years so memorable. Frankly, I feel sorry for teens in Bellevue today. They are being pushed too hard to accomplish things that their parents didn't have to do until their 20's, and missing out on their childhood to do it. Are we so afraid that our kids will be as bad as us that we feel we need to pile the homework higher and deeper so they have no time to play? This is not how we get more PhD's, this is how we burn out our kids before they are even adults. Becky Kraus, Bellevue resident, mother of 3, and product of Bellevue School District.
Annjeanette May 10, 2012 at 07:51 AM
Pretty sure you still have to do the time to graduate with a diploma from Bellevue School District. AP, Honor Roll, IB, those don't automatically matriculate students out of a four year high school program. My understanding is that they can be honored by colleges for free or low-cost credits toward a 2-4 year degree, with a successful test, or to help get scholarships lowering the cost of a degree. To be sure, kids deserve childhoods--and homework should be quality over quantity, but overextending childhood by treating school like a holding tank doesn't serve a kid. Everyone should have the opportunity to hit the ground running after high school. Annjeanette, Bellevue International Class of 1997

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