Minn. high school places in top 100 of 'most challenging' list

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Only one Minnesota school placed in the top 100 of a lengthy list of schools considered by the Washington Post to be "America's Most Challenging High Schools."

The International School of Minnesota in Eden Prairie ranks No. 59 and offers 19 Advanced Placement courses. With more than 400 students enrolled, the private school has a 100 percent four-year graduation rate and all of those students continued on to attend four-year colleges.

Southwest High School in Minneapolis landed at No. 115 and St. Louis Park High School ranks No. 185.

The ranking is determined by a "Challenge Index," which is the total number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year divided by the number of seniors who graduated in May or June.

The index is designed to identify schools that have done the best job in persuading average students to take college-level courses and tests, according to the report.

There are a few exceptions. The ranking does not include any "magnet or charter high school that draws such a high concentration of top students that its average SAT or ACT score exceeds the highest average for any normal-enrollment school in the country."

The list also does not include schools that have no, or almost no, average students.

U.S. News and World Report released their "Best High Schools" list this week. Mahtomedi Senior High School ranked No. 1 in Minnesota and placed No. 226 nationally.

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