Maryland claimed 98 spots on Newsweek's annual list of top high schools in the country, and no other state had a higher percentage of its schools make the list.

More than half of the state's 185 high schools were considered good enough to be ranked, according to state schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick.

The rating system, developed by Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews, includes an index that measures the number of graduates who take challenging Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes and exams. Because Maryland has been placing a priority on training teachers and getting students to take the exams for the past decade, public schools tend to do well on this ranking system.

"We have worked tirelessly to bring challenging coursework to schools," Grasmick said.

Only 6 percent, or 1,600, of the 27,000 high schools in the country make the list.

Missing from the equation, however, is the number of students passing the classes and the exams, not just taking them.

Seven Montgomery County high schools were in the top 100. River Hill in Howard was ranked highest of the schools in the Baltimore metropolitan area. Second in the area was Severna Park at 182, with Centennial in Howard County at 238 and Dulaney in Baltimore County at 253, following close behind.

City College was the only city high school on the list this year. Montgomery had 25 schools in all on the list, Baltimore County had 12. High schools in all corners of the state, from the Eastern Shore to Garrett County, were represented.

The top schools in the Baltimore area and their places on the national list:

Anne Arundel County Severna Park, 182; Broadneck, 287; Annapolis, 297; South River, 461; Old Mill, 507; Southern, 631; Arundel, 763; Meade, 803; Chesapeake, 986; Northeast, 1,014; Parkdale, 1,481

Baltimore City City College, 520

Baltimore County Dulaney, 253; Towson, 334; Carver Center for Arts, 470; Eastern Tech, 564; Pikesville, 590; Hereford, 632; Catonsville, 951; Western, 1,179; Owings Mills, 1,240; Loch Raven, 1,302; Franklin, 1,457; Perry Hall, 1,525.

Carroll County Century, 1019; Liberty, 1121

Harford County Wright, 1369; Fallston, 1608

Howard County River Hill, 158; Centennial, 238; Marriotts Ridge, 660; Mount Hebron, 726; Glenelg, 879; Howard, 1,089; Reservoir, 1,119; Atholton, 1,124; Wilde Lake, 1,440; Hammond, 1,515

liz.bowie@baltsun.com

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