Newsweek released its annual ranking of the top 1,300 public high schools in the U.S., with Academic Magnet High School in North Charleston at No. 7, the school's highest ranking to date on the controversial list of academic prowess among secondary schools.
It isn't the first time Academic Magnet has made the list. In the past three years, the magnet high school has consistently been near the top of the Newsweek rankings. Last year, the school was No. 11, and in 2006, it came in at No. 10.
There is one caveat to the distinction, though, as The Post and Courier writes:
Newsweek's list did not include magnet or charter high schools with an average SAT score above 1,300 on the reading and math sections or an average ACT score above 29.
At least 17 top schools were not included on the top schools list, including the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics in Hartsville, but Academic Magnet's scores were not high enough to exclude it from the list.
The reason for those high-achieving schools' exclusion? Newsweek gives the explanation for this on its Web site:
We do not include magnet or charter high schools that draw high concentrations of top students whose average SAT or ACT scores significantly exceed the highest average for any normal enrollment school in the country.
The Challenge Index is designed to honor schools that have done the best job in persuading average students to take college level courses and tests. It does not work with schools that have no, or almost no, average students. The idea is to create a list that measures how good schools are in challenging all students, and not just how high their students' test scores are."
The school has 510 students and has a teacher-to-student ratio of 1:15, according to Public School Profile.