Northgate High School and Newnan High School have been ranked among “America’s Most Challenging High Schools,” in the Washington Post’s 2016 index of the nation’s top secondary schools.
The two Coweta high schools were listed among 2,808 public and private U.S. high schools out of approximately 22,000 public and private high schools surveyed nationally. Both Coweta high schools’ rankings place them among the nation’s most challenging high schools surveyed in the index.
According to the Washington Post, only about 11 percent of the nation’s high schools make the annual index, which tracks overall student participation in college-level exams such as Advanced Placement subject tests. 143 Georgia high schools were included on this year’s “Most Challenging” list.
Newnan High School Principal Chase Puckett praises the Advanced Placement teachers on his schools staff. Teachers like Katie Hammond – who teaches AP U.S, History – and Josh Johnson – AP Language – hold their students’ interest and prepare them for academic success.
“”They set high standards for their students. They are fun classes, but their students are definitely prepared for the AP exams in their subjects. They have a large number of students who take the tests, and a high passage rate,” said Puckett.
“They exemplify a standard that Newnan High – as well as Northgate and East Coweta – sets for its students,” said Puckett. “Our goal here is to encourage students to take the most challenging coursework they can handle and give them the support they need to succeed,” he said. “That includes Advanced Placement and other higher-level courses, dual-enrollment, advanced fine arts.”
It was the fifth year since 2012 that Northgate High made the list, and the first year for Newnan High School. East Coweta High did not appear this year, but has been listed in the index three times since 2012. A complete list of this year’s “America’s Most Challenging High Schools” can be found at: apps.washingtonpost.com/local/highschoolchallenge/schools/2015/list/national/
“I’m proud of our students,” said Northgate High School Principal Bill Harrison, “and I am proud of our staff for their concentrated efforts to maintain a high level of education at Northgate.”
Previously known as Newsweek magazine’s “America’s Best High Schools” feature, the list ranks schools by the total number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school during the 2015 school year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated in the spring of that year. A score greater than “1.00” on the survey means that a high school had as many tests in 2015 as they had graduates.
Successful completion of college-level material – such as Advanced Placement classes and subject exams – often earns students college credit, and participation tends to improve student performance in college.
All Coweta high schools encourage students to take Advanced Placement classes and the rigorous AP exams, employ pre-registration showcases of advanced classes, and use student and teacher mentors to encourage advanced-course participation and successful completion. Both Northgate and East Coweta have seen steady increases in AP class and subject test participation over several years.