FCCPS First in Challenge Index
George Mason High School Finishes Fourth in Region
POSTED: 11:24 a.m. EDT, February 01, 2010
By: FCCPS Communications
The Washington Post Challenge Index measures a public high school’s effort to challenge all of its students. The Falls Church City Public Schools finished first out of 28 in the regional division-wide rankings and George Mason High School finished fourth out of 172 individual high schools in the region. The results were published in today’s edition of the Washington Post.
“I’m so proud of our students and staff at George Mason High School,” Superintendent Lois Berlin said. “They continue to challenge themselves to reach their greatest potential, and it shows in the results.”
The formula used in the Challenge Index divides the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or other college-level tests a school gave in 2009 by the number of graduating seniors. Tests taken by all students, not just seniors, are counted.
George Mason High School scored 5.333 in the annual rating. Since George Mason is the only FCCPS high school, the school’s rating also serves as the division rating. Arlington County finished second with a school division rating of 4.192. The individual high schools that scored above GMHS were Columbia Heights (5.595), Richard Montgomery (5.663), and H-B Woodlawn (6.00).
“What this shows us is that our school is among the very best in the nation when it comes to encouraging students to take challenging courses and college-level tests,” GMHS International Baccalaureate Coordinator Asheesh Misra said. “What we are especially proud of is that while our participation continues to increase, so does our students’ performance on these end-of-course assessments. As more Mason students take IB and AP courses, our overall performance remains strong. I hope that charging for exams next year does not negatively impact our continued growth in participation.”
Currently, the school division pays for college-level tests in an effort to encourage students to challenge themselves. Because of the state of the economy, the school board is considering, among a number of options, requiring students and their families to pay for the exams in an effort to make ends meet in FY11.
The second of four school board work sessions is scheduled for Saturday, February 6th at 8:30 a.m. in the FCCPS Central Office conference room, 800 W. Broad St., Suite 203, Falls Church, Va. Work sessions are not televised but are open to the public.
The second of three public hearings is scheduled for Tuesday, February 9th at 8:00 p.m. in the Chambers at City Hall. The public hearing will be televised on Falls Church City Television (Cox 12, RCN 2 and Verizon 35) and streamed live on the FCC-TV Web site, www.fcctv.net.
Citizens may also view school board budget materials and leave feedback for the board HERE.