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Charlotte Talks: Where Do Charlotte High Schools Rank In National Index?

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Jay Mathews joins Charlotte Talks.  He created America’s Most Challenging High Schools Index and, at WFAE’s request, has zeroed in on Charlotte’s high schools.  We find out how we fared and, because so many of the schools that comprise the index push advanced placement classes, we also hear from former CMS Superintendent Eric Smith who made increasing AP participation a major thrust of his time at the helm of Charlotte’s schools. 

America’s Most Challenging High School index is released each year listing the high schools around the nation that rank the number of students who take AP, International Baccalaureate and Cambridge tests each year.

We’ll take a look at some of the national rankings with the list’s creator, but Jay Mathews of the Washington Post has also zeroed in on Charlotte and given a regional ranking of high schools in our area.

We’ll detail that, and talk about how a focus on “AP for All,” begun decades ago by former CMS Superintendent Eric Smith, has contributed to the growing success of high schools in our area.


Jay Mathews, education writer and columnist for The Washington Post. He’s the creator of  America’s Most Challenging High Schools Index, which is released annually. He also created a regional index for Charlotte schools.

Dr. Eric Smith, former superintendent for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. During his tenure, he expanded the AP program in the district

Dr. Frank Barnes, chief accountability officer for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.


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