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Rated as the most challenging

April 14, 2014

The New Berlin and Muskego schools are celebrating a recent Washington Post report that shows New Berlin West and Eisenhower and Muskego High are among the most challenging high schools in the nation, based on advanced placement test participation.

New Berlin schools have won the honor before, but this is the highest ranking they have had with West being 556th out of the more than 1,900 high schools evaluated and Eisenhower being 572nd. The 2014 rankings are dramatic climbs from 2011 when West was 1,046 and Eisenhower was 1,133rd.

Muskego High was 1,711th.

In addition to making the list again, New Berlin West ranked as the fourth most challenging high school in Wisconsin this year and Eisenhower as the fifth, landing above Cedarburg, Whitefish Bay, Hartland-Arrowhead and Brookfield East high schools.

The only Wisconsin schools to rank higher are Eastbrook Academy in Milwaukee which was first, Marshfield High, second, and Rufus King High, Milwaukee, third.

To arrive at the rankings, the number of college-level tests schools give is divided by the number of its graduating seniors. Those tests could be exams administered in advanced placement college-level courses offered in high schools, international baccalaureate, advanced international certificate of education or other college-level tests.

The newspaper acknowledges that while that is not a measure of the overall quality of the school, the rating can reveal the level of a high school's commitment to preparing average students for college.

According to the Post, "The Challenge Index is designed to identify schools that have done the best job in persuading average students to take college-level courses and tests."

Superintendent Joe Garza said in a news release announcing the honor that the district is pleased to be consistently recognized by the Post for challenging its students.

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