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‘The Washington Post’ ranks James Clemens, Bob Jones in ‘most challenging’

Dr. Brian Clayton is principal at James Clemens High School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Dr. Brian Clayton is principal at James Clemens High School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Robby Parker is principal at Bob Jones High School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Robby Parker is principal at Bob Jones High School. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – “The Washington Post” has listed both of Madison’s high schools in its “Most Challenging High Schools in America.”

Madison City Schools was the only school district in Alabama to have more than one school in the top 10. James Clemens High School placed third, while Bob Jones High School was ninth in Alabama.

For Madison County Schools, Buckhorn High School also qualified for the state’s top 10 in the “The Washington Post” list.

“We are very proud to be ranked where we are in the state … from the ‘The Washington Post’s’ Most Challenging High School List,” James Clemens Principal Dr. Brian Clayton said.

“It is a definite tribute to our students, teachers, administration, parents and community. We continue to strive for consistency in achieving the awards,” Clayton said.

Principal Robby Parker is pleased that Bob Jones has been listed “in every Top 10 list for nine years running … no matter the criteria. This list looks at the number of graduating seniors versus the total number of advanced-placement tests given in your school.”

“Bob Jones was at a little disadvantage to other schools in the state because we had a much larger senior class in 2014; the ‘Washington Post’ data was taken from the 2014 graduating class, not junior, sophomore or freshman classes. Even with this, we ranked in the Top 10,” Parker said.

Parker takes special pride in Bob Jones’ “Equity in Excellence number (E & E score). It shows that 40 percent of Bob Jones seniors graduated having taken at least one college-level class. That ranked extremely high in the state.”

“The Washington Post” education columnist Jay Mathews created the ‘challenge index.’ Using a simple ratio, the index takes the number of AP, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests at a school in 2014, divided by the number of graduates that year.

The index did not consider the significant number of internships that Madison students pursue, which prelude their time in taking additional AP classes.

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