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Bob Jones, James Clemens rank in ‘America’s Most Challenging High Schools’

(CONTRIBUTED)
(CONTRIBUTED)
(RECORD PHOTO)
(RECORD PHOTO)

MADISON – “The Washington Post” has placed both Madison high schools, Bob Jones and James Clemens, among “America’s Most Challenging High Schools.”

Only nine percent of 22,000 American public high schools qualified for the list.

“We are the only district in the state with more than one school on the list,” Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler said. Fowler acknowledged parental involvement and Madison’s elementary and middle feeder schools for preparing students.

James Clemens’ inclusion is especially noteworthy for the two-year-old school, principal Dr. Brian Clayton said. “Our teachers challenge our students at high levels to get this type of result.”

James Clemens students “accept this type of challenge head-on and strive to do the best job possible,” Clayton said. “We’ll continue to strive to make sure that James Clemens High School is a household name in this type of recognition. It’s another great day to be a Jet.”

The “Washington Post” ranking “is a formula that divides the amount of seniors you have versus the amount of advance-placement tests you give,” Bob Jones Principal Robby Parker said. “It’s a great honor. We cherish it each time we are honored.”

For eight years, Bob Jones has been honored by “The Washington Post,” “U.S. News and World Report” or “Newsweek,” Parker said. “Bob Jones also was recognized this week by ‘U.S. News and World Report’ as one of America’s best high schools, which (included) other data like graduation rate and ACT scores.”

The Post’s formula “was skewed against us because last year’s senior class was much larger than the junior or sophomore class,” Parker said about the split in students with James Clemens. “The formula assumes all classes are relatively equal. Because we were senior heavy, underclassmen didn’t take as many AP tests as seniors.”

Other Alabama high schools in the list are Jefferson County International Baccalaureate, Loveless Academic Magnet Program in Montgomery, Oak Mountain, Homewood, Alabama School of Math and Science in Mobile, Buckhorn and Vestavia Hills.

For more information, visit apps.washingtonpost.com/local/highschoolchallenge.

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