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Four Washington Co. high schools ranked among nation's best

December 11, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- Four Washington County public high schools were recognized among the nation's best in an annual ranking that was issued Wednesday by U.S. News & World Report.

Clear Spring, Hancock Middle/Senior and North Hagerstown high schools were awarded silver medals by the magazine. South Hagerstown High School received a bronze medal.

"For four to be singled out is just a great honor," Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said Friday. "I'm really proud of our high schools."

The four high schools in Washington County were among 15 high schools in the state to receive recognition.

Maryland has 231 high schools, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Of the 21,786 national public high schools examined by U.S. News and its partner in the project, School Evaluation Services, 1,750 were recognized for considerably outperforming their state's standards, according to U.S. News & World Report's Web site.

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The rankings are based on data from the 2007-2008 school year, including performance comparisons of each school's students on math and reading tests against an average student in Maryland, while factoring in each school's percentage of economically disadvantaged students. Other comparisons to a statewide average included math and reading proficiency rates for African-American, Hispanic and low-income students. A final criterion was a measurement of college-readiness, utilizing Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) test data.

"We are very proud to have four of the best high schools in Maryland and the nation," Washington County Public Schools Director of High School Education Clyde Harrell said in a news release. "This acknowledgment is a great reward for the hard work put forth by our students and staff, and the honor is a nice complement to the excellent achievement across all of our Washington County high schools."

Four Washington County high schools also made the list last year.

In 2008, North Hagerstown and Smithsburg high schools were placed in the silver-medal category. Bronze medals went to South Hagerstown High School and Hancock Middle/Senior.

Forbes Road Junior-Senior High School in Fulton County, Pa., was the only other school from the Tri-State area to make the list. It received a bronze medal.

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