Three Bellevue high schools have ranked in the top 100 of Newsweek magazine's list of the best public high schools in America, based in...

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Three Bellevue high schools have ranked in the top 100 of Newsweek magazine’s list of the best public high schools in America, based in part on the number of college-level tests taken in each of those schools.

Interlake High School ranked 24th, Newport High School 32nd and Bellevue High School 41st.

Two years ago, three Bellevue School District high schools — Bellevue High, Newport High and the International School — were in the top 20, and a Bellevue high-school student appeared on the cover of the magazine.

Newsweek Top 1,000

Fourteen high schools in Washington made the magazine’s list of top public high schools. The schools and their rankings:

Interlake, Bellevue: 24

Newport, Bellevue: 32

Bellevue High, Bellevue: 41

International School, Bellevue: 160

Sammamish High School, Bellevue: 225

Garfield High School, Seattle :431

Central Kitsap, Silverdale: 572

Lewis and Clark, Spokane: 665

Skyview, Vancouver, Wash.: 784

Redmond High, Redmond: 830

Kamiak High School, Mukilteo: 834

Olympia High, Olympia: 885

Pasco High, Pasco, Franklin County: 905

Sehome, Bellingham: 947

Issaquah High, Issaquah: 971

Source: Newsweek

This year, the top school in the nation, by the magazine’s scoring formula, was Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School in Irondale, Ala.

The list was determined largely by student participation in college-level programs, such as Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB). Newsweek’s contributing editor, Jay Mathews, determined rank by the number of AP and IB tests taken at a school, divided by the number of graduating seniors.

Critics have attacked that formula as too rigid and test-focused. In the magazine, Mathews agrees that it is limiting but argues that it is the strongest way to measure a high school’s success at challenging all students to perform at a high level.

Because of “increased competition,” Mathews noted that some schools have dropped in rank over the past two years, even as their scores have risen. One example is Newport High School, which ranked 19th on the previous list. It scored higher this year under Mathews’ formula but was ranked lower.

Other local schools improved their scores dramatically. While Interlake was Bellevue’s highest performer this year, it was ranked 465th on the previous list.

The complete list is at

Cara Solomon: 206-464-2024 or