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CMS shut out of ‘most challenging high schools’ list

Weddington High School in Union County was the only Charlotte-area school to make the list of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools.”
Weddington High School in Union County was the only Charlotte-area school to make the list of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools.” Courtesy of Weddington High

There are a million ways to rank high schools, but at least by this measure, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools doesn’t make the cut.

The Washington Post is out with its list of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools,” and none from Mecklenburg County appear among its 2,332 schools.

Weddington High in Union County was the only Charlotte-area school to make the list, coming in at No. 22 in the state.

The ranking looks at the number of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate (or Advanced International Certificate of Education, associated with the Cambridge program) tests taken per year divided by the number of graduates at public high schools.

To make the list, a school had to have an index above one, meaning one test per graduate. The list also leaves off elite schools that only accept top students.

The Triangle fared significantly better in the rankings and dominated the inevitable Wake County vs. Mecklenburg County comparison. Wake had 13 schools make the list, including two in the top 500 nationally: Raleigh Charter High (overall No. 1 in North Carolina) and Enloe High.

Of course, this is only one way to look at things. A 2013 list from the U.S. News and World Reports of “best” high schools had Butler and North Mecklenburg high schools in CMS on there.

Dunn: 704-358-5235;

Twitter: @andrew_dunn

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